News Article

Sensory evaluation of Cycle 8 taro lines at seven months - Phase 2
Published date: 23/05/2014

Phase two of SROS’s component for the ACIAR PARDI/2001/004 started in October 2013 immediately after the Phase one sensory evaluation whereby four new lines were selected from cycle eight to progress through to replanting.

The four new lines were re-planted together with Samoa 1, Samoa 2 and Maagigi tiapula to be used as benchmark for the evaluation. The same data for plant agronomic details were collected as in Phase 1. In May 2014 the plots of taro reached seven months maturity and the selected data plants were harvested, weighed and prepared for sensory evaluation. Taro corms were uniformly cut, cooked at its pre-determined cooking times and cooled before presented to the participants for evaluation.

The Honorable Prime Minister and members of the Organic Farming Advisory Committee, plus other project stakeholders were invited and participated as members of the panel of assessors.

Results from the evaluation were statistically analysed and one of the new lines from cycle 8 was rated just as good as Samoa 1 and 2 (top 3) and the other two new lines were rated similar or comparable to the other two benchmarks Maagiagi and talo Niue. One new taro line was significantly inferior in terms of taste compared to all the other seven lines.

A final harvest will be conducted in June when the taro plots are eight months old to confirm the results. A nutritional analysis of the taro lines will then be conducted to complement the sensory evaluation results. A final project report will be prepared thereafter with recommendations to other project stakeholders (MAF, SFA) for which new lines from cycle eight to be mass propagated and distributed to the farmers.