One of the problems related to the food supply in Nigeria and other West African countries at present is that of efficient preservation and processing of raw products. In this brief review of potato processing techniques, properties of West African yams are compared with those of potato with a view to explore possibilities of adapting potato processing techniques to yams. Yams referred to in this article are of the family Dioscoreaceae, and they are different from the yams known in the U.S.A. The American yams are of the family Convovulaceae and are a variety of sweet potatoes. Possible new foods from West African yams, similar to convenience foods made from potato are also proposed. Of the varieties of yam grown in Nigeria, Dioscorea alata (water yam) is compositionally closest to potato. Properties of other varieties also are comparable to those of potato. Because there are similarities between the two tuberous crops, various methods for dehydrating potato could be adapted to drying of the West African yam.

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Author notes

1A contribution from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.

2Permanent Address: Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.