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Taro (Colocasia esculenta): An overview


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Colocasia esculenta is a tropical plant grown primarily for its edible corms, the root and vegetables. It is most commonly known as taro and is widely cultivated in the high rainfall areas under flooded condition usually by small farmers. This study details about morphological characters of taro and their use as food and; region and season of cultivation.
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Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies 2018; 6(4): 156-161
ISSN (E): 2320-3862
ISSN (P): 2394-0530
NAAS Rating: 3.53
JMPS 2018; 6(4): 156-161
© 2018 JMPS
Received: 22-05-2018
Accepted: 23-06-2018
Rashmi DR
Division of Biochemistry, Faculty of
Life Sciences, Jagadguru Sri
Shivarathreeswara (JSS) University,
Mysuru, Karnataka, India
Raghu N
Division of Molecular Biology,
Faculty of Life Sciences, Jagadguru
Sri Shivarathreeswara (JSS)
University, Mysuru, Karnataka,
Gopenath TS
Division of Biotechnology, Faculty of
Life Sciences, Jagadguru Sri
Shivarathreeswara (JSS) University,
Mysuru, Karnataka, India
Pradeep Palanisamy
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of
Medicine, Quest International
University Perak, Malaysia
Pugazhandhi Bakthavatchalam
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of
Medicine, Quest International
University Perak, Malaysia
Murugesan Karthikeyan
Department of Microbiology, Faculty
of Medicine, Quest International
University Perak, Malaysia
Ashok Gnanasekaran
Department of Microbiology, Faculty
of Medicine, Quest International
University Perak, Malaysia
Ranjith MS
Department of Microbiology, Faculty
of Medicine, Quest International
University Perak, Malaysia
Chandrashekrappa GK
Chairman, Faculty of Life Sciences,
Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeswara
(JSS) University, Mysuru,
Karnataka, India
Kanthesh M Basalingappa
Assistant Professor, Division of
Molecular Biology, Faculty of Life
Sciences, Jagadguru Sri
Shivarathreeswara (JSS) University,
Mysuru, Karnataka, India
Kanthesh M Basalingappa
Assistant Professor, Division of
Molecular Biology, Faculty of Life
Sciences, Jagadguru Sri
Shivarathreeswara (JSS) University,
Mysuru, Karnataka, India
Taro (Colocasia esculenta): An overview
Rashmi DR, Raghu N, Gopenath TS, Pradeep Palanisamy, Pugazhandhi
Bakthavatchalam, Murugesan Karthikeyan, Ashok Gnanasekaran,
Ranjith MS, Chandrashekrappa GK and Kanthesh M Basalingappa
Colocasia esculenta is a tropical plant grown primarily for its edible corms, the root and vegetables. It is
most commonly known as taro and is widely cultivated in the high rainfall areas under flooded condition
usually by small farmers. This study details about morphological characters of taro and their use as food
and; region and season of cultivation.
Keywords: Taro, edible, medicinal, morphology
Herbs are predominantly used to treat cardiovascular, liver, central nervous system (CNS),
digestive, and metabolic disorders. Given their potential to produce significant therapeutic
effect, they can be useful as drug or supplement in the treatment or management of various
diseases. Herbal drugs or medicinal plants, and their extracts and isolated compounds have
demonstrated a wide spectrum of biological activities [1]. Selection of scientific and systematic
approach for the biological evaluation of plant products based on their use in the traditional
system of medicine forms the basis for an ideal approach in the development of new drugs
from plants. One such plant is Colocasia esculent Linn.
Taro (Colocasia esculent Linn.) is a vegetative propagated tropical root having its origin from
South-east Asia. It occupies 9th position among world food crops with its cultivation spreaded
across Africa. Taro tubers are important sources of carbohydrates as an energy source and are
used as staple foods in tropical and subtropical countries. It is largely produced for its
underground corms contain 7080% starch. There are numerous root and tuber crops are
grown in the world. Taro is one of such crops grown for various purposes. It is an erect
herbaceous perennial root crop widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical world belonging to
genus Colocasia in the plant family called Araceae [2]. The crop has been largely produced in
Africa even though the time of its spread to the region is unknown and nowadays cultivated in
Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and Burkina Faso where it has gained high importance [3]. It has
been suggested that the crop was cultivated to fill seasonal food gaps when other crops still in
the fields because of its potential in giving reasonable yield under conditions where other
crops may unable to give produce by various crop production constraints [4].
