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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Raleigh, North Carolina » Food Science and Market Quality and Handling Research Unit » Research » Research Project #431439

Research Project: Development and Evaluation of Sweetpotato Cultivars for Improved Chip Processing

Location: Food Science and Market Quality and Handling Research Unit

Project Number: 6070-41000-010-32-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jun 1, 2016
End Date: May 31, 2021

1. Develop new sweetpotato varieties for processing of fried chips with improved color, flavor, texture and low acrylamide content. 2. Investigate the physico-chemical changes of promising genotypes during long-term storage and their effect on the product quality. 3. Determine factors affecting browning and acrylamide formation in sweetpotato fried chips.

Sweetpotato samples of early generations and advanced selections from the breeding program at NC State University will be evaluated for processing of fried chips. The materials will be screened for the levels of dry matter, sugars (glucose, fructose, and sucrose), starch, asparagine, beta-carotene, non-enzymatic browning, acrylamide and sensory characteristics. Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy that has been used successfully in other food commodities will also be used as a rapid method for analyzing these chemical components in sweetpotato genotypes. Samples will be scanned in the diffuse reflectance mode of NIR spectrometer. The mean NIR spectra of the tested samples will be analyzed against the analytical chemistry data for development of models for prediction of selected chemical constituents especially acrylamide. Studies will also be conducted to determine the biochemical changes during postharvest handling and long-term storage of several advanced selections and their effects on the physico-chemical properties (sugar and fat content, color, flavor and texture) of the fried chips. Samples of the most promising clones identified will be sent to the cooperator each year for frying tests. The data will provide feedbacks on properties that are considered important in processing. Data will be analyzed to establish the relationship between chemical profiles of sweetpotato varieties and the quality of fried chips.