Researchers create potatoes with higher levels of carotenoids

(Phys.org)—Potatoes with higher levels of beneficial carotenoids are the result of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) studies to improve one of America's most popular vegetables.

Scientists with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) bred yellow with carotenoid levels that are two to three times higher than those of the popular Yukon Gold yellow-fleshed potato variety.

ARS Kathy Haynes and nutritionist Beverly Clevidence did the research at the agency's Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Beltsville, Md. Haynes works in the Genetic Improvement of Research Laboratory (GIFVL) at the Beltsville center, and Clevidence works in the center's Food Components and Health Laboratory.

ARS is USDA's principal intramural scientific research agency, and this research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security.

Haynes found wild potatoes with intense yellow flesh that have about 23 times more carotenoids than white-flesh potatoes. By crossing these wild potatoes with cultivated types, Haynes and her colleagues developed the high-carotenoid potatoes.

In 2007, Haynes and her colleagues introduced a new potato named Peter Wilcox that they developed. The potato, which has purple skin and yellow flesh, has become popular in niche roadside markets. The overall carotenoid levels in this potato are more than 15 percent higher than those in Yukon Gold, according to Haynes.

Several are involved, including neoxanthin, antheraxanthin, violaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin. Among these, lutein and zeaxanthin, are of keen interest for eye health; they appear to protect against age-related macular degeneration and perhaps against .

Citation: Researchers create potatoes with higher levels of carotenoids (2012, October 24) retrieved 6 December 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-potatoes-higher-carotenoids.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Not-so-sweet potato from Clemson University, USDA resists pests, disease

0 shares

Feedback to editors