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Nutrients, bioactive non-nutrients and anti-nutrients in potatoes

Burlingame, Barbara, Mouillé, Beatrice, Charrondière, Ruth
Journal of food composition and analysis 2009 v.22 no.6 pp. 494-502
cultivars, nutrient content, food analysis, wild plants, vitamin content, Solanum tuberosum, antinutritional factors, potatoes, species diversity, wild relatives, mineral content, antioxidants
Globally, potatoes account for only about 2% of the food energy supply, yet they are the predominant staple for many countries. In developed countries, potatoes account for 540 kJ (130 kcal) per person per day, while in developing countries, it is only 170 kJ (42 kcal) per person per day. In addition to energy, which is derived almost entirely from their carbohydrate content, many varieties of potatoes contribute nutritionally important amounts of dietary fibre (up to 3.3%), ascorbic acid (up to 42 mg/100 g), potassium (up to 693.8 mg/100 g), total carotenoids (up to 2700 mcg/100 g), and antioxidant phenols such as chlorogenic acid (up to 1570 mcg/100 g) and its polymers, and anti-nutrients such as α-solanine (0.001–47.2 mg/100 g); and lesser amounts of protein (0.85–4.2%), amino acids, other minerals and vitamins, and other beneficial and harmful bioactive components. Nutrient content depends on a number of factors, with variety being among the most important. Potato biodiversity is vast, with more than 4000 known varieties. Most belong to the species Solanum tuberosum, but another 10 species are cultivated and 200 wild species have been identified. Modern agricultural practices and climate change are contributing to the loss of potato biodiversity, and thus the loss of the genes coding for nutrient biosynthetic pathways. Knowledge of differences in nutrient composition of potatoes related to their genetic diversity will help guide strategies that may contribute to reducing biodiversity loss and improving food and nutrition security.