Sweet potato  is the  tuberous root of a plant (Ipomea batatas) that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. It is considered to be the seventh most important staple crop in the world. It is particularly important in developing countries, where populations suffer malnutrition and nutritional deficits such as shortage in vitamins A, B and C. The leaves and stems of the plant can serve as good and nourishing fodder for cattle and sheep.

Sweet potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fiber and micronutrients. The orange sweet potato is a very important source of beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A.
A 125 gr. serving of orange sweet potato per day provides the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. This fact is especially important in some African and Asian countries where vitamin A deficiency causes diseases like blindness, maldevelopment of children, and death of children under the age of five and of pregnant women. There are many varieties of sweet potato, differing in external and internal colors of the tuberous root, in the content of minerals and vitamins and in dry matter content. The orange varieties are rich in vitamins and in beta-carotene, the purple ones are rich in anthocyanin, antioxidants considered to have biological cancer preventive activity.