Shelf life extension of sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas (L) Lam) storage roots using household-level storage methods
Three sweetpotato cultivars; OFSP-1, OFSP-2 and WFSP were investigated for storability using two storage methods (heap vs. sand box), following curing (dehaulming, field-piled or no curing). Storage roots (SRs) were subsequently stored using either heap or sand box methods. SRs were deliberately injured and wound healing assessed over a 6-day period. Over an 11 week storage period, OFSP-2 recorded the highest weight loss (9.7%; p = 0.04), weevil damage (3.7%; p = 0.49) and rot (21%; p < 0.001). Weight loss and weevil damage were respectively 1.8-times and 23-times higher in the SRs stored in heap method compared with those in the sand box method. Except for WFSP, the wound healing score increased gradually to the 3rd or 4th day for OFSP-2 and OFSP-1 respectively before levelling off. The sand box method performed better than heap storage should be encouraged for the storage of sweetpotato SRs at the household-level.