Thursday, September 16, 2010


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Nigeria a country blessed with diverse climatic and soil condition for the production of different agricultural produce, is the leading producer of potato in Sub-Saharan Africa producing about 3,460,000 MT of sweet potatoes annually.

Potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family. The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber.

Despite being first introduced outside the Andes region four centuries ago, today potatoes have become an integral part of much of the world's cuisine and are the world's fourth-largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and maize.

The main producing state in Nigeria is plateau state where about 90% of the nation’s production is domiciled and where an altitude ranging from 1200-1400 m above sea level and summer temperatures that rarely exceeds 35 degrees makes for a climate well suited for potato production.

Apart from Jos Plateau, potato can also be grown on the Obudu highlands in Cross River State, Mambilla Plateau in Taraba State and Biu Plateau in Borno State. During the cold harmattan months of November – February, potato can also be grown in about eleven Northern States, such as Borno, Yobe, Zamfara, Bauchi, Katsina, Kano, Gombe, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kaduna and Kebbi under irrigation.

Though potato production can be established as a profitable enterprise, for every N1.00 invested in sweet potato production, a profit of N0.83 kobo realizable, the main thrust is this article is the processing of the product to produce frozen/fried potato chips.

Potato is not a major food commodity in Nigeria and studies seems to suggest that this might not be unconnected with work load involved in the processing of the product and at such a situation where the product can be processed in an hygienic and well packaged manner ready for the market would no doubt have ready and willing buyers considering the fact that it has taken away the work involved .The product would have high demand in hotels, homes, restaurants and fast food outlets.

Depending on the expected end product, below is the production process.

1. Potato (Raw Material) 1.15SG Fresh Potatoes, Weight is about from 150g to 250g, Sugar density less than 1%.

2. Fresh potatoes will keep longest when stored in a cool, dry, dark area with good ventilation. Ideally, storage areas should range between 5-10° C.

3. Send potatoes into production line. Control the feeding speed and the quality of potato.

4. Wash away the dust on the potatoes

5. Send cleaned potatoes into peeler by fix-quantity.

6. Peel the skin of the potato

7. Check the quality of peeled potato in the container by workers.

8. Adjust the sliced thickness of hand push machine Slice. The available thickness is from 1.2mm to 2.0mm

9. Wash potato chips by warm water. In order to prevent dark fried potato chip.

10. Draining the water in the potato chips in order to promote the frying quality.

11. Fry potato chips by manual.

12. Sprinkle seasoning flour evenly manually.

13. Depend on buyer's requirement of packing quality.

14. Sell to the market

Just like every food products in Nigeria, the product would have to be registered with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) to guarantee the safety of the product for human consumption.

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