The corm of taro is relatively low in protein (1.5%) and fat (0.2%) and this is similar to many
other tuber crops. It is a good source of starch (7080 g/100 g dry taro), fiber (0.8%), and ash
(1.2%). Taro is also a good source of thiamine, riboflavin, iron, phosphorus, and zinc and a
very good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, copper, and manganese [5]. Taro
can also be used for entrapment of flavouring compounds [6].
It is locally referred to as brobey and cultivated on subsistence basis for its cormels and
leaves, which are boiled and eaten. In other parts of the world taro is made into ice cream and
drinks [7]. Taro leaves and tubers are poisonous if eaten raw; the acrid calcium oxalate they
contain must first be destroyed by heating.
Taro is rich in digestible carbohydrates and micronutrients [8]. Taro contains antinutrient
factors such as: oxalate, Phytate and tannin. Taro deteriorates rapidly as a result of its high
moisture and has been estimated to have a shelf-life of up to one month if undamaged and
stored in a shady area [9]. Taro foods are useful to persons allergic to cereals and can be
consumed by infants/children who are sensitive to milk.
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Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies
Studies conducted in Asia in the past have reported that
babies who were fed poi-a type of baby food prepared from
taro were found to suffer less from health conditions such as
diarrhea, pneumonia, enteritis and beriberi than babies fed
with rice and bread [10]. The nutritive value of poi as being
hypoallergenic, rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus,
magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin A and C, high in fiber and
serves as a slow release energy food source. Apart from the
vast uses of taro for food, it can also be used as an additive to
render plastics biodegradable [11]. Taro has a small starch
grain about a tenth of that of potato (1-6.5 micrometers)
making it more digestible. Taro is known to be a good source
of carbohydrate, fiber, minerals especially potassium and
vitamins (especially B-complex) which is more than that
found in whole milk and vitamin A and C. It is rather low in
ascorbic acid and carotene with the amount of carotene being
the same level as that found in cabbage and twice that found
in potato [12].
Table: 1 Different Vernacular Names of Colocasia esculenta
S. No
1. Taxonomy and morphology of taro
(A) Taxonomy: (Colocasia esculenta L) known as Taro
belongs to the family Araceae. Linnaeus originally described
two species which are now known as Colocasia esculenta and
Colocasia antiquorum of the cultivated plants. Taro is related
to Xanthosoma and Caladium, plants commonly grown
as ornamentals, and like them it is sometimes loosely
called elephant ear. Taro which is made up of at least 100
genera and more than 1500 species [13]. It has been reported as
corms of the wild taro cannot be used as food due to an
extremely high concentration of calcium oxalate crystals [14].
The specific epithet, esculenta, means "edible" in Latin. Taro
is related to Xanthosoma and Caladium, plants commonly
grown as ornamentals, and like them it is sometimes loosely
called elephant ear.
Table 2: Botanical classification of Taro (colocasia esculenta)
Scienticfic Name
Plantae (Plants)
Tracheobionta (Vascular plants)
Super division
Spermatophytes (Seed plants)
Magnoliophyta (Flowering plants)
Liliopsida (Monocotyledons)
Araceae (Arum family)
Colocasia Schott (colocasia)
Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott (Coco yam)
Alocasia dussil Dammer
Alocasia illustris W. Bull
(B) Morphology: Taro is naturally a perennial
monocotyledonous herb,but for practical purposes is
harvested after 5-12 months of growth [15]. It grows to a height
of 1-2 m consisting of a central corm, lying just below the soil
surface, from which leaves grow upwards, roots grown down
wards, while cormels, daughter corms and runners grow
laterally [16]. It has heart-shaped green or purple leaves
together with long petioles, fibrous roots and cylindrical or
often irregular nutrient storage organ (corm) and the nature of
flowering, fruiting and seed production by wild or cultivated
taros (Colocasia esculenta ) has not been fully understood [17].
