Potatoes USA change the spud story as new ‘fuel for athletes’

Potatoes are no longer just those beige, lumpy things you were served up as a kid. A new marketing campaign focusing on real science is attempting to change the spud story by billing it as a vital ingredient to your workout/diet plan and a fuel for athletes. Potatoes USA, an organization for America’s 2,500 commercial potato growers, teamed up with Sterling Rice Group (SRG) to develop a series of short digital spots touting the tagline: “Potatoes. Real Food. Real Performance.” “The potato undeniably works in the athlete’s favor,” said Blair Richardson, Potatoes USA president and CEO. “The message is clear: If potatoes can fuel elite athletes, they can fuel your active life, too.” The brand has conducted extensive research on the benefits of potatoes and found that most people don’t consider it a performance food and are surprised to learn of its nutritional benefits. Read more

Researchers from Colombia and Canada developed nutritious, disease-resistant potato varieties

Man holding potatoes A marriage of scientific knowledge and traditional practice has led to the development of three highly nutritious, robust, and productive yellow potato varieties. Researchers from Colombia and Canada are working with public and private sector partners to increase production and consumption of this nutritious and all-natural food staple across Colombia and beyond. Malnutrition and iron deficiency are prevalent among many rural Colombians, especially young children. That will change with the introduction of three high quality yellow potato cultivars (Criolla Ocarina, Criolla Sua Pa and Criolla Dorada) selected by farmers, breeders and scientists.  Continue reading

‘Should I Eat Potatoes?’ 5/5 nutrition experts say ‘yes, of course’…

Image result for Should I Eat Potatoes?Potatoes are the most consumed vegetable in America, but that doesn’t stop throngs of tater haters, who malign them as starchy and fattening. So are potatoes healthy?5/5 nutrition experts say yes — and want to shine up spuds’ reputation. “It is a pity that potatoes got a bad reputation for being fattening, because potatoes are a very nutritious, satiating and low-calorie food,” says Trudy Voortman, nutrition scientist at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands. And a 2014 study also found that potatoes don’t, in fact cause weight gain. “When prepared in a healthful manner there is no reason to not eat potatoes regularly,” says study author Britt Burton-Freeman, PhD, director of the Center for Nutrition Research at Illinois Institute of Technology. “They may help in the prevention of certain cancers, and one study found that consumption of them could help in managing blood pressure in obese individuals without weight gain,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, registered dietitian and manager of wellness nutrition services at Cleveland Clinic. Read more in TIME Health. Also read this

West Australia’s spuds set for all-clear to head east again

Image result for australia potatoWest Australia’s potato growers could regain access to Eastern States markets by the end of the year, after a big biosecurity effort demonstrated a rare bug found in WA does not carry a damaging bacteria. The tomato potato psyllid was detected in WA 18 months ago, causing Eastern States markets to shut their doors to WA potatoes, a move estimated to have cost local growers tens of millions of dollars. While it has been accepted the psyllid itself cannot be eradicated, WA has met surveillance requirements to demonstrate the absence of the bacteria known as CLso in WA, meaning other States can reopen their borders to the State’s potatoes. To achieve an area freedom certificate, Department of Primary Industries officers tested more than 10,000 psyllids and almost 12,000 host plants over three growing seasons. Albany grower Colin Ayres estimated the problem cost his business more than $2 million, after he found there was no market for perfectly good seed potatoes. He halved his plantings the following season. Read more

New Zealanders take a closer look at ‘the good oil on fish and chips’

Seafood Bazaar manager Petrina Taua-Hunt says the Hamilton business prides itself on serving top quality fish and chips.While other countries regulate fryer fat use, experts in New Zealand say degraded oils at its favourite chippies is concerning. The key to producing good fish and chips is to use top-quality oil, filter the frying vats each day, regularly change the oil, and cook oils at the right temperature. But industry experts say not all fast food operators are making the health grade, and neighbourhood chippies are some of the worst offenders. Chemist Dr Laurence Eyres, a specialist in oils and fats, says the prevalence of fast food outlets using old degraded oils is concerning. “How often have you been in a fish and chip shop and it makes your eyes water because they are using the cooking fat well past its shelf life? It’s these oils that can have high levels of nasty compounds and which can be bad for you.”  Continue reading

