CSU Study Shows Storage Effect on Antioxidants

Published in the December 2011 Issue Published online: Dec 08, 2011
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FORT COLLINS, Colo.-A Colorado State University study evaluated the effect of storage on antioxidants and anti-cancer properties in colored potatoes, showing that while the amount of antioxidant properties increases, the anti-cancer properties of those antioxidant compounds are suppressed.

While white potatoes are a rich source of antioxidants, colored potatoes have higher levels of anti-cancer, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.

As an example of antioxidant properties in potatoes, one-half of a recently harvested, baked purple potato delivers significant amounts of compounds that fight colon cancer cells. To get the same level of similar compounds in other foods, one would have to eat three and a half recently harvested and baked white potatoes, 600 potato chips, 45 blueberries or 25 grapes.

The research has documented the cancer-fighting antioxidants of plant foods for several years. Vanamala said future studies should explore farm-to-fork operations on the health-benefiting properties of plant foods, with an aim to discover optimal conditions to preserve anti-cancer properties. This study was funded by a National Research Initiative Grant from the USDA.