Researchers Obtain Higher Vitamin C

Published online: Oct 28, 2002
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>Two University of Arizona researchers have discovered a potato hybrid clone that contained a two-fold higher ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) content after cold storage.

Corinne S. Davies of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, along with Michael J. Ottman, Department of Plant Science, with Stanley J. Peloquin, Department of Horticulture, Plant Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, made the report earlier this year.

Because potato researchers are trying to obtain potato varieties with higher Vitamin C content, research has been under way for many years to reach this goal.

Davies, Ottman and Peloquin reported they have identified a 24-chromosome Phureja-haploid Tuberosum hybrid with twice the ascorbic acid content than neighboring tubers in cold storage.

This shows that further research to breed for higher AA content is possible. Finding a way to boost the AA content of stored tubers would contribute greatly to human nutrition. It also might improve tuber resistance to oxidative damage during cold storage, the trio reported.

The study shows that even small increases in the vitamin C level of a dietary staple such as potatoes would substantially increase its overall consumption, an approach recently taken for vitamin A in rice.