Mothers in Rwanda feed their children with a bio-fortified sweet potato puree.
Women in Rwanda learning how to incorporate orange-fleshed sweet potato in local meals.
Photo: Hugh Rutherford/CIP


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A new study by French scientists – focusing on industrialisation of baby food processing – demonstrates how the addition of vitamin A-rich sweet potato would enhance the nutritional quality of baby food to children under six years of age in many developing countries.

Scientists at the International Potato Center (CIP) in Lima/Peru have welcomed a study by researchers of the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) in Montpellier/France, supporting the commercial processing of bio-fortified orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP). The study Bioaccessibility of Biofortified Sweet Potato Carotenoids in Baby Food: Impact of Manufacturing Process – published in the prestigious Frontiers in Nutrition journal – approves the formulation of orange-fleshed  sweet potato proposed in tested samples, which also incorporates pumpkin, oil and egg yolk, as a way of improving the overall safety and quality of the baby-food product.

In particular, the researchers noted that the formula would maximise carotenoid bio-accessibility of the food which facilitates the absorption of vitamin A. The samples underwent industrial heat processing mainly pasteurisation and sterilisation.

CIP promotes the incorporation of OFSP puree into baby food

A research-for-development organisation with a focus on potato, sweet potato and Andean roots and tubers, CIP delivers innovative science-based solutions to enhance access to affordable nutritious food, foster inclusive sustainable business and employment growth, and drive the climate resilience of root and tuber agri-food systems.

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