DEFINITION AND CLASSIFICATION OF COMMODITIES

(Draft)

ROOTS AND TUBERS AND DERIVED PRODUCTS



2. ROOTS, TUBERS AND DERIVED PRODUCTS


ROOTS AND TUBERS are plants yielding starchy roots, tubers, rhizomes, corms and stems. They are used mainly for human food (as such or in processed form), for animal feed and for manufacturing starch, alcohol and fermented beverages including beer.

The denomination "roots and tubers" excludes crops which are cultivated mainly for feed (mangolds, swedes) or for processing into sugar (sugar beets), and those classified as "roots, bulb and tuberous vegetables" (onions, garlic and beets). It does include starch and the starchy pith and flour obtained from the trunk of the sago palm and the stem of the Abyssinian banana (Musa ensete).

Certain root crops, notably bitter cassava, contain toxic substances, particularly in the skins. As a result, certain processes must be undertaken to make the product safe for human consumption. Apart from their high water content (70-80 percent), these crops contain mainly carbohydrates (largely starches that account for 16-24 percent of their total weight) with very little protein and fat (0-2 percent each).

Methods of propagating root crops vary. A live potato tuber or seed must be planted but only part of the live yam tuber and a piece of the stalk (not the root) in the case of cassava.

Production data of root crops should be reported in terms of clean weight, i.e. free of earth and mud.

FAO distinguishes among seven primary root and tuber crops. The code and name of each one appears in the list that follows, along with its botanical name, or names, and a short description.

The processed products of roots and tubers are listed together with their parent primary crops.


Roots and Tubers

Potatoes

FAOSTAT
CODE
COMMODITY DEFINITIONS, COVERAGE, REMARKS
0116POTATOES Solanum tuberosum Irish potato A seasonal crop grown in temperate zones all over the world, but primarily in the northern hemisphere.
0117Flour of Potatoes Produced from tubers that have been peeled, dried and milled. Includes flour, meal, flakes, granules and pellets.
0118Frozen Potatoes Peeled potatoes that are either cooked or uncooked, sliced or unsliced, and then frozen.
0119 Starch of Potatoes A carbohydrate found in many plant cells. A white odourless powder that is insoluble in cold water, but forms a paste in hot water. Has wide food and non-food uses.
0120Potato Offals See Chapter 11.
0121 Tapioca of Potatoes A product obtained by heating potato starch mixed with water. Tapioca may be in the form of flakes, grains, pearls, siftings, seeds or other similar forms. Used in the preparation of soups and puddings or in foods for invalids.

Roots and Tubers

Sweet Potatoes

FAOSTAT
CODE
COMMODITY DEFINITIONS, COVERAGE, REMARKS
0122SWEET POTATOES Ipomoea batatas A seasonal crop grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Used mainly for human food. Trade data cover fresh and dried tubers, whether or not sliced or in the form or pellets.

Roots and Tubers

Cassava

FAOSTAT
CODE
COMMODITY DEFINITIONS, COVERAGE, REMARKS
0125 CASSAVA Manioc, mandioca, yuca (Manihot esculenta, syn. M. utilissima); yuca dulce (M. palmata, syn. M. dulcis) A semi-permanent crop grown in tropical and subtropical regions. Sometimes bitter and sweet cassavas are referred to as separate species, the former being M. esculenta and the latter M. palmata, but this is incorrect since the toxicity varies according to location. Cassava is the staple food in many tropical countries. It is not traded internationally in its fresh state because tubers deteriorate very rapidly.
0126 Flour of Cassava A product of tubers that have been peeled, dried and milled; mainly for human consumption. Includes flour, meal and flakes.
0127 Tapioca of Cassava See 0121. Obtained from cassava starch and used in the preparation of puddings and in infant foods.
0128 Cassava, Dried Includes peeled, sliced and sun-dried (cassava chips), as well as ground and compressed cassava (pellets). Used mainly as livestock feed.
0129 Starch of Cassava See 0119. The principal industrial outlet for cassava. Cassava starch is used in the foodstuffs, textile and paper industries for the manufacture of plywood and veneer, adhesives, glucose and dextrine.

Roots and Tubers

Yautia (Cocoyam)

FAOSTAT
CODE
COMMODITY DEFINITIONS, COVERAGE, REMARKS
0135 YAUTIA (COCOYAM) Xanthosoma spp.; malanga, new cocoyam, ocumo, tannia (X. sagittifolium) Several plants are included in this group, some with edible tubers and others with edible stems (also called aroids). Yautia is grown mainly in the Caribbean and is used for food. Trade data cover both fresh and dried yautia.

Roots and Tubers

Taro (Cocoyam)

FAOSTAT
CODE
COMMODITY DEFINITIONS, COVERAGE, REMARKS
0136 TARO (COCOYAM) Dasheen, eddoe, taro, old cocoyam(Colocasia esculenta) Aroids cultivated for their edible starchy corms or underground stems. Taro is grown throughout the tropics for food. Trade data cover both fresh and dried taro.

Roots and Tubers

Yams

FAOSTAT
CODE
COMMODITY DEFINITIONS, COVERAGE, REMARKS
0137YAMS Dioscorea spp. The principal edible yams are widely grown throughout the tropics. A starchy staple foodstuff, normally eaten as a vegetable, boiled, baked or fried. In West Africa they are consumed mainly as "fufu", a stiff glutinous dough. Trade data cover both fresh and dried yams.

Roots and Tubers

Roots and Tubers nes

FAOSTAT
CODE
COMMODITY DEFINITIONS, COVERAGE, REMARKS
0149 ROOTS AND TUBERS NES Including inter alia: arracacha (Arracacoa xanthorrhiza); arrowroot (Maranta arundinacea); chufa (Cyperus esculentus); sago palm (Metroxylon spp.); oca and ullucu (Oxalis tuberosa and Ullucus tuberosus); yam bean, jicama (Pachyrxhizus erosus, P. angulatus); mashua (Tropaeolum tuberosum); Jerusalem artichoke, topinambur (Helianthus tuberosus) Other tubers, roots or rhizomes, fresh, that are not identified separately because of their minor relevance at the international level. Because of their limited local importance, some countries report roots and tubers under this commodity heading that are classified individually by FAO.
0150 Flour of Roots and Tubers nes Flour and meal produced from roots and tubers o/t potatoes and cassava.
0151 Roots and Tubers, Dried nes Other tubers, roots or rizhomes, dried, o/t potatoes and cassava.

© FAO 1994

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