The physicochemical properties of starches of six different root and tuber crop species grown mainly in Sri Lanka showed significant differences among the tested crop species and varieties. The median granule size of starch of tested root and tuber crop species varied from 33.5 to 10.2 μm. The largest granule size and the highest blue value were given by the canna, Buthsarana, and yam species, in that order. The amylose content of cassava was higher than those of sweet potato and many yams. High peak viscosities, high breakdown, and high final viscosities were observed in yams, and, generally, such starch showed a high swelling power. According to the correlation analysis, these pasting properties would mainly be due to their larger starch granule size. Based on the thermal properties, cassava starch showed less energy requirement for gelatinization and thus gelatinized at lower temperatures. Furthermore, a higher susceptibility of raw cassava starch toward fungal glucoamylase was observed. The low enzyme digestibility of raw yam starch would be due to its large granules. Correlation analysis showed that the blue value and starch granule size were important in determining the pasting, thermal, and other properties of starch. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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