Sweet Potato: A Review of its Past, Present, and Future Role in Human Nutrition

Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Tuskegee/NASA Center for Food and Environmental Systems for Human Exploration of Space, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL 36088, USA.
Advances in food and nutrition research 01/2007; 52:1-59. DOI: 10.1016/S1043-4526(06)52001-7
Source: PubMed


The overall objective of this chapter is to review the past, present, and future role of the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas [L.] Lam) in human nutrition. Specifically, the chapter describes the role of the sweet potato in human diets; outlines the biochemical and nutritional composition of the sweet potato with emphasis on its beta-carotene and anthocyanin contents; highlights sweet potato utilization, and its potential as value-added products in human food systems; and demonstrates the potential of the sweet potato in the African context. Early records have indicated that the sweet potato is a staple food source for many indigenous populations in Central and South Americas, Ryukyu Island, Africa, the Caribbean, the Maori people, Hawaiians, and Papua New Guineans. Protein contents of sweet potato leaves and roots range from 4.0% to 27.0% and 1.0% to 9.0%, respectively. The sweet potato could be considered as an excellent novel source of natural health-promoting compounds, such as beta-carotene and anthocyanins, for the functional food market. Also, the high concentration of anthocyanin and beta-carotene in sweet potato, combined with the high stability of the color extract make it a promising and healthier alternative to synthetic coloring agents in food systems. Starch and flour processing from sweet potato can create new economic and employment activities for farmers and rural households, and can add nutritional value to food systems. Repositioning sweet potato production and its potential for value-added products will contribute substantially to utilizing its benefits and many uses in human food systems. Multidisciplinary, integrated research and development activities aimed at improving production, storage, postharvest and processing technologies, and quality of the sweet potato and its potential value-added products are critical issues, which should be addressed globally.

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    • "In particular, the use of orange-fleshed sweet potato gives health benefits with respect to its beta carotene content, which has high pro-vitamin A and anti oxidative activities [8] [9] [10] [11]. In addition, the presence of phenolic compounds that also have function as antioxidants, dietary fiber and relatively low glycemic index (GI) of its carbohydrate, also contribute to functional food properties of sweet potato [10] [12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Noodle characteristics prepared from both 100% of domestic and imported wheat flour (as a control) and blended with 40% of orange-fleshed sweet potato paste were studied. The domestic wheat flour had higher protein content (13.8%), compare to imported wheat flour (11.7%), thus giving the highest protein content (18.86%) in noodle prepared from 100% domestic wheat flour. However its noodle colour was disliked due to a lower whiteness level compared to imported wheat flour. Blended 60% of domestic wheat flour with 40% of sweet potato paste could improve the noodle colour acceptance. The noodles prepared from both 100% wheat flours and blended with 40% sweet potato paste had met the national standard quality for moisture and protein content. This suggests that sweet potato paste is promising for noodle ingredients as a wheat flour substitute.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015
    • "Sweet potato has been widely used in the food industry to produce various products like cakes, noodles, chips, etc., as well as it has been processed into biomaterials such as modified starches and bioethanol for the energy industry (Antonio, Takeiti, de Oliveira, & Park, 2011). Therefore, sweet potato continues to play a crucial role both in food security and in bioindustrial development (Bovell-Benjamin, 2007). Over 0144-8617/© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. "
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    ABSTRACT: The intrinsic relationship between amylose content and starch physicochemical properties was studied using six representative starch samples (amylose content 0-65%) produced from transgenic sweet potato (cultivar Xushu22). The transgenic lines (waxy and high-amylose) and wild-type (WT) sweet potatoes were analyzed for amylose content, particle size and chain length distribution, X-ray diffraction analysis, thermal characteristics, pasting and rheological property. Compared to the WT starch, the waxy and high-amylose starches showed larger average granule sizes and had fewer short chains and more medium and long chains. X-ray diffractogram analysis revealed that high-amylose starches show a type-B crystal form with a markedly decreased degree of crystallinity in contrast to the type-A crystal form of the WT and waxy starches. In the high-amylose sweet potato starches, the rise of setback value and the reduction of breakdown value led to the high shear resistance as indicated by the higher G', G″, and tanδ from the oscillation test. ΔH was not found to be decreased with the reduction of crystallinity. The shear stress resistance of starch gel after gelatinization was also enhanced as amylose content increased. Principal component analysis also confirmed that the amylose content greatly influenced the starch structure and properties, e.g., storage modulus, setback value, and average chain length. Thus, our study not only shed light on how amylose content affects starch properties but also identified novel starches that are available for various applications. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Carbohydrate Polymers
    • "Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) is one of the most important root crops in the world, with more than 133 million tonnes produced annually worldwide. It is a staple food for millions of people and the seventh most abundant crop globally after wheat, rice, maize, potato, barley and cassava (Bovell-Benjamin, 2007). In China, sweet potato is the fourth largest food crop with an annual yield of approximately 120 million tonnes, which accounts for 80% of worldwide sweet potato production (Mu et al., 2009) and is mainly used for starch production on an industrial scale. "
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, secondary structures of sweet potato protein (SPP) after high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) treatment (200-600 MPa) were evaluated and emulsifying properties of emulsions with HHP-treated SPP solutions in different pH values (3, 6, and 9) were investigated. Circular dichroism analysis confirmed the modification of the SPP secondary structure. Surface hydrophobicity increased at pH 3 and decreased at 6 and 9. Emulsifying activity index at pH 6 increased with an increase in pressure, whereas emulsifying stability index increased at pH 6 and 9. Oil droplet sizes decreased, while volume frequency distribution of the smaller droplets increased at pH 3 and 6 with the HHP treatment. Emulsion viscosity increased at pH 6 and 9 and pseudo-plastic flow behaviors were not altered for all emulsions produced with HHP-treated SPP. These results suggested that HHP could modify the SPP structure for better emulsifying properties, which could increase the use of SPP emulsion in the food industry.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · High Pressure Research
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