Utilizing cocoyam (Xanthosoma sagittifolium) for food and nutrition security: A review

Abena A. Boakye*, Faustina Dufie Wireko-Manu, Ibok Oduro, William O. Ellis, María Gudjónsdóttir, Ioannis S. Chronakis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewpeer-review

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The critical role of indigenous crops in the socioeconomic growth of developing nations has necessitated calls for accelerated exploitation of staples. Cocoyam, Xanthosoma sagittifolium, is food for over 400 million people worldwide and is the most consumed aroid in West Africa. However, it remains an underexploited food resource. This study reviews existing literature and also makes use of primary data from interviews with indigenous cocoyam farmers, processors, consumers, and cocoyam scientists in the research Institutes of Ghana, to provide insight into existing nomenclature of the species, indigenous knowledge on food uses, nutritional value, and potential novel food applications of cocoyam. Adaptable technologies in conformity to new trends in food science that could be employed for in-depth molecular studies and further exploitation of the crop are also discussed. It is envisaged that the provided information would contribute to global efforts aimed at exploiting the full potential of indigenous crops for sustainable food and nutrition security.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFood Science & Nutrition
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Adaptable technologies
  • Cocoyam
  • Food use
  • Xanthosoma sagittifolium


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