As the link between diet and health becomes increasingly characterized, the nutritional value of foods is being increasingly prioritized by the public, write scientists Duroy A. Navarre, Charles R. Brown and Vidyasagar R. Sathuvalli in a recently published research paper.
This can create both challenges and opportunities for plant breeding programs and food processing companies, the research team says. Their review focuses on the nutritional composition of potatoes and examine the role potatoes can play in providing global food security.
The amounts of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in potatoes vary tremendously depending on the cultivar and are also influenced by environment, the researchers write.
Potatoes are well known to be good sources of potassium and vitamin C. They also contain an array of other bioactives, including high amounts of phenylpropanoids, compounds known to have diverse health-promoting roles in humans.
While potatoes already contain generous amounts of various phytonutrients, by taking advantage of the available extensive germplasm resources, future cultivars can be further improved and provide additional options that help satisfy rapidly evolving consumer preferences and changing market demands.