Female inflorescence short, male inflorescence long,
cylindrical, usually interposed neuters between the two.
Appendix erect, elongate-conical or fusiform, subulate or
abbreviate. Male flowers 3-6 androus [18]. However, Castro
reported as taro seldom flowers and when flowers occurs the
inflorescence consists of a cylindrical spadix of flowers
enclosed in a 12-15 cm spathe resulting unisexual with the
female flowers located at the base of a spadix and the male
flowers at the top [19].
Genetic diversity in taro: Mace and Godwin reported
diploids (2n=2x=28) and triploids (2n=3x=42) chromosomes
in taro while diversity study using simple cytological
techniques [20]. Taro chromosome number is 2n=14, 28, and
42 and 2n=36 and 48 in India and suggested as the genetic
instability might be due to cultivation for long period of time
in the region of center of diversity [21]. Quero-Garcıa et al.
stated as taro is highly polymorphic, allogamous and
protogynous species [22].
Morphological characterization of taro: Morphological taro
characterization can be done based on its corm, stolon, leaf,
petiole and floral characters and other quantitative traits.
According to Lebot et al. there was high morphological
variability in taro accessions in Southeast Asia and Oceania
[23]. The variability with regard to morphological traits
includes colour, shape and size of tuber, petiole length and
colour, and stolon formation. Moreover, Manzano et al.
reported presence of greatest morphological variability in root
colour, cormel flesh colour, corm dry matter percentage, corm
shape and cormel shape in Colocasia esculenta collected from
Asia, Africa and America [24].
Leaf: The taro leaves rich in protein content (23%) found
might be favourably complemented the high carbohydrate
contents (87%) found in the tuber part of the plant as a source
of human food [25]. The leaves of taro have been reported to be
rich in minerals like Ca, P, Fe, and vitamins. The high level of
dietary fibre found in the taro leaf are also advantageous for
their active role in the regulation intestinal transit, increasing
dietary bulk and faeces consistency due to their ability to
absorb water [26].
Table 3: Nutrition value of leaves
Nutrition Facts Of Leaves
Vitamin C
Root: Nutritionally, roots and tubers have a great potential to
provide economical sources of dietary energy, in the form of
carbohydrates. The energy from tubers is about one-third of
that of an equivalent weight of rice or wheat due to high
moisture content of tubers. However, high yields of roots and
tubers give more energy per land unit per day compared to
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Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies
cereal grains In general the protein content of roots and tubers
is low ranging from 1 to 2% on a dry weight basis [27]. The
corm of taro contains more than twice the carbohydrate
content of potatoes and yield 135 k cals per 100 g and 11%
crude protein on a dry matter (DM) basis. These reported
carbohydrate and protein values are even higher than other
root crops like yam, cassava or sweet potato (FAO, 1999).
Though, protein and fat content of taro are low, but is high in
carbohydrates, fiber and minerals (Del Rosario and Lorenz,
1999). It contains 85-87% starch on a DM basis with small
granule size of 3-18 μm and other nutrients such as zinc,
vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin are higher than
other root crops [28].
Fig 1: Taro tubers
Fig 2: Taro leaves
Fig 3: Taro plant
Table 4: Nutrition value of Taro root. RDA (Recommended Dietary
Nutrition value per 100g
Nutrient value
Percentage of RAD
112K cal
26.46 g
1.50 g
Total fat
0.20 g
0 mg
Dietary fibers
4.1 g
22 µg
0.600 mg
Pantothenic acid
0.303 mg
0.283 mg
0.025 mg
0.095 mg
Vitamin A
76 IU
Vitamin C
4.5 mg
Vitamin E
Vitamin K
1 µg
11 mg
591 mg
43 mg
0.172 mg
0.55 mg
33 mg
0.383 mg
0.7 µg
0.23 mg
Source: USDA National Nutrient data base.
