A Review on root crops processing for food security and health

Alminda Magbalot-Fernandez, Mohammed Umar


With a world population of 7.3b, food security and health remains a challenge. There is 6-20% undernourishment in the world.  In the South Pacific Islands, 3-14% undernourishment is prevalent. Food deficits exist and $12,669m of products are imported. Moreover, obesity and diabetes are rampant due to globalization and changes in consumption patterns which necessitates for the search of healthy foods.

Root crops from taro, cassava, sweet potato and yams are the main sources of 40-50% energy intakes and nutrients. These are good sources of energy, fibre, calcium, iron and vitamins. Root crops supply up to 24% of the energy required and 100% Vitamin C. Root crops are also functional foods and nutraceutical ingredients against chronic diseases helps maintain good health. While world root crop production has increased, the top producers of root crops in the South Pacific are Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Samoa.  Food innovations provide modern methods of preserving foods. Food processing for longer continuous supply is a wise alternative. USP is developing processed foods like flour and baked products nutritiously made from natural indigenous ingredients to address Food Security and Health.


Root Crops, Food Security, Health, Food Processing, Food Innovation

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