Are Consumers Ready for the New Variety of Potato !

Good nutrition and adequate physical activity are key contributors to both health and development. Iron in the diet is the main factor in one`s nutritional diet. Iron plays the important role in transporting the oxygen to all tissues of the body. Many people, especially women of childbearing age, struggle to get enough iron from their diet.

Optimal nutrition during childhood and adolescence is essential for the maintenance of growth and good health. The dietary requirements of children and young people are different to those of adults and are constantly changing as individuals grow and develop.

Establishing good nutrition and physical activity patterns in childhood contributes to good health throughout life. As staple food, potato tubers can be boiled, baked, fried, frozen, mashed or made into flour. Potato tubers have to be cooked before being eaten by humans and monogastric animals. A large amount of potatoes is processed into food specialties such as chips, crisps, puree, flour. 

Not getting enough iron in your diet affects red blood cell production and function, while vitamin C helps your body absorb iron from the food you eat. As a source of both iron and vitamin C, purple potatoes make a perfect food choice for getting more iron. The purple potato is also fat free.

Nutritionally, the purple potato is comparable to other varieties of white-fleshed potato, and is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of fiber and iron.

Three purple potatoes have 200 calories, 43 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. The same serving meets 90 percent of your daily value for vitamin C and 10 percent of your daily value for iron.

Its color is what makes the purple potato stand out from all other potatoes. Anthocyanins are the pigments in the potato that give it the purple hue. In addition to adding pop to your plate, anthocyanins offer extra health benefits too.

The purple pigments are antioxidants that protect your cells from oxidative damage and my reduce your risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Anthocyanins may also offer protection to your brain to prevent cognitive decline. Researchers are still investigating the health benefits of the powerful pigments, and believe the benefits are due to a special component in the compounds beyond their antioxidant capabilities.

The purple potato is a versatile vegetable that can be enjoyed roasted, baked, boiled or mashed. The pretty potato also makes a good chip and french fry. Saute purple potatoes with onions for a sweet and colorful morning hash to go with your eggs.

Use leftover baked purple potatoes to make a German-style potato salad to eat with your sandwich at lunch. Roast the potato with carrots and Brussels sprouts to serve as your side dish with dinner.

One US-based company has been tasked with distributing one of the newest varieties of potatoes - the Huckleberry Gold. Grown in Idaho, Washington and Oregon, the Huckleberry Gold is a cross breed of European and American varieties. From the Russet to the red and yellow, to specialty potato varieties, the US is a large producer and consumer of potatoes. In recent years, more people are seeking out new varieties and there is an increasing focus on flavor.

"The Huckleberry Gold is a purple-skinned, yellow-flesh potato that has been cultivated in the Northwest by our grower partner," said Harris Cutler of Race-West, the company chosen to distribute the variety. "Every year they try out different varieties and last August, they began harvesting the Huckleberry Gold. The company grow for flavor and this year they are working on an all-purple potato."

"The parentage of the Huckleberry is fascinating," he added. "It was devised from a mix of European and American varieties including Agria, as well as Viking Red, Norgold Russet, Sangre red and Bison red. These are some of the best eating varieties that have ever been and the Huckleberry Gold is a product of these." 

Chander Mohan

Krishi Jagran/New Delhi

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