Biofortified yellow cassava is being cultivated in the Democratic Republic of Congo as an alternative to improve population vitamin A status. In this study, consumer acceptability and preference of traditional products (fufu and chikwangue) made with white cassava and biofortified yellow cassava was assessed.
Consumer acceptability was evaluated in urban Kinshasa using a hedonic 1-9 scale. Consumer preference of both products was also evaluated in Kinshasa and Bas Congo Provinces (n=947).
In Kinshasa, traditional white fufu (7.6) and chikwangue had the highest acceptability (7.8). Biofortified yellow chikwangue had significantly lower acceptability (7.2), whereas yellow fufu had the lowest acceptability (4.9) (p<0.05). Color and taste were the main factors determining consumer acceptability (p<.05). These results were supported by results from preference studies which showed that Kinshasa consumers preferred biofortified chikwangue 28% of the time whereas biofortified fufu and flour where preferred only 20% and 9%, respectively, when compared to white cassava products. In Bas Congo, preference for biofortified yellow chikwangue, fufu and cassava flour was 29%, 31% and 19%, respectively.
These results suggest that biofortified yellow chikwangue has the greater potential among biofortified products evaluated to be promoted in Western provinces of DRC. On the other hand, to improve acceptability and preference of biofortified fufu, the nutritional and socioeconomic benefits of biofortified cassava should be strongly promoted. Additionally, processing techniques should be improved to enhance color and improve taste, especially for consumers in urban Kinshasa.