Table 5: Geographical distribution of Taro production
Top taro producer of 2014(million metric tons) [29]
Papua New Guinea
World total
Nutritional value of taro: Carbohydrate (expressed as
nitrogen free extract, NFE) content reported has been
estimated by subtracting the moisture, crude protein, ash,
fiber and fat from 100. Zinc and iron content has been
analyzed following the AOAC (1990) dry ashing procedure
and standard analytical method for atomic absorption
spectrophotometry [30].
Phytochemical Contents: The total phenolic content was
determined by the Folin-Ciocalteu Assay while the total
tannin analysis was conducted using the modified vanillin
method. The total flavonoid concentration was measured
using a colorimetric assay developed by Zhishen et al. [31]
Carbohydrate: The high level of carbohydrate content
observed in raw taro, taro powder, noodles and cookies agrees
with the findings reported by FAO [18] that the main nutrient
supplied by taro, as with other roots and tubers, is dietary
energy provided by the carbohydrates [32].
Starch: Taro corm has been reported to have 7080% (dry
weight basis) starch with small Granules. Because of the
small sizes (14 m in diameter) of its starch granules, taro is
highly digestible and as such has been reported to be used for
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Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies
the preparation of infant foods in Hawaii and other Pacific
islands [33]. Taro starch is easily digestible, the starch grains
are fine and very small, it has hypoallergenic nature and also
the starch is gluten free [34]. Taro starch is also good for peptic
ulcer patients, patients with pancreatic disease, chronic liver
problems and inflammatory bowel disease and gall bladder
disease [35]. The most important sugar in taro is sucrose, but
fructose, maltose, glucose and raffinose are also present.
Malic acid is the most important organic acid (60%) followed
by citric acid (25%) and oxalic acid (15%) [36].
Moisture: Since taro is root crop its moisture content is very
high and accounts two third of the total weight of the fresh
crops [37]. Moisture content of taro varies with variety, Growth
condition and harvest time. In general the moisture content of
taro ranges from 60- 83% [38].
Protein: Taro composes high protein than other root crops
because of the presence of symbiotic soil. Bacteria in the root
and rhizome part of taro. These bacteria fix atmospheric
bacteria and increase nitrogen occurrence in the corm and leaf
More over the bacteria used as plant growth enhancer due to
release of growth hormone to root and distributed to the
whole part of the plant. The free-living nature of these soils
bacterial also helps the taro crop to grow at different
environmental and ecologic conditions. These properties have
economic and ecologic important to the environment [39].
Total Ash: Taro contains fairly high amount of ash. From
which it can be inferred it contain good mineral contents. The
ash contents of taro ranged from 3.54 - 7.78% [40]
Health benefits of taro
Phytochemicals: Taros have high amount of β-carotene in
the corm and will impart vitamin A and antioxidant property
in the body. Β-carotene differs only very slightly in terms of
structure. They are very common carotenoids, and are
antioxidants, as well as having other potential health benefits.
As mentioned earlier, both can be converted into vitamin A
by the body, though β-carotene has about twice the
provitamin A activity as α- carotene [41].
Phenolic acids: Taro tubers are rich in starch and the tubers
contain anthocyanins, cyanidin 3-glucoside. In common with
flavonoids, the related anthocyanins are reputed to improve
blood circulation by decreasing capillary fragility to improve
eyesight, to act as potent antioxidants, to act as anti-
inflammatory agents, and to inhibit human cancer cell growth
[42]. It has been reported that flour from taro corms, dried and
milled contains easy digestion starch and therefore is widely
used as infant food [43]. It is also used for anthocyanin study
experiments especially with reference to abaxial and adaxial
anthocyanic concentration [44].
Oxalic acid / oxalates: Oxalates are one major limiting factor
in the utilization of taro is the presence of oxalates which
impart acrid taste or cause irritation when raw or unprocessed
foods from them are eaten. This acridity is caused by needle-
like calcium oxalate crystals, raphides that can penetrate soft
skin [45]
Anticancer Activities: Cancer is a leading cause of death
worldwide, and it is mostly related to unhealthy food habits
and lifestyle. It is important to find ways to reduce and
prevent the risk of cancer through dietary components, which
are present in plant foods. Cancer is a multistage disease
condition and tapping at any initial stage could help attenuate
the disease condition. Root and tuber phytochemicals have
demonstrated anticancer effects in several types of carcinoma
cell lines and animal models [46].
