How To Preserve Yam Tubers in Nigeria
The majority of yams produced in the world are grown in Africa, particularly Nigeria. Perhaps you’ve thought how to store yam for a long time at home? Here is a short tutorial on how to quickly preserve yam in simple steps without giving up its flavor and freshness.
HOW TO PRESERVE YAM TUBERS IN NIGERIA
These are the procedures used to preserve yam in a place like Nigeria.
Yam preservation starts with the harvesting process. The majority of the time in Nigeria, different types of yams are gathered by hand with the aid of sticks, spades, or diggers. The farmer needs to exercise particular caution at this point to prevent tuber damage. A yam tuber will not store well and will quickly deteriorate if it has been injured. Some of the difficulties encountered by local rural farmers may be avoided if Nigerian agriculture were more industrialized. Less tuber damage means that yields will increase. They resemble living beings, as do roots and tubers like yam. They still undergo a respiratory process after being stored. This results in a continued decrease in the tuber’s dry matter. This is due to the starch that is present in the tuber’s cells beginning to break down into heat energy, water, and carbon dioxide. Yam farmers are aware of this, thus only solid, healthy tubers are kept in storage.
Yam picking must therefore be done carefully for this reason. Nonetheless, some damage invariably happens because yam tubers come in a variety of sizes and forms. As a result, producers discard diseased or damaged tubers or ensure that they are used right away or processed. When yam is broken or bruised, deterioration is more likely to occur when it is kept in storage. Any injured or decomposing skin should be removed by cutting it out or rubbing it with an alkaline substance.
PRESERVING YAM TUBERS AT HOME
Yam tubers should be preserved at home as is the custom in many households across the country. The custom has been followed for a very long time. Yam is sometimes criticized for spoiling so quickly despite being the least perishable of all the tubers. These procedures must be followed for yam preservation to be successful.
Here is an initial selection of healthful and sound yams:
- To begin with, you must ensure that the yams you purchase are healthy.
- It’s important to handle yams appropriately. We call this procedure “curing.”
- Make sure there is adequate ventilation so that heat created by breathing and close contact with the tubers may escape.
- Conduct routine inspections while storing.
- Remove rotting yams to prevent them from contaminating the healthy ones.
- The yam should be shielded from rain and harsh sunshine.
The respiration rates can be lowered by storing yam in areas with low temperatures and cool climates. It also makes the yam stay preserved longer. Nevertheless, the yam might be harmed if the temperature gets too low. The yam’s internal tissues may break down as a result of the excessive cold, which will then exacerbate water loss. Thus, the yam’s vulnerability to deterioration would accelerate.
YAM PRESERVATION THROUGH FREEZING
The freezing method, which uses a freezer for that function, is a surefire way to keep yams safe. You need a consistent electricity/power supply at home to use this strategy. The yam would begin to defrost and lose its texture if the electricity went out, even for a brief period of time.
Here’s a guide to using the freezing method to preserve yam:
- The yam must first be chopped and then sliced into small pieces.
- Wash and pack them prior to placing your yam pieces in the commercial freezer.
- Only the precise quantity of yam pieces that you wish to cook at once should be placed in one bag.
- It can be challenging to extract frozen bits of yam. Therefore, arrange the yams on a flat tray, cover it with greaseproof paper, and place it in the freezer.
- You may then take the yam out of the freezer and put the pieces in a freezer bag. The pieces won’t stick together this way, and you can choose to use them as you see fit.
- Do not defrost the yam before cooking. Cook it straight from frozen. That is, right from the freezer to the boiling water.
Some claim that an entire yam can be frozen. However, it would be hard to cook because a frozen entire yam cannot be cut. You will have to wait for it to thaw, which will ruin the texture and result.
STORING THE YAM TUBERS IN TRENCH SILOS
Silos are agricultural storage structures that can be constructed out of materials like wood. The trench silo, which is constructed on the farm, is a common type of urea storage silo. Straw is used to line a pit that has been dug. The yam tubers are then positioned either horizontally or vertically on the straw layers. Ventilation is not possible with this strategy. The yam tubers’ close proximity to one another also makes it simple for rot to spread.
THE USE OF YAM BARN
The yam barn is constructed outdoors and in a shaded area. The yam barn is made of sticks to give the tied yams shade. There are bamboos where the yams are arranged lengthwise. Moreover, there are ropes for connecting the bamboos and live sticks.
LEAVING THE YAM TUBERS IN THE RIDGES
Several farmers choose to leave the ridges of yam tubers until they are ready to be harvested. They do this to prevent suffering a significant loss. After that, they harvest. The farmer can preserve the tubers using this technique for one to four months. This approach has the benefit of being practically entirely free. This is so that the farmer is spared from having to construct a yam barn.
ALSO SEE: YAM PRODUCING STATES IN NIGERIA
Yams are grown for their edible, starchy tubers, which are then consumed. Nigerians enjoy eating yam extremely much. In the present era, advanced technology is now available that may be utilized to regulate the amount of humidity and other environmental variables. Many of the local farmers, meanwhile, cannot afford such sophisticated storage systems. As a result, very little food is stored or preserved. The main yam losses experienced by Nigerian farmers can be attributed to insect and pest infestation. The appropriate storage units may be found here. This article provides instructions on how to store yam after harvest for both personal use and agricultural use.