The study investigated the potential production of fried chips from bitter yam (Dioscorea dumentorum) as well as the evaluation of quality characteristics of the chips. Yellow and white bitter yam and sweet potato (control) obtained from a local yam farmer were respectively processed into fried chips while the chips were subsequently subjected to analysis. The results showed that the proximate composition of fried bitter yam ranged as follows: moisture content (5.32 – 6.04), fat (28.93 – 29.41), ash (1.66 – 1.82), fibre (4.45 – 7.38), protein (2.44 – 3.32) and carbohydrate (58.71 – 61.85 g/100g). The proximate composition of fried sweet potato chips was moisture content (4.64), fat (28.51), ash (2.91), fibre (6.01), protein (0.55) and carbohydrate (62.04 g/100g). Frying operation was found to cause decrease in the proximate values except fat value due to oil absorption. The browning indices of the fried chips from yellow and white bitter yam and sweet potato were 66.2, 50.8 and 52.8, respectively while the values for oiliness indices were 29.1, 21.6 and 36.1 cm2, respectively. The rate of in vitro starch digestibility of the fried chips revealed the following order: yellow bitter yam > white bitter yam > sweet potato. The hydrolysis indices were 72.5, 63.1 and 58.4% while their corresponding estimated glycemic indices (eGI) were 79.5, 74.4 and 71.8% respectively, all indicating high glycemic index values. The sensory quality rating of the fried products revealed that chips from sweet potato was rated the highest in terms of aroma, taste, colour and overall acceptability but not significantly different (p < 0.05) from that of yellow bitter yam. Therefore, the use of yellow bitter yam for commercial production of fried chips, as a way of utilization diversification and value addition, is recommended.
Bitter Yam, Fried Chips, Browning Index, Glycemic Index, Digestibility
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