Yam is currently an emblematic tuber from Colombian Caribbean Region. Its cultivation and consumption are linked to the arrival of slaves on the Caribbean Coast. Colombia’s yam has stood out worldwide for its technological advances in cultivation and it has been among the countries with the best performance indicators in tons per hectare planted. The 90% of the national production comes from Caribbean Region. However, the high perishability of the yam, and high temperatures, the lack of communication routes and the high transportation costs, increase the losses and limit the profitability of the product. There is an overproduction of yam and other tubers too. The impact has come to significantly impoverish both farmers and consumers, even affecting the presence of yam in local population diet.
Under similar circumstances, in many cultures distilled alcoholic beverages have emerged from local foods, such as wheat, malt, potato, sugar cane, grapes, etc. The aim of this article is to show preliminary results about using yam as a raw material in an alternative way. It could contribute to increase yam’s value through developing a vodka-like distilled process. In this case, raw yam flour was hydrolyzed to obtain a worth to be fermented at 20°C with a commercial S. cerevisiae yeast. After fermentation a simple batch distillation in a copper distiller was made. During the process, it was measured temperature, fermentation time, pH, and Brix degree. All transformation process was done in a pilot plant (CE 640 Gunt, Hamburg). A first-order kinetics model was adjusted to sugars consumption, and a Gompertz model was used to ethanol production. It is concluded that an alcoholic beverage based on yam can be an alternative to yam overproduction.
Keywords.Yam, fermented beverages, distilled beverages, physicochemical analysis, kin