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Development of a pilot system for converting sweet potato starch into glucose syrupSweet potato has been chosen as one of NASA's crops to support human beings in future space missions. One of the possible uses is to make syrup that can be used as a general sweetener. In this work a simple engineering system for converting sweet potato starch into glucose syrup was studied on a laboratory scale. The system comprises the following main units: a blender, continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR), centrifugal and vacuum filters, deionization column and vacuum evaporator. The system was tested by carrying out conversion processes from fresh sweet potato roots. The roots were pealed, sliced, homogenized, heated and hydrolyzed by diastase of malt and Dextrozyme C (Novo Nordisk BioChem, North America, Inc.) enzymes in the CSTR. After hydrolysis the slurry was filtered, de-ionized and concentrated to get glucose syrup. The performance of the system was evaluated based on the quality of the conversion. The main factor was the level of reducing sugars except for the deionization where ash content and color were the main factors. Through careful control of the system units, good heating performance in the CSTR was obtained and the hydrolysis process attained sufficient conversion. The filtration process that incorporated the centrifuge was faster than when it was by-passed to the vacuum filter but losses in sugars were higher. Deionization removed more than 90% of the ash and reduced pigmentation, with probable insignificant losses in sugars during the deionization process. Recovery levels when the centrifuge was used and when it was by-passed could reach about 65% and 78%, respectively. These correspond to reducing sugar concentration of 259 and 310 mg/ml in 150-ml syrups from 300 g of sweet potatoes in each process. However, from concentration trials, syrups with volumes of 100 and 70 ml with the respective dextrose equivalence of 281 and 213 mg/ml were obtained. The syrups obtained were brownish in color and the process that employed centrifugal filtration gave a product with color that resembled the original color of the sweet potatoes. Further work is required to improve the overall system performance.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Silayo, Valerian C K.
(Sokoine University of Agriculture Morogoro, Tanzania, United Republic of)
Lu, John Y.
Aglan, Heshmat A.
Bovell-Benjamin, A. C.
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Publication Information
Publication: Habitation (Elmsford, N.Y.)
Volume: 9
Issue: 2-Jan
ISSN: 1542-9660
Subject Category
Man/System Technology And Life Support
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Non-NASA Center
NASA Discipline Life Support Systems
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