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NewsBites January 2013 Issue

Scientists Building Better Potatoes

USDA scientists have developed a variety of yellow potato with two to three times the carotenoids in conventional Yukon Golds. In particular, the new potatoes have higher amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, which may benefit eye health. Agricultural Research Services plant geneticists found wild potatoes with intense yellow flesh containing far more carotenoids than white-fleshed potatoes. They crossed these wild spuds with cultivated varieties to produce a carotenoid-rich yellow potato expected to become available in roadside markets, much like the scientists’ earlier creation—“Peter Wilcox,” (pictured) a purple-skin, yellow-fleshed potato with 15% more carotenoids than Yukon Gold.

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