Effect of storage on the pasting characteristics of yam tubers
Yam is a popular root and tuber crop which is important as a dietary staple and potential export crop. Storage of yam tubers is an age long practice in yam growing communities of West Africa, while pasting characteristic is an important indicator of potential utilization of yam tubers. The study was carried out to investigate effect of storage of the tubers on their pasting characteristics. Six varieties each of D. alata and D. rotundata were used for the study. At harvest, the tubers were divided into two groups. The first group was stored in a conventional open-air yam barn for four months, while tubers in the second group were not stored. Pasting characteristics of both fresh and stored tubers were determined by Rapid Visco Analyser (RVA). The result showed that the effect of storage on the yam tubers were species dependent. In D. alata there was an increase in peak viscosity (231.36 to 257.56 RVU), breakdown (71.68 to 122.47 RVU), setback (42.58 to 65.99 RVU), while there was a decrease in most of the parameters except break-down and setback viscosities in D. rotundata. Generally, a decrease in peak viscosity, holding strength, final viscosity and peak time of the yam tubers during storage was observed, while the breakdown and setback viscosities of the tubers increased significantly (p < 0.05) on storage. The industrial implication of this is that starches of stored tubers may have high retrogradation tendencies but more resistance to shear-thinning and have more paste stability during processing.
Keywords: Yam, storage, pasting, viscosity.