Is sweet potato starch the same as regular potato starch?Update: 2/3/2013
Sweet potato's starch is generally made up of between 80 to 90% carbohydrates of the dry weight of sweet potato roots and Potatoes grown for starch manufacture may contain as much as 22% starch dry matter. About 75 per cent of the dry weight is carbohydrate.
It is planted primarily for its thick, edible roots, called sweet potatoes. The name is due to a sugar content. Two main types are commonly cultivated: a dry, mealy type, and a soft, light-to-deep-yellow, moist-fleshed type.
The species often called wild sweet-potato vine, manroot, or man-of-the-earth is not edible, but is cultivated as an ornamental vine.
The process of extracting and refining the starch is similar to the potato starch process. The pink and yellow varieties are rich in carotene, the precursor of vitamin A.
The crop is normally harvested about 4 months after planting and harvesting may be spread over several months. In a temperate climate harvest must take place before risk of frost.
The tuber of the white potato is a staple food in most countries of the temperate regions of the world. The plant is grown as an annual herb.
The stem attains a length up to almost 1 m (3 ft), erect or prostrate, with pointed leaves and white to purple flowers. The fruit is a many-seeded berry about the size of a cherry.
Like the stems and the foliage, the fruit contains significant amounts of solanin, a poisonous alkaloid characteristic of the genus. Three to six tubers form on the underground stem, although in some varieties there may be as many as 10 to 20.
The tuber skin varies from brownish-white to purple. The plant, native to the Peruvian Andes, was probably first taken to Europe in the mid-16th century by Spanish explorers and was probably introduced to Britain by English explorers sailing from the New World only a few years later.
The cultivation of the potato spread rapidly, especially in the temperate regions, and early in the 18th century the plant was introduced into North America.
After harvesting the potatoes are kept for two to three weeks at 15 oC ( a wound healing period) and first then, they are over a one month period gradually cooled down to their storage temperature and they will keep well for a year or so. In spring the seed potatoes are during minimum a fortnight gradually heated to 10 to 15 oC before planting.
It may be done by shutting of the cooling system mid March and starting air heating early April for the potatoes to be ready for planting end of April. Potatoes for chips and other food products have to be stored at a higher temperature not below 6-7 oC.
That temperature is to high to prevent sprouting and sprout depressing gas has to be used. At 8 oC and below sugars are formed - the colder the more - and the sugar forms a brown color by a Maillard reaction not acceptable in food products. The sugar formation is however not a quantity problem and does not affect starch yield from potatoes used for starch manufac
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