Chapter 6 About the potato

The best that the soil has to offer

Background

A do-gooder pur sang. This summarises the potato. It is deliciously healthy and does not need much to feed many mouths well and fast. The potato offers a way out, in terms of the anticipated 9 billion world citizens by 2050. Because, with substantially lower water consumption compared to corn, rice or wheat, the potato is many times more efficient and more nutritious. No wonder the potato is becoming more and more popular around the world, even in countries where rice is preferred, such as China and India.

Potato and sustainability

A responsible product

Our goal of improving the cultivation of potatoes around the world is also in line with working on sustainability. With the potato as a crop, growers around the world can produce good food in a short period of time, with relatively little water, and at the same time rich in vitamins and carbohydrates.

There are still major differences in terms of yield in weight per hectare. An average of 47 tonnes is harvested per hectare in Western Europe, whereas the volume is hardly 15 tonnes in Russia or China. This major difference is caused, for the most part, by the lack of high-quality propagating material and lack of product knowledge and proper mechanisation.

Often times the production is still limited due to susceptibility to disease. We can increase the yield per hectare substantially by supplying high-quality propagating material of varieties with excellent properties, in combination with sharing product knowledge and knowledge on cultivation.

Our breeding programmes focus on food quality, resistance to disease and yield, for the most part. With the environment in mind, we herewith look at efficient use of land, environmentally-friendly cultivation, and reduced use of fresh water. We also want to increase the nutritional value per m2 cultivated, and in so doing, contribute to the improvement of the global food supply.

Read more on Research & Development

Some well known varieties of HZPC:
Sylvana, Sifra, Carrera, Vivaldi and Annabelle (from left)
Some well known varieties of HZPC:
Sylvana, Sifra, Carrera, Vivaldi and Annabelle (from left)

The potato and health

Did you know:

  • In 2020, one in five people around the world will be overweight?
  • Potatoes contain fewer calories than other basic foods?
  • Potatoes have high concentrations of nutrients and fibres, such as minerals and vitamins B1, B6 and C?
  • People tend to eat more vegetables with potatoes than with rice or pasta?

Diet

The potato is not just tasty; it is also a healthy product. During recent years we devoted more attention to the potato’s role in the consumer’s diet. In that context we perform research on taste, digestion and different health aspects.

A potato contains considerably fewer calories than processed food products such as white rice or pasta. In view of the fight against obesity, we have developed an even lighter variant: Sunlite®.  This light potato contains a mere 59 kcal per 100 grams.

Index of calories in food products

 

Product Weight (g) Energy (kcal) Protein (g) Iron (mg) Vit. C
           
Potatoes (peeled) 200 152 5 1,2 16
Wheat / pasta 200 188 6 0,8
White rice 200 294 6 0,8
Brown rice 200 238 6 1,2
Brown or white beans 200 216 16 4,0

 

Product Kcal (100 grams) Fat (grams) Fibre (grams)
       
Cooked potato 76 2,3 3,1
Prepared potato croquette 235 12 3,2
Prepared potato slices 223 10,9 3,2
Salted prepared French fries 309 15,4 3,2
French fries oven / freezer prepared 286 8,8 3,2
Spring roll 177 8,2 2,0

Coloured potatoes full of antioxidants

Our Perupas are in line with today’s superfood trend. These coloured potatoes, which descend from Peruvian potatoes from the Andes Mountains, have a purple, red / pink or dark yellow flesh colour. This is caused by the presence of the pigment anthocyanin, which is also found in red beets. It is an antioxidant. Perupas contain more antioxidants than white potatoes. Antioxidants can help against cell and tissue damage and can thus also possibly help offer protection from disease in the long term. In other words, an extra healthy potato.