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New antioxidant rich, red skinned potato variety developed by Indian scientists

Kufri Neelkanth is a new table purpose medium maturing specialty potato cultivar released for cultivation in the Northern Indian plains. It is rich in antioxidants (anthocyanins and carotenoids. The average yield of the variety is 35-38 t/ha.

The tubers of the variety are dark purple black, oval in shape with medium deep eyes, cream flesh, good storability, medium dry matter (18%) and medium dormancy with an excellent flavour. The tubers are easy to cook, free from after-cooking discolouration and have a mealy texture.

In India mostly white or yellow skin potatoes are preferred, however red skin potatoes have been in demand in eastern India and are now being preferred in some pockets of the North-Western and West-central plains as well.

The ICAR-Central Potato Research Institute in Shimla has developed and released the first ever purple coloured, indigenous specialty potato variety as Kufri Neelkanth – with a comparatively high antioxident content.

Potatoes are often misconceived as carbohydrate rich junk food, inferior food therefore, enrichment of potatoes by bio-fortification with antioxidants as in this case shall certainly establish its nutritional significance and popularity among the consumers.

“With the removal of misconceptions among populations, potatoes might play the role of nutritious source of food and become ‘bread of life“.

The full article can be read on the Indian Council of Agricultural Research website here

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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