Food Science and Technology Project Topics

Nutritional and Sensory Composition of Pudding Produced From Aerial Yam (Dioscorea Bulbifera) and Unripe Plantain

Nutritional and Sensory Composition of Pudding Produced From Aerial Yam (Dioscorea Bulbifera) and Unripe Plantain

Nutritional and Sensory Composition of Pudding Produced From Aerial Yam (Dioscorea Bulbifera) and Unripe Plantain

Chapter One

The Objective of the study

Therefore, the aim and objectives of this study are to determine the nutritional composition and sensory composition of puddings produced from the blends of aerial yam and unripe plantain.



  Aerial Yam (Dioscorea bulbifera)

Aerial yam (Dioscorea bulbifera) is commonly called potato yam or cheeky yam (Ojinnaka et al., 2016). It is specie of yam grown throughout the world. This bulbils-bearing yam which belongs to the Order Dioscoreal, Family Dioscoreaceae, and Genus Dioscorea is unpopular specie among the edible yam species. In South- Eastern States in Nigeria it is known as “Adu”, Western Nigeria it is called “Emina” while in south- south Nigeria it is called “Odu” , it is also known as Igname  bulbifere, igname pousse enl` air (France), brotwurzel, karotoffel-yam (Germany) Gaithi, karu-kunda, ratalu (Portugal), Inhame (Hindu). Where as in Spanish speaking countries, it is called criollo (Venezuela) De Aire (Colombia); De Gunda, Volador (Cuba), papa Cimarrona (Mexico)” (Nwosu, 2014).

It is cultivated in the West Africa, consumed by a small number of communities in some other parts of Nigeria, South East Asia, and South and Central America. The wild form also occurs in both Asia and Africa (Ojinnaka et al., 2016).  This yam has been known to be an unpopular yam among the edible yam species because it is not well known to all communities.

Aerial yam is always available and cheap during the dry season (November-April). It is purchased in the rural markets and taken to urban centers by retailers (Mbaya et al., 2013). It is among one of the most underutilized food crops in the world where it grows and appears in both the wild and edible forms. Unlike the other yam species, Dioscorea bulbifera has a long vine and it produces bulbils which grow at the base of its leaves (Sanful et al., 2015). This species of yam is not popular among farmers or consumers and does not enjoy the patronage that some of the other edible yam species enjoy.  Aerial yam are eaten boiled or fried or even roasted (Princewill-Ogbonna and Ibeji, 2015).

Botanical Description

Aerial yam is a vigorously twining herbaceous vine, often arising from an underground tuber. Freely branching stems grow to 60 ft. in length. Stems are round or slightly angled in cross section and twine to the left (counter-clockwise). Aerial bulbils freely form in leaf axils. Bulbils are usually roundish with mostly smooth surfaces, and grow up to 5 in. x 4. Leaves are long stalked, alternate; blades to 8 in. or more long, broadly heart shaped, with basal lobes usually rounded and with arching veins all originating from one point (Langeland and Meisenburg, 2014).

Dioscorea bulbifera is distinguished from all other species by having specialized aerial bulbils on the base of petioles (Beyene, 2013). Aerial yam is grown on free draining, sandy and fertile soil, after clearing the first fallow. Planting is done by seed yam or cut setts from ware tubers. One day before planting, the tubers are subjected to treatment with wood ash to prevent damage to the soils. The setts are planted at an interval of 15-20 centimeters with the cut facing up. Manual weeding by hoeing is done three or four times depending on the rate of weed growth. Harvesting is done before the vines become dry and soil becomes dry and hard.

The bulbelates of Dioscorea bulbifera have very high dry matter content and produces bulbilates 4-6 months after planting (Beyene, 2013).

Kingdom:   Plantae

Order:         Dioscoreales

Family:       Dioscoreaceae

Genus:        Dioscorea

Species:      bulbifera

Scientific name: Dioscorea bulbifera


  1. bulbifera is a glabrous vine that climbs by twining to heights of 12 meters or more. The stems range from thin (1-milli- meter diameter) to thick (8-milli- meter diameter) and twist to the left in twining. The leaves, often quite large, are alternate and usu- ally orbicular, but with well-developed acuminate tails. They are cordate at the base. Details of the sinus between the lobes, of the tail, and of the degree of rugosity, folding, cupping, and reflexing of the leaf are varietal traits making identification possible. The leaves are usually glabrous, but in some varieties they are covered with a bluish bloom. Another trait useful for identification is the resistance of the leaf to leaf- spot disease, common in all yam- growing regions. The petiole, which is enlarged at the base, has earlike projections that often en- circle the stem.

Only small seedlings have true roots, and these are short-lived. The principal adventitious roots arise from the crown, the region of the stem immediately above the tuber. Finer roots arise from the surface of the tuber itself in some, but not all, varieties. The small flowers are frequently seen during summer. They are sessile and oppressed to the peduncle in long racemes produced in the axils of the leaves. The male and female flowers superficially appear alike, but the female is easily recognized from its inferior ovary. The perianth ranges from green to white to slightly pink. The flowers produce a pleas- ant odor, which attracts bees and other insects.

The seed capsules are trilocular, 2 to 5 centimeters long, and rise vertically from the racemes. At maturity they dry and open longitudinally, beginning at the distal tip. The seeds are eventually dislodged by the wind and may be carried some distance from the plant. The seed is surrounded by a membranous falcate wing, which is hooked at its attachment to the placenta. The flattened seed is at one end of the wing. There are 70 to 110 seeds per gram. Fresh seeds germinate readily in soil or on wet filter paper in 2 to 3 weeks. Seed- lings grow to mature size and flower in 1 year (unusual among yams).

The aerial tubers of Asian varieties, which occasionally weigh a kilogram, are usually spherical to ellipsoid, but occasionally may be slightly flattened. The surface is characterized by many lenticels, which may be prominent or subdued. Otherwise, the surface is relatively smooth, with no adventitious roots. The exterior of improved varieties is usually a light tan or gray, but when anthocyanins are present, it may be very dark. The aerial tubers of the African races are sharply angled and thus very different in appearance from the tubers of the Asian races. They are often characterized by depressions where preformed buds have developed. Color varies from gray or tan to dark brown. The dark tubers are often said to be poisonous, but in fact no correlation exists between color and alkaloid content.





Aerial yam (Dioscorea bulbifera) and Unripe plantain (Musa spp.) was obtained in the local market of Owo, Ondo State, the materials was processed in food processing laboratory in the department of Food Science and Technology, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo, Ondo State.


 Preparation of Flours from Aerial yam and Unripe plantain

Preparation of Aerial Yam Flour

The fresh Aerial yam (Dioscorea bulbifera) were washed, peeled, washed again and shredded into thin slices/size or thickness. After which the slices were spread thinly on drying trays and sundried for 4 days. The dried samples were packed from the sun, cooled and stored in a polyethylene bag. After which it was milled using attrition mill. Then the flour was sieved using a 60 mesh sieve. The aerial yam flour was stored in air tight bottles, labeled and kept in a cool dry place for further analysis as shown in figure 1 below.




Table 3: Proximate Analysis of Aerial Yam Flour and Unripe Plantain Flour





The level of nutrients such as crude protein, carbohydrates, crude fiber, and ash content are moderately high in both samples. The protein content of AYF and UPF was found to be 3.675% and 4.9% as shown in table 4.1 above; the ash content of both samples in this study was also high which was in agreement with past studies. Aerial yam contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus (0.82, 0.98, 0.53, and 0.38 mg/gm) respectively. Plantain is relatively high in calories at 125 per cup. One cup cooked plantain yields a trace of fat, 2.3 g dietary fiber, 465 mg potassium, 26 mcg folate, 10.9 mg vitamin C, 909 IU vitamin A, 32 mg magnesium and 3H carbohydrate. They are known to be a great source of calcium, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C and minerals such as potassium and phosphorus. The nutritional and sensory attributes of aerial yam flour and plantain makes it acceptable and good for consumption.


Based on the research of the study above it is therefore recommended that Aerial yam flour and Plantain flour are nutritious flours which can be used in the in food industries in the production of food products such as biscuits, fortified with raw food materials in the production of local snacks, it can also be used at home to prepare nutritious and wholesome food such as Amala, pudding and, ilafun etc.


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