Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is a starchy root and plant tuber and not the same as sweet potato.
It’s small, spherical with thin skin, the flesh is white or yellow.
It is a vegetable.
It belongs to the Solanaceae family the same as tomato, pepper and garden egg.
Potatoes are a staple of many dishes across a whole range of cultures.
You can eat them boiled, fried, roasted, baked, or as part of salad
They are the fourth most consumed crop in the world, after rice, wheat, and corn.
Statistics have it that China is the largest producer of potato in the world followed by India.
In 2021 china produced 94 million tonnes while india produced 54 million tonnes
376 million tonnes of potato produced per year worldwide. (FAOSTAT).
Potatoes found in various regions across the world from Africa, Asia, Europe,
South America, to North America and has become a staple crop in many countries.
POTATO IN NIGERIA
In Nigeria potatoes was introduced in the 19th century, by the ways of Germans living
in Cameroon or by other Europeans involved in tin mines on the Jos plateau.
It’s referred to as Irish potatoes
Potatoes called Nduku in Igbo, Dankalin tarawa in Hausa and Odunkum in Yoruba.
The tuber is found in Benue, Kano, Zaria and Jos Plateau.
Jos produces the highest amount of potatoes in Nigeria.
There are Varieties of potato present in Nigeria both local and imported varieties.
Local varieties include but are not limited to: RC767-2, RC7716-4, RC7716-3, RC777-3.
And Imported varieties which are high yielding and resistant to diseases includes but not
limited to: Nicola, Bertita, Diamant, