Sweet potato is one of local foods of Indonesia, but consumption of this root vegetable is limited. The condition has encouraged a number of students to develop the business in order to increase the value of this crop plant. At the hands of four students, sweet potatoes are changed into healthy drinks of high economic value. The students of Pharmacy are Nur Hawwin, Ayu Candra Dewi, Lina Nur Aini, and a student of Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Zulfa Utami Adiputri. They converted sweet potato into Nata de Sweet Potato.
Nur Hawwin said that the processing of sweet potato would be able to increase its economic value. "Raw potatoes are sold at Rp1000-1,200/kg. After processing, 1 kg of sweet potatoes can produce 4 kg of nata sheets, which we sell at Rp1,000-1,200 kg. The price is different with the nata de sweet potato drinks,” he said alongside the Research Week event in Grha Sabha Pramana on Wednesday (14/7).
Apart from the economic value, this drink is high in nutrient as it is rich in fiber and carbohydrate (17%), containing no fat. "One of the good values of this plant is that there's not fat content in it (0%)," he said.
The student of class 2005 said that one production of nata de sweet potato requires 50 kg of sweet potatoes that can produce up to 120 kg nata sheets. It takes a long time and stages indeed to get the sheets. Initially, the sweet potato is mashed and boiled for 1 hour. When cooked, it is then processed in a sieve and re-boiled with the addition of ZA. Later, it is kept in a closed container for 24 hours and stored for one day. Acetobacter xylinum is then added. “Nata can be obtained after fermentation of 1 week,” she said.
Nata de sweet potato drinks in orange, grape and cocopandanus flavour are sold at Rp3,000 in cups of 300 ml.