Many root and tuber crops are grown throughout the world in
hot and humid regions for their use as vegetable as most of
them contain starch as the major carbohydrate in them. They
are important diet component for human and add variety to it.
Taro (colocasia esculenta) is one of the staple root and tuber
crop grown for various purposes. Taro tubers provide a
numbers of desirable nutritional and health benefits such as
anticancer activity, phenolic acid, phytochemicals. In this
review there is a important information about taro nutritional
importance and the some of the health benefits of taro corms
and leaves. Taro is used as a staple food or subsistence food
by millions of people in many of the developing countries.
The corms of taro are used as vegetable and consider as a rich
source of carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, and vitamins.
Taro tubers contain 70 to 80 per cent of starch in them. It
contains small granules which are highly digestible. Taro can
be grown as a root crop, as a leafy vegetable, as an
ornamental and as medicinal plant. It is a staple crop for many
of south-eastern Asia. Taro is an emergent aquatic and semi-
aquatic plant. The leaves of taro are consumed as sauces,
purees, stews and soups.
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... Taro (Colocasia esculenta Linn.) is a herbaceous perennial root crop used as a staple food in tropical and subtropical countries [4]. According to FAO/UN report in 2018, the world production of taro is about 10.3 million tonnes, with Africa producing 9.5 million tonnes representing 92.2%. ...
... Taro is famous for its edible corm and ornamental properties (Garcia and MonlIor 1971). Taro is susceptible to many fungal pathogens but do not face severe yield loss except for Phytophthora blight, corm rot and Pythium rot which causes major growth and production loss (Rashmi et al. 2018). Pythium rot as discussed below is the most adverse one and is found wherever taro is grown. ...
Take-all disease is the most important root disease in wheat caused by the fungus Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici. Considering economic importance of wheat, the disease is a serious problem worldwide. The effective and economically feasible control of the disease is a major problem around the globe. Strategies based on chemical control of take-all have been inefficient due to that the control of soil-borne pathogen is depending on the use of soil fumigants of broad-spectrum gaseous as methyl bromide, chloropicrin, metam sodium which are unacceptable in agriculture. The discovery of suppressive soils involving major plant– microbe interactions resulted in some significant advances, particularly in elucidating the role of the enzymes. These microbes through several mechanisms including the biocontrol, antibiosis, systemic resistance in plants (ISR) have made advanced progress in identifying major factors involved host range and pathogenicity determining as well as recognizing the mechanism that explains disease suppression. Moreover, the high- throughput sequencing techniques open new avenues for microbial control of plant disease considering, for example, the engineering plant microbiome to improve the plant health and food security.
Lipu taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott) is a popular tuber crop in China. This study investigated the physicochemical and digestive properties of Lipu taro flour (LTF) and starch (LTS). The results showed that LTF was composed of LTS (79.13%) and non‐starch substances including protein (7.71%), lipid (0.32%), dietary fiber (2.13%), ash (1.05%) and moisture (9.17%). LTF had higher content of enzyme resistant starch (ERS, 36.52%) and the anon‐starch substances of protein and dietary fiber can inhibit the activity of digestive enzymes, which led to that LTF had a lower digestive degree during the in vitro gastrointestinal digestion than that of LTS. Moreover, LTS shared similar nutritional compositions including total starch (about 88%) and moisture (about 11%) to the commercial starches including rice, corn and wheat starches (RS, CS and WS, respectively). However, LTS showed the smallest particle size (0.485‐7.211 μm) which conferred it the smallest DPn value (16725) compared with other high‐rapidly digestible starches (RDS) of RS and CS. The physical characteristics might have prevented the bonding of LTS to the digestive enzymes, leading to its lower digestive degree than that of RS and CS, and was comparable to the low‐RDS starch of WS. The results suggested that the consumption of LTF and LTS may not induce high glucose levels in human, suggesting Lipu taro is a healthy food.
