Tuesday, 21 August 2018



PARDI Taro Revitalisation Project

In January 2013 Dr Richard Beyer (SPC consultant) and Kuinimeri A Finau (SROS Manager PFTD) travelled to Auckland to scope possible venues for the taro sensory evaluation in March 2013. Mangere East Community Center was selected which was not only cost effective and well equipped with kitchen facilities but also easily accessible to panelists used for the research. During the Board and management retreat in early March 2013, SROS project team carried out the taro sensory evaluation for the local taro to screen the best varieties to be taken to Auckland. From this preliminary screening two farmers selection for cycle 6 were picked in addition to the two MAF selected varieties to be taken.

In March 2013 the above same team travelled to Auckland with Ms Luao Faatili (Professional Officer IRD) to conduct the sensory evaluation for five local taro varieties (2 MAF selection and 3 farmers selection) using the established Fijian Talo Niue as the benchmark and sixth taro. Twenty panelists were used to evaluate the taste of cooked taro as well as the appearance of whole fresh corms on two consecutive days. The results for the sensory evaluation was very promising for the local taro industry with three Samoan talo varieties coming out as front runners. The project continues with further work required for taro varieties nutritional composition analysis to complement the sensory evaluation work.