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Colombia: Researchers are looking to colour potatoes

Currently, Colombia lacks coloured potato varieties, which are common in other Latin American countries such as Chile and Peru. However, the National University’s (UN) Potato Improvement Program conducted an investigation to evaluate the agronomic traits in potato diploid clones (Solanum phureja) to develop new products. 

In this regard, the UN’s News Agency stated, Ivan Felipe Galvis, agronomist of the UN, stressed that the potato’s flesh colour was associated with anthocyanin synthesis, i.e. those pigments that give red, purple, or black colouring to the tubers’ skin and flesh. These antioxidants help reduce the risk and impact of chronic diseases such as cancer, cholesterol and neuro-degeneration. 

At the beginning of the research, scientists collected a total of 75 clones of galley creole, guaneña, and latina potatoes. After three years, they managed to reduce the sample to 25 selections, which were sown in contrasting environmental conditions in Mosquera, Villa Pinzon and La Calera [Cundinamarca]. 

Following the above, researcher analysed their performance, specific gravity, gout resistance, and postharvest frying and oil absorption tests. 

As a result, researchers were able to highlight seven clones or potato genotypes, including the one called 10-66-4, which is characterized by its purple skin colour and flesh, as well as by its good performance, even in environments with water shortages water, and gout resistance. 

"Colombia is not used to and doesn’t know this kind of longish coloured potatoes, but we believe that in the future these products will have a place in the market," said Galvis. 

These new varieties would provide new opportunities for farmers, so they could expand their production and export supply, while consumers could incorporate and enjoy them in their diets. 

Source: Fresh Fruit Portal

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