The use of sensory evaluation and consumer preference for the selection of sweetpotato cultivars in East Africa uri icon

abstract

  • Sweetpotato is an important staple crop in East Africa with great potential for introducing improved cultivars, but little is known about which sensory characteristics are desirable. Over a 2 year period, 600 consumers were interviewed at three locations (urban and rural) in the Lake Zone of Tanzania and their preference of 14 locally available sweetpotato cultivars in cooked form was evaluated. A simple questionnaire based on consumers first-choice preference was used followed by socio-economic questions. A trained sensory panel profiled the cooked sweetpotato samples, enabling comparisons with preference, location and season. Cluster analysis based on the sensory attributes was used to classify the cultivars into three groups; one cluster comprised the most preferred cultivars and another contained the least. Some cultivars were consistently preferred over the 2 year period while others were not. The location where the cultivars were grown also influenced preference. Stepwise regression indicated that the most discriminating sensory attributes were starch and stickiness. Target levels based on the mean intensity scores of these attributes are suggested as a means of screening new cultivars. The implications of these findings are discussed. (C) 2004 Society of Chemical Industry.

publication date

  • 2004
  • 2004