Proximate Characterization of Selected Ugandan Sweetpotato (Ipomoea Batata L.) Varieties for Food and Feed
Mbithe, Muinde J.
Musembi, Kivuva B.
Wambua, Kioko F.
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Sweet potato Ipomoea batatas L. (Lam.) is a symbol in the fight for a global nutrition plan that can save millions of children and help build a healthier and more productive future. Sweet potato is relied on as a source of calories since its vines and/or storage roots can be used for direct human consumption, as well as providing inexpensive, proteinrich fodder for animals. However, characterisation of sweet potato varieties with optimal proximate characteristics suitable for both food and feed has not been done. This study sought to characterise selected Ugandan sweet potato varieties to identify those that are more suitable for food and feed purposes. The characterization was based on proximate analysis of vines and root tubers. The data obtained was analysed using Minitab version 17 and statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) Version 20 software packages. Proximate analysis showed that there were highly significant differences (p≤0.001) among the 11 varieties in all the root parameters evaluated. On the other hand, vine characteristics, including ash content, dry matter, organic matter, nitrogen, in vitro organic matter digestibility, crude protein, and metabolisable energy significantly varied (p≤0.001) among the varieties. However, there were no significant differences in neutral detergent fibre, acid detergent fibre and acid detergent lignin (p≥0.05) among the varieties. This study enables selection of sweet potato varieties with optimal characteristics for both food and feed use. It also contributes to the advancement of on-going research on sweet potato, specifically towards sustainable food production.