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Title: Influence of growth locations on physicochemical properties of starch and flour from amadumbe (Colocasia esculenta) genotypes
Authors: Mawoyo, Bruce 
Issue Date: 2017
Amadumbe commonly, known as taro is a traditionally underutilised tuber crop in Southern Africa. Nutritionally, amadumbe corms contain appreciable levels of carbohydrate mainly in the form of starch which is resistant to digestion. It also contains mucilage, a soluble fibre, which is good for the human digestive health. Thus, amadumbe starch and mucilage can be used as functional ingredients in food formulations. The aim of this research was to investigate the effects of genotypes and growth location on the physicochemical properties of amadumbe flour and starch.

Eighteen (18) amadumbe genotypes grown in Roodeplaat, Gauteng and Umbumbulu, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, were studied. Roodeplaat received a lower annual average rainfall (514 mm) and high environmental temperature (24oC) compared to Umbumbulu (828 mm, 19oC) during the cropping season. Specifically, the influence of growth location and genotypes on the chemical composition (proximate composition and mineral contents) as well as the functional properties of amadumbe flours were investigated. Furthermore, starch was extracted and its physicochemical and functional properties were also studied.

The carbohydrate contents (73-81%) of amadumbe flours were substantially high and varied with growth location. Mucilage contents (6-9%) were very low across genotypes in both locations. Water absorption and oil absorption capacities positively correlated to carbohydrates and mucilage in the flour irrespective of growth locations. Swelling power and solubility index was influenced by the amylose content of the flour. Genotype and growth location significantly affected the pasting properties of amadumbe flour. The pasting temperature was very high (approx. 90oC) across genotypes in both locations, while peak viscosity differed significantly (54-242 RVU) for genotypes grown in different environments.

The amylose contents (0-14.4%) of amadumbe starches were low and varied significantly with growth location and among genotypes. Three genotypes, G2, G20, and G21 grown in Roodeplaat lacked amylose. Amadumbe starches showed reflective peaks at 2θ=15o and doublet at 17o, 18o and 24o typical of A-type starches. Amadumbe genotypes had small sized (1-5 µm) and polygonal starch granules. Functional properties including water absorption, swelling power, gelatinisation temperature and peak viscosity significantly positively correlated with amylose content. These findings further suggest that water availability could have a major effect on starch synthesis as the two locations received a different amount of rainfall during the growing season. Findings from this study are important for future improvement programmes and selection of appropriate genotypes for industrial production or food application of amadumbe flour and starch.
Submitted in fulfilment for the Master’s Degree in Food Science and Technology, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2017.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Applied Sciences)

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