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New methods developed to detect, measure potato phytonutrients

Date:
May 19, 2010
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Potatoes come in all shapes, sizes and colors-including tubers with red, yellow, orange and purple flesh. This diversity also applies to phytonutrients, scientists are discovering.

ARS scientists have profiled the phytonutrient contents of several hundred different potatoes, showing that the tubers can vary widely in the level of various healthful compounds.
Credit: Scott Bauer

Potatoes come in all shapes, sizes and colors-including tubers with red, yellow, orange and purple flesh. This diversity also applies to phytonutrients, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Prosser, Wash., are discovering.

Together with colleagues, they've devised new analytical procedures for rapidly detecting and measuring phytonutrient concentrations in the tubers. Phytonutrients are plant compounds that are of particular interest for their potential to help diminish the risk of cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and certain cancers, note Roy Navarre and Chuck Brown, geneticists with the ARS Vegetable and Forage Crop Research Unit in Prosser.

Using the new analytic methods, Navarre and Brown profiled the phytonutrient contents of several hundred lines of wild and cultivated potato. For example, their analysis of phytonutrients known as phenolics showed concentrations that ranged from 100 to more than 1,500 milligrams per 100 grams dry weight in the potatoes.

One type of phenolic, called chlorogenic acid, is being tested by university cooperators for its potential to lower blood pressure. Also of interest are potatoes with high antioxidant activity, which is credited with helping neutralize cell-damaging molecules in the body called free radicals. Some potatoes boast antioxidant levels that rival vegetables such as spinach, Navarre reports.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Jan Suszkiw. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "New methods developed to detect, measure potato phytonutrients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519112715.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2010, May 19). New methods developed to detect, measure potato phytonutrients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519112715.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "New methods developed to detect, measure potato phytonutrients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519112715.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

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