Q & A with Kofi Sefa-Dedeh (from our archives)

sefa-dedehOur guest columnist is Kofi S. Sefa-Dedeh, a professor in the Food Science Department of the University of Ghana. Formerly the Country Director in Ghana for the New York-based Hunger Project, he now serves as Dean of International Programs at the University of Ghana.

Q: What kind of corn do people grow in Ghana?

A: We grow dent, flint, and a little sweet corn. The bulk of the corn will be dent corn. We do not grow yellow corn.

Q: Is cocoyam the same thing as taro?

A: Yes. However, in the common literature one can confuse the type of edible aroid, as the same aroid may be referred to with a different name in different locations. The best way of identifying the aroids is through the use of scientific/botanical names. I could send you the common English names and the scientific names if you are interested.

Q: How many kinds of African yam are there?

A: There are several. We can however refer to 4-5 major yam species. These are:

* Dioscorea alata
* Dioscorea rotundata
* Diascorea esculenta
* Diascorea dumetorum

Each of these has a common English name which may vary from place to place. The four listed are the major species. We may have in addition another 6-8 minor species.

Q: What are some papers you have written on traditional African foods:


1. Sefa-Dedeh, S. 1993. Traditional Food Technology. In: Encyclopaedia of Food Science, Food Technology and Nutrition. Ed. Macrae, R., Robinson, R. and Sadler, M. pp 4600-4606. Acad Press. New York.

2. Sefa-Dedeh, S. 1995. Process and product characteristics of agbelima, a fermented cassava product. Tropical Science 35:39-364

3. Sefa-Dedeh, S. 1989. Effects of particle size on some physicochemical characteristics of “agbelima” (cassava dough) and corn dough. Tropical Science 29: 21-32

4. Sefa-Dedeh, S. and Nketsia-Tabiri, J. 1996. Post-production issues and aquaculture development in Ghana. pp 28-30. In: Prein, M. Ofori, J.K. and Lightfoot (eds) Research for the Future Development of Aquaculture in Ghana. ICLARM Conf. Proc., 42, 94p

5. Mensah E. O. and Sefa-Dedeh, S. 1991. Traditional food-processing technology and high-protein food production. Food and Nutrition Bulletin13:43-49.

6. Sefa-Dedeh, S., Osei, A.K., Ampadu, R., Annan, G. and Acquaye M. 1991. Effects of spice on the physico-chemical characteristics of cereal flours. Ghana Journal of Biochemistry, Botechnology and Molecular Biology 1:56-73.