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Research has generally outlined that the Neolithic East Asian farmers expanded into Southeast Asia, leading to substantial social and cultural transformations. However, the associated archaeobotanical evidence until now has been insufficient to clarify the exact timing, dispersal route, and farming package of the emergence of agriculture in Mainland Southeast Asia. To clarify these issues, the micro-plant remains of phytolith and starch from three Neolithic sites in Ha Long Bay were extracted and analyzed. This study validates the earliest evidence of co-cropping in northern Vietnam, involving the cultivation of rice together with foxtail millet at 4000 years BP or slightly earlier. Moreover, the results indicate that at least two patterns of subsistence strategy were practiced simultaneously during the initial farming phase in the region. The Trang Kenh people, a regional variant of the Phung Nguyen cultural group often have been seen as the first farmers in northern Vietnam, and they mainly practiced a cereal-based subsistence strategy with more vital cultural characteristics of southern China origin. Meanwhile, the Ha Long people, mainly composed of indigenous hunter-gatherer descendants, continued to utilize a wide range of their preferred plant resources such as taros, yams, and acorns, while they absorbed and incorporated new elements such as millet and rice into their food system. This study provides solid information to understand the diverse economic systems among different cultural groups in Vietnam.
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Taro is an ancient nutritional and medicinal crop woven into the fabric of the socio-economic life of those living in the tropics and sub-tropics. However, West Africa (WA), which has been a major producer of the crop for several decades, is experiencing a significant decline in production as a result of taro leaf blight (TLB), a disease caused by Phytophthora colocasiae Raciborski. A lack of research on taro in WA means that available innovative technologies have not been fully utilized to provide solutions to inherent challenges and enhance the status of the crop. Improvement through plant breeding remains the most economically and environmentally sustainable means of increasing the productivity of taro in WA. With this review, we provide insights into the importance of the taro crop in WA, evaluate taro research to date, and suggest how to address research gaps in order to promote taro sustainability in the region.
Vietnam is one of the diverse regions for Araceae and possesses a large number of endemic Araceae species. Many Araceae species in Vietnam have been used as food and traditional medicines. Accordingly, species belonging to the genera, including Amorphohallus, Aglaonema, Arisaema, Alocasia, Colocasia, Homalomena, Lasia and Typhonium possessed many potential applications. Based on my knowledge and observations as well as the literatures on values of Araceae species, the present review aims to provide the information regarding the potential uses in medicine, food and ornamental plant industry of 27 Araceae species in Vietnam. In addition, the illustrative photos of all 27 Araceae species from this study are also given.
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Taro is an annual herbaceous plant grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Its various parts including corms and leaves are rich in vitamins (C, thiamine, and riboflavin), minerals (calcium, phosphorus), starch, and various bioactive compounds. The phytochemicals and pharmacological potential of taro are effective in mitigating various health maladies including neurological disorders, internal hemorrhage, and cancer. Furthermore, taro possessed various functional properties having various commercial aspects. Taro starch has multifarious potential in the food industry. Taro is a novel ingredient being used as an emulsifier, stabilizer, and prebiotic for the development of various products. It is a rich source of mucilage used in the preparation of various products. The results of various studies endorsed that taro has promising prebiotic potential and is linked to the modulation of healthy gut microbiota. The nutritional, therapeutic, biological, pharmacological, and functional properties are in the limelight of the current review.
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In this study, hyperspectral imaging (HSI) and chemometrics were implemented to develop prediction models for moisture, colour, chemical and structural attributes of purple-speckled cocoyam slices subjected to hot-air drying. Since HSI systems are costly and computationally demanding , the selection of a narrow band of wavelengths can enable the utilisation of simpler mul-tispectral systems. In this study, 19 optimal wavelengths in the spectral range 400-1700 nm were selected using PLS-BETA and PLS-VIP feature selection methods. Prediction models for the studied quality attributes were developed from the 19 wavelengths. Excellent prediction performance (RMSEP < 2.0, r 2 P > 0.90, RPDP > 3.5) was obtained for MC, RR, VS and aw. Good prediction performance (RMSEP < 8.0, r 2 P = 0.70-0.90, RPDP > 2.0) was obtained for PC, BI, CIELAB b*, chroma, TFC, TAA and hue angle. Additionally, PPA and WI were also predicted successfully. An assessment of the agreement between predictions from the non-invasive hyperspectral imaging technique and experimental results from the routine laboratory methods established the potential of the HSI technique to replace or be used interchangeably with laboratory measurements. Additionally, a comparison of full-spectrum model results and the reduced models demonstrated the potential replacement of HSI with simpler imaging systems.
