Scientist recommends sweet potato flour as alternative to wheat

The scientist said that the consumption of sweet potato could eliminate Vitamin A deficiency common in many parts of the continent. “Sweet potato is better than wheat because it is cheaper while imported wheat is costly,” Sindi said. He explained that Africa had many local alternatives to wheat flour that could reduce the cost of producing confectioneries. According to him, flour made from potato and cassava can be used to bake bread, doughnut, biscuits and cakes, reducing production cost by 15 per cent.

Sindi said that a study, conducted by himself and four other researchers in Rwanda showed that confectioneries, made a combination of sweet potato flour and wheat, tasted better. He said that respondents in the research, preferred such confectioneries to those made from only wheat. “Manufacturers who import agricultural commodities like wheat are facing increasing costs due to rising commodity prices. Sweet potato can replace up to 40 per cent of the wheat in bakery products. This can lower production costs, save a country’s foreign exchange, and increase the rural farmer’s income,” he noted. Using the Rwanda study as a reference point, Sindi recommended the establishment of more and efficient distribution and supply chains.

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