Clones with a soft consistency, complete disintegration on cooking, low humidity and high flouriness have been identified which can be used for the preparation of mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes 


Potato, in addition to being a staple food, contains a great variety of minerals and phytochemicals with potentially healthy effects 


The Basque Agricultural Research and Development Institute, NEIKER-Tecnalia, has made advances in potato genetic improvement with the aim of obtaining varieties with high levels of bioactive compounds (anthocyanins, phenols and total carotenoids) as well as beneficial antioxidant capacity For health, adapted to our growing conditions. 


Potato, in addition to being a staple food and one of the main food crops worldwide, contains a large variety of minerals and phytochemicals with potentially healthy effects. Increased awareness of the importance of the consumption of these phytochemicals (substances that help protect cells from cancer-causing damage) and the growing interest in the development of new products with specific organoleptic properties have led to the emergence of different Genetic improvement of potato related to this type of compounds. 


Recently new varieties have been developed with a high content of pigments that have great therapeutic effect related mainly with the antioxidant activity and that have a double function, since on the one hand they are beneficial for the health and on the other, they are pigments that contribute a Intense purple or red coloration that is very attractive to the consumer and entails new market opportunities and functional foods. 


Among the compounds most studied from the perspective of genetic improvement are on the one hand chlorogenic acid, both for its implications for human health and for its functions in the defense of the plant against pathogens and on the other the group of carotenoids already Which in addition to being associated with an intense yellow color, some of the major carotenoids in the potato are considered of special importance for ocular health and the reduction of the risk of suffering from age-related macular degeneration. 


The concentration, distribution and relative composition of each of the compounds in the potato are also strongly influenced by environmental factors such as crop management, climate, soil, pest and disease incidence, harvesting time, mechanical damage, Time and storage conditions. 


The research that NEIKER-Tecnalia has been developing since 2014 aims to obtain varieties with high levels of bioactive compounds beneficial to health (anthocyanins, phenols and carotenoids), as well as antioxidant capacity, adapted to the growing conditions of our territory. For this, the evaluation of a series of red and purple meat varieties was started, but they had a low adaptation and production, so that crosses were made in order to obtain optimum varieties both from the productive point of view and Nutritional and market. 


Throughout this year, comparative agronomic trials will be carried out, as well as the multiplication of the most promising clones that will soon constitute new varieties for further development and commercialization. 


NEIKER emphasizes the importance of having clones like the ones obtained. "For producers it is interesting to have varieties of purple potato that adapt to broad climatic conditions. In addition, these materials incorporate natural antioxidant compounds, which are attractive from a nutritional and visual point of view, both for professionals in the world of restoration and for end consumers. "