Taro is a food source for many people in tropical countries. The use of biotechnological techniques for seed production is an alternative that allows obtaining propagation material of higher phytosanitary quality. During the taro in vitro propagation it is of great importance to increase the efciency of the protocols that are affected mainly by the incidence of microbial contamination and low multiplication coefcients. At the initiation stage, 100% of taro apical meristems sprouted with the immersion in water-dissolved ozone at 2 ppm for 15 min. Furthermore, the microbial contamination was eliminated and the explants showed better quality, increasing the multiplication coefcient in the subsequent subcultures. The disinfection strategy applied allowed to rise the number of taro explants by more than three times, increasing the economic efciency of the process.
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Malnutrition afflicts a large number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa. Orphan crops, such as Taro plants, can play critical roles in ensuring global food and nutritional security in this regard. Nigeria is the world's leading producer of taro. It is primarily consumed as a main component or as a soup thickener by resource-poor rural residents in Nigeria's Southeastern regions. The corm contains a lot of carbohydrates, while the leaves have a lot of protein. Furthermore, its social and medicinal importance should not be overlooked. It is, however, a food resource that is underutilized and receives little attention from scientists. Farmers cultivate it on a small scale, and its commercial importance is primarily limited to the local area, implying that farmers are the primary users and keepers of taro genetic diversity. As a result, they've gained some valuable experience in identifying and preserving cultivars they prefer, as well as developing utilization patterns (culinary diversity) for the cultivars they've kept. Information on farmers' knowledge of taro utilization patterns, cultivar maintenance, and culinary diversity is scarce in Nigeria, particularly in the southeastern region. The purpose of this study is to review existing literature on farmers' and consumers' perceptions and preferences for taro in order to provide insight into knowledge of taro food use, benefits, and potential brand foods. It also addresses key bottlenecks that impede taro production and consumption in Nigeria, paving the way for increased taro production and adoption by both farmers and consumers.
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Abstract: Taro {Colocasia esculenta) chips fried in Palm Oil (PO), Soybean Oil (SBO), Palm Olein Oil (POO), Groundnut Oil (GO) and in 40: 60 w/w blend ratio of palm oil: POO; SBO; GO were stored for 0-5 weeks in dark and in fluorescent light. Chips were subjected to weekly chemical and sensory analysis. Results showed that significant (p< 0.05) differences occurred in the organoleptic properties of taro chips fried in the different oil types during storage. Chips fried in palm oil and groundnut oil blend had the most desired flavour, taste and stability. The highest off-flavour ratings was for chips fried in soybean oil while chips fried in palm oil:ground nut oil blend had the least rating (p<0.05).The overall acceptability of chips was not significantly (p>0.05) affected by dark storage. Peroxide Value (PV) was highest in soybean oil fried chips (p>0.05) during storage. Peroxide Value (PV) increased at a slower rate in chips fried in palm oil, palm olein oil/blends.
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Taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott) is widely distributed in tropical and sub-tropical areas. However, its origin, diversification and dispersal remain unclear. While taro genetic diversity has been documented at the country and regional levels in Asia and the Pacific, few reports are available from Americas and Africa where it has been introduced through human migrations. We used eleven microsatellite markers to investigate the diversity and diversification of taro accessions from nineteen countries in Asia, the Pacific, Africa and America. The highest genetic diversity and number of private alleles were observed in Asian accessions, mainly from India. While taro has been diversified in Asia and the Pacific mostly via sexual reproduction, clonal reproduction with mutation appeared predominant in African and American countries investigated. Bayesian clustering revealed a first genetic group of diploids from the Asia-Pacific region and to a second diploid-triploid group mainly from India. Admixed cultivars between the two genetic pools were also found. In West Africa, most cultivars were found to have originated from India. Only one multi-locus lineage was assigned to the Asian pool, while cultivars in Madagascar originated from India and Indonesia. The South African cultivars shared lineages with Japan. The Caribbean Islands cultivars were found to have originated from the Pacific, while in Costa Rica they were from India or admixed between Indian and Asian groups. Taro dispersal in the different areas of Africa and America is thus discussed in the light of available records of voyages and settlements.
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During the past years, precisely 1965-1980, yam and taro reigned supreme in the Southern parts of Nigeria. Yam was the king and taro the queen. They were then the staple food of choice and were even offered to the gods. Their acceptance and ascendancy were challenged by the arrival and domestication of the easy growers (plantain, banana, maize and later cassava, tannia and sweet potato). The easy growers gained recognition and prominence as staple foods and subsequently replaced the earlier staples. Thus, cassava and sweet potato superseded yam and taro respectively. Nutritionally, taro has broader compliments of vitamins and nutrients compared to other root and tuber crops. The domestication of the new crops which are relatively more yielding and at the same time enjoys international leverage in research and development pose enormous challenges for the future of taro as a major crop. Strategic options for increase in taro production and consumption should be on consumer education and on its nutritional and health benefits. Increased attention on taro research will provoke a better understanding and contributions the crop can offer in the areas of food security, health and economic empowerment. The paper now reviews some of the nutritional and medicinal benefits of taro. Its contributions as an industrial crop will also be highlighted with special emphasis on the challenges facing taro crop cultivation in Nigeria and the possible approaches to enhance its sustainable production.
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The experiment was conducted at Jimma Agricultural Research Centre during the 2010/11 cropping season. The objectives of the study were to evaluate the genetic diversity of taro using agronomic traits so as to characterize and cluster with in collected taro genotypes. One hundred taro accessions were sampled from the collection. Relatively high broad sense heritability was observed for petiole length (30.54) and number of active leaves/plant (24.00) indicating the existence of a possibility for selection of accessions for high fresh corn yield. The clustering of accessions based on 13 quantitative traits revealed the existence of eight distinct groups. The maximum inter-cluster distance was observed between accessions under cluster III and VIII (D 2 = 67.82) followed by III and VI (D 2 = 58.81), hence, the accessions grouped in these clusters could be used for crossing if high fresh corn yield is planned in breeding program.
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The proximate and mineral compositions of cocoyam (Colossian esculenta L. and Xanthosoma sagittifolium L.) grown along Lake Victoria Basin in Tanzania and Uganda were analyzed. C. esculenta and X. sagittifolium samples were significantly (p < 0.05) different in terms of their proximate composition and mineral contents regardless of their country of origin. Proximate analyses included ash, crude protein, and crude fibre. Proximate composition of cocoyam results demonstrated that X. sagittifolium variety is nutritionally superior to that of C. esculenta. Minor nutrients measured were calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, sodium, zinc, manganese, and potassium. The results from these analyses demonstrate that the proximate composition of cocoyam produced in Uganda is substantially different from that produced in Kenya, regardless of the variety. Information obtained from this study can be used to develop cocoyam based food products with enhanced nutrition and potential to promote commercial scale production and utilization of cocoyam in East African countries.
Appropriate process characteristics and blend formulations were developed for the preparation of a high protein-energy weaning food, FRI Weaner, using maize, soya beans, groundnut, and milk powder. Its quality was evaluated in terms of its nutritive value. FRI Weaner had physical and sensory characteristics similar to those of a traditional Ghanaian cereal-based weaning food but was of superior nutritional quality. Nutritional information is detailed and the authors conclude that the blend can be used as an ideal weaning food to improve the nutrition status of Ghanaian children and help solve problems associated with protein-energy malnutrition.
Most of the world's poorest smallholders depend on tropical roots and tubers crops as their principal source of food and nutrition. These species produce large quantities of dietary energy and have stable yields under difficult environmental conditions. The most important crops are cassava, sweet potato, yam and the aroids, sharing important common traits such as bulkiness, post-harvest perishability and vegetative propagation. This book compiles the most up to date information on the origin, genetics, physiology, agronomy, pests and diseases and post harvest processing of these crops, while attempting to provide ideas for further research and development.