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On Farm Drying of Sweetpotato Chips
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: 2012 Dallas, Texas, July 29 - August 1, 2012 121337886.(doi:10.13031/2013.41844)
Authors: Michael Doyle Boyette, Justin A Macialek
Keywords: Sweetpotato Meal, Animal Feed, Gluten-Free, Forced-air Drying
Drying sweetpotatoes cut into pieces to preserve them for later use has been practiced since antiquity in Central and South America, the geographical center of the sweetpotatos origin. The US presently produces less than 455,000 kg (one million pounds) of dried sweetpotatoes per year and imports approximately 2.27million kg (5 million pounds) principally from China and Peru. Much of the dried sweetpotato products imported into the US are used by the pet food industry as a gluten free carbohydrate source. In June 2011, a project was undertaken to demonstrate the feasibility of slicing sweetpotatoes and drying them in bulk tobacco barns. Since the majority of both flue-cured tobacco and sweetpotatoes are grown in the same general area of North Carolina and often by the same growers, it seemed only natural to utilize existing barns that remain idle for most of the year except in the late summer and early fall tobacco curing season. The purpose of this project was to produce various dried sweetpotato products to distribute for evaluation by potential users and customers. It should be noted that the tobacco barn utilized in this study was thoroughly cleaned prior to the test to remove all tobacco. The sweetpotatoes were cut lengthways into approximately 6.3 mm (1/4 inch) thick slices placed into metal mesh drying boxes and force-air dried at approximately 66 C (150 F) dry bulb and 40 C (104 F) wet bulb for 60 hours. Approximately 1370 kg (3015 lbs.) of dried material was recovered from the slightly over 7328 kg (16123 lbs.) of fresh sweetpotatoes giving a yield of about 18.7 %.(Download PDF) (Export to EndNotes)