Evaluation of Kenyan Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas Lam.) Purees for Functional Food Production
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Consumption of functional foods with health promoting benefits and/or disease prevention has been on the increase globally. The study aimed at evaluating the potential of utilizing Kenyan orange fleshed sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas Lam.) for functional food production with aesthetics benefits. Purees from three different varieties of orange fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) were analyzed for nutritional, physicochemical and microbial quality. The findings of the study show that the three purees were all microbiologically safe and of near neutral pH, but differed significantly (P < 0.05) in nutrient content (dry matter content, 12.76-28.23%; crude fiber, 1.37-2.90% fresh weight basis (FWB); β-carotene, 0.94-9.27 mg/100g dry weight basis (DWB); starch, 10.20-18.30% FWB & total sugar 27.08-31.76% DWB). The purees had attractive appearance (ranging from yellow to dark orange), with varying significantly different spectrophotometer hunters color scale (P < 0.05), and flow ability. Conclusions from the findings show great potential of utilizing the varying properties of OFSP puree to produce enriched functional food products such as probiotic/prebiotic dairy, beverages, bakery and baby foods.