A Stabilizer is an additive to food which helps to preserve its structure. Food stabilizers can be polysaccharides extracted from food crops which when applied, smoothen the texture of the food and give it a certain consistency. No two stabilizers are exactly the same and the effectiveness of any food stabilizer to perform this role is a function of its source and method of preparation. This study evaluated the yield and proximate properties of food stabilizer made with flour extracted from two different root portions (flesh and peels) of two species (Yellow and White) of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) under different drying methods (Sun-drying, Oven-drying and Air-drying). The results obtained showed that method of drying, portion of the root and sweet potato species used all affected the yield and proximate properties of the extracted food stabilizer. Irrespective of root portion used, air drying gave the highest mean % moisture content of 6.529 and 6.332 and highest mean % yields of 49.760 and 50.695 in both white and yellow sweet potato species respectively across the three drying methods evaluated. Regardless of drying method and species, using the flesh portion of sweet potato for the extraction of stabilizer gave superior yield outcomes relative to peel. Highest total ash content of 1.125 % was obtained in yellow-fleshed sweet potato using oven drying while the least total ash content of 0.735 % was recorded in the white-fleshed species using Sun drying method. Also, drying in the oven produced a higher response in terms of crude fiber content of the stabilizer regardless of root portion and sweet potato species. Stabilizer extracted from flesh portion consistently gave higher moisture and total ash contents relative to the one extracted from peel regardless of drying method and sweet potato species used.
Keywords: Extraction; food stabilizer; flour purification; sweet potato; thickener.