Colorado State University researchers develop nutrient-rich purple potato

May 20, 2016

Purple potatoes might not be the first thing that comes to mind when trying to increase vitamin, mineral and antioxidant intake. However, a group of researchers from Colorado State University have recently developed potato varieties that satisfy these nutritional needs and could act as a preventive measure to several diseases.

The research team works with the CSU Potato Program and is composed of David G. Holm, a professor and potato breeder; Sastry S. Jayanty, a post-harvest physiologist; and Diganta Kalita, a postdoctoral researcher at CSU's San Luis Valley Research Center. According to the research team, "There are different colored potatoes such as red, purple, yellow and white with distinctive skin and flesh color. Among them, purple and red potatoes are high in antioxidants."

Additionally, these colorful potatoes could be a good source of nutrition such as vitamin C, resistant starch, folic acid, minerals, potassium, iron, zinc and phenolic compounds.

Antioxidants found in the newly developed potatoes play a critical role in the prevention of several pathological conditions, including cancer, heart disease and atherosclerosis. At a microscopic level, the antioxidants scavenge the action of some free radicals that cause damage to biological molecules, such as proteins and DNA. Jayanty and Kalita describe the newly developed potatoes as comparable to superfoods like blueberries and pomegranates.

Even purple and red French fries could be a healthy replacement to the traditional French fries from white and yellow potatoes. Some of the newly developed potatoes have lower levels of acrylamide, a chemical formed during the frying or baking of potato tubers. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, acrylamide is a probable carcinogen.

Collaborative work with Jonathan M. Petrash, a professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado's Anschutz Medical Campus, further reveals that phytochemicals present in purple and red potatoes have significant properties to reduce cataract formation in diabetic patients.

Findings from the research could greatly benefit the potato industry, which has suffered a decline in consumer demand due to health concerns. The industry impact could be widespread, since potatoes are the number one vegetable crop in the United States and are the fourth-most-important crop worldwide behind wheat, rice and corn.
-end-
The CSU Potato Program is committed to supporting both consumers and Colorado potato producers. For more information on its research, visit the CSU Potato Program website: potatoes.colostate.edu

Colorado State University

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.