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Sweet potato purees and powders for functional food ingredients

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Processing technologies have been developed in various parts of the world to convert sweet potatoes into purees and dehydrated forms that can be used as functional ingredients in numerous food products. This chapter reviews the processing operations involved in these technologies and their effects on quality, storability, nutritional values and rheological properties of sweet potato purees and powders/flours. For purees, the processing steps include peeling, cutting/grinding, and pre-cooking/finish-cooking with temperature-time program suitable for starch conversion by endogenous amylolytic enzymes to obtain the products with targeted maltose levels and viscosities. The purees can be subsequently preserved by refrigerated and frozen storage, canning, or aseptic packaging. However, poor product quality due to excessive thermal treatments in canning, high cost of investment associated with frozen products and limited package sizes of these preserved forms are the main hurdles for widespread applications of sweet potato purees in the food industry. These problems can be overcome by a new process using a continuous flow microwave system for rapid sterilization and aseptic packaging to produce shelf-stable purees with consistently high quality. Sweet potato purees can be further processed into drum- or spray-dried powders. In many countries, solar drying and mechanical drying in cabinets and tunnels are common in producing sweet potato dried chips which are pulverized into flours. Extrusion technology and chemical treatments are also applied to produce sweet potato powders for specific functionality. With high levels of carbohydrates, ß-carotene (orange-fleshed varieties) and anthocyanins (purple-fleshed varieties), sweet potato purees and dehydrated forms can be used as functional ingredients to impart desired textural properties and phytonutrient content in processed food products.
Truong, Van-Den , Avula, Ramesh Y.
Includes references
Nova Science Publishers, c2010. Food science and technology series
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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