A trained sensory panel was used to establish terminology for describing the sensory attributes of different cultivars orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) and white-fleshed sweet potato (WFSP). Quantitative descriptive analysis was applied to evaluate the samples in terms of the aroma, texture, flavor and aftertaste attributes. Thirteen attributes were identified. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to identify any factors differentiating between the sweet potato cultivars. The findings indicated that the main differences were, in PC1, the flavor and density and adhesive textural characteristics, and, in PC2, the grainy and firm textural characteristics of the different cultivars. OFSP displayed a more dense and pasty texture, which was most intense in the Resisto cultivar. W119 had a more grainy texture when compared with the other cultivars tested. WFSP was more moist and fibrous. Therefore, OFSP differed in color, was sweeter and displayed flavor characteristics of yellow vegetables (such as butternut and pumpkin) when compared with WFSP.


Although standard sensory evaluation techniques were used in this project, the materials used were sweet potatoes, which are of interest. Sweet potato is a root vegetable, and in this project, a lexicon for the textural properties, as well as a flavor profile of sweet potato, was developed. Such information can be used for sensory evaluation of other root vegetables. The shear force of the sweet potatoes was measured, and the methodology to determine shear forces and its contribution to the overall evaluation of the texture of sweet potatoes is included in the article. Furthermore, white-fleshed sweet potatoes are commonly known, and the flavor of WFSP is compared with that of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes.