Nutritional Status of Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potatoes in Alleviating Vitamin A Malnutrition through a Food-Based ApproachSurajit Mitra*
Department of Post Harvest Technology of Horticultural Crops, All India Coordinated Research Project on Tuber Crops, Directorate of Research, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Kalyani-741235, Nadia, West Bengal, India
- *Corresponding Author:
- Surajit Mitra
Department of Post Harvest Technology of Horticultural Crops
All India Coordinated Research Project on Tuber Crops
Directorate of Research, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya
Kalyani-741235, Nadia, West Bengal, India
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: August 02, 2011; Accepted Date: August 25, 2012; Published Date: August 27, 2012
Citation: Mitra S (2012) Nutritional Status of Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potatoes in Alleviating Vitamin A Malnutrition through a Food-Based Approach. J Nutr Food Sci 2:160. doi: 10.4172/2155-9600.1000160
Copyright: © 2012 Mitra S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L. Lam), the second most important root tuber and the seventh most important food crop of the world, although categorized as “poor man’s food” or “famine crop”, has tremendous potential to contribute to a food based approach to promote food security, to alleviate poverty and to supplement as an alternative staple food for the resource poor farmers, because of its diverse range of positive attributes like high yield with limited inputs, short duration, high nutritional value and tolerance to various production stresses. Orange-fleshed sweet potato is now emerging as an important member of the tropical tuber crops having great possibility for being adopted as regular diet of the consumer food chain to tackle the problem of vitamin A deficiency. Apart from cheap source of energy, the tubers are rich in starch, sugars, minerals and vitamin A in the form of β-carotene. Thus, the poor people having only limited access to the expensive vitamin A rich animal foods like fish oil, egg, milk and butter, can meet the daily requirement of vitamin A along with some other essential nutrients through increased consumption of these tubers. Being rich in β-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, orange-fleshed sweet potatoes are now considered as an important biofortified crop in many developing countries in alleviating Vitamin A malnutrition. The focus of this paper is on identification of potential cultivars of orange-fleshed sweet potato having high β-carotene and higher percentage of its retention after cooking. The cultivars with high β-carotene had consistently orange flesh and those with low to very low in β-carotene content had light orange or yellow-fleshed tubers. Results of this study suggest that increased consumption of orange-fleshed sweet potato in either fresh or cooked form can contribute considerably in alleviating dietary deficiency of Vitamin A and thereby combating night blindness, a major public health concern in rural areas.