Global Affairs Canada, Mccain support potato variety development in Andean countries

Related imageA marriage of scientific knowledge and traditional practice has led to the development of three highly nutritious, robust, and productive yellow potato varieties in the Andean region. Researchers from Colombia and Canada are working with public and private sector partners to increase production and consumption of this nutritious and all-natural food staple across Colombia and other Andean countries, particularly Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. This is a partnership between the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and McGill University in Canada, which developed the improved varieties, with support from private sector organizations, including Campo Vivo (McCain) and others. Malnutrition and iron deficiency are prevalent among many rural Colombians, especially young children. That is expected to change with the introduction of three high quality yellow potato cultivars selected by farmers, breeders and scientists. The initiative will benefit at least 1.5 million consumers.  Continue reading

Potato industry to sell spuds as performance-boosting

Image result for performance potatoesThe US potato industry is making a strong statement about potatoes to demonstrate the performance-boosting benefits of America’s favorite vegetable. Potatoes USA, a Denver-based national marketing group representing 2,500 growers and handlers, worked with its members to identify a nutrition-based lifestyle benefit that challenges consumers’ preconceived notions about potatoes. Extensive research led to a marketing strategy based on a key truth: Potatoes fuel performance. Potatoes provide the energy, potassium and complex carbohydrate people need to perform at their best, according to a release from Potatoes USA. Potatoes contain many important nutrients that athletes seek. “The potato undeniably works in the athlete’s favor,” says Blair Richardson, Potatoes USA President/CEO. “The message is clear: If potatoes can fuel elite athletes, they can fuel your active life, too.” Read more

Finally: New ‘Super Carb Diet’ is proof that cutting carbs isn’t necessary for weight loss

Image result for "super carb diet" potatoFor years, the diet industry has promoted the idea that carbs are ‘bad’ for our waistlines. If you want to be slim and fit, say goodbye to rice, potatoes and pasta (ignoring the fact, of course, that professional athletes often a mix of fast and slow release carbs into their diets). That is, until now. Because someone’s come up with the ‘Super Carb Diet’, which promotes the eating of ‘fibre-dense’ carbs. It’s the brainchild of former Biggest Loser trainer, Bob Harper, who has written a book entitled ‘The Super Carb Diet: Shed Pounds, Build Strength, Eat Real Food’. The principal is simple: adopt a maintainable, healthy, balanced, whole foods diet rich is complex carbohydrates like brown rice and potatoes, which will keep you fuller and more energised for longer. Prior to a heart attack, Bob was on a paleo-type diet, rich in protein and fat and very low in carbohydrate, and he says that its high-fat content left his body feeling off-balanced. Read more. And more

Carbs, Sugar and the Truth: Misleading BBC1 program on negative ‘sugar’ content of potatoes debunked

Image result for Carbs, Sugar and the TruthDoes a baked potato contain the equivalent of 19 cubes of sugar? According to information presented during a BBC1 program which aired in early June, it does. But the information has since been debunked as misleading. The information presented in this program however led to several dubious news stories published by major news outlets, such as this one by the Daily Mail in the UK which reads: “Why potatoes could be fuelling the nation’s obesity crisis: A baked spud contains the equivalent of 19 lumps of sugar – almost three times the amount in a can of Coca-Cola”. Potatoes and rice were singled out in the program as two foods containing more than double the amount of “sugar” as say a chocolate muffin. Two days ago though, another program aired on BBC Worldservice (‘More or Less‘) in which experts point out that the information presented in the BBC! program need to be presented in context.  Continue reading

Skin deep is great: The underrated nutritional value of potato skins

Potatoes are filling, delicious, and an incredibly diverse ingredient, which has made them a staple in plant-based diets. This is mainly due to the symbiotic and highly nutritious relationship between the potato meat, or ‘flesh’, and the potato skin. Potatoes are filling and versatile and the flesh offers a wide range of vitamins and minerals, as well as healthy carbs. Yet, potato skins are completely underrated. These rough and unattractive protective wraps offer about half of the nutritional value of the whole potato. When it comes to the nutrition facts, what the meat lacks the skin provides and vice versa, including essential nutrients such as fiber, iron, and vitamin C and B-6. Yet, the skin outranks the meat in some important categories. With that said, let’s break it down to numbers… Read more

Next best thing after mother’s milk: Potato based infant formula

Nestle patents infant formula based on potato protein microparticlesNestle has applied for a patent for an infant formula based on potato protein microparticles. The company presents it as a naturally hypoallergenic infant formula that is suitable for infants with cow’s milk protein allergy. The Nestle patent describes an infant formula based on potato protein, which is naturally absent in the major allergens found in milk and soy. Accordingly, the described product may provide a naturally hypoallergenic infant formula that is suitable for infants with cow’s milk protein allergy. The use of potato protein in an infant formula is advantageous as it has a well balanced amino acid profile, which is closer to that of human milk than rice or soy protein. Accordingly, less addition of free amino acids is required to provide a composition with the required nutritional profile, which renders the resulting product more cost effective and gives it a more palatable taste. Read more

PepsiCo attempts health focus in Thailand

PepsiCo Food, a part of Pepsi-Cola Thai Trading Co and the maker of Lay’s potato chips, is shifting to healthier snack options. The company aims to make Sunbites, a multigrain snack, healthy snack brand among Thais. The move is part of Pepsi-Cola’s 2016-25 strategic plan to focus on three core priorities: improving health and well-being through the products it sells, protecting the planet and empowering people around. The company previously launched baked potato chips under the Lay’s brand and moved to use rice bran oil, replacing palm oil. Lay’s potato chips have grown in double-digits in the first five months of this year to grow by 17%.  Read more

McCain NZ pilot programme puts the power into potatoes

Image result for Pilot programme in Timaru puts the power into potatoesThe humble potato is in for a shocking multi-million dollar makeover in New Zealand. An industry pilot programme worth almost $16.8 million, is being trialled at McCain Foods in Washdyke, Timaru, in what has been described as “electrocuting potatoes“. The three month test of the new Pulsed Electric Field Technology (PEF) machine, from Germany, began in Timaru on Wednesday and involves industrial-scale food processing of the popular french fry. The machine uses a brief electric pulse to modify and disrupt the membranes of cells in plant or animal material. The aim is to produce healthier fries as the potatoes absorb less oil during the cooking process after having the PEF treatment. The electric field being pulsed through uncut potatoes during processing alters their microstructure, which results in a more controlled release of sugar, more uniform coloration and reduced oil uptake. Read more

Mancozeb ruling: Good news for Canadian potato growers

On June 21, the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) announced that the fungicide mancozeb will no longer be allowed in horticultural crops except for foliar use in potatoes.  A maximum of 10 applications per year will be allowed on potatoes with seven-day application intervals. That’s a relief for potato growers protecting their crops from late blight, but little solace for many growers of tomatoes right through to tender fruit.  “This is a perplexing ruling,” says Craig Hunter, crop protection advisor, Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association.  “If the product is safe for potatoes and poses no risks to human health or the environment as the PMRA says, then it should be a level playing field for all horticultural crops.” The issue, as Hunter sees it, is that both the United States and the European Union have re-evaluated and approved the use of mancozeb. “The logic for banning most uses of mancozeb in Canada is not clear or supported by scientific evidence,” says Hunter. “It is especially puzzling when more than 400,000 acres of potatoes can get up to 10 applications (>4 million acres) and all the onion seed needed for Canada cannot be treated with less than 10 kg total!” Read more

Low-carb gold: ‘Lotatoes Potatoes’ campaign the winner of PMA Australia-New Zealand award

Related imageProduce Plus and PMA Australia-New Zealand are pleased to announce the T&G Global Marketing Team as the winner of the Marketer of the Year Award 2018 for the ‘Lotatoes Potatoes’ campaign. The New Zealand-headquartered company was presented with Australasia’s premier marketing award for the fresh fruit, vegetable and floral industries at the Hort Connections conference and trade show in Brisbane. The presentation took place during the event’s Gala Dinner on Wednesday, 20 June. The Lotatoes Potatoes campaign centred around the launch of a new low-carb and low-calorie potato variety. Having observed a consumer trend moving away from high-carbohydrate options among health-conscious consumers in New Zealand, T&G Global specifically sought the low-carb potato variety from its breeding partners. Extensive testing against two of New Zealand’s most common varieties (Rua and Agria) found Lotatoes to be a unique 40 per cent lower carbohydrate product that met the functional and health needs of its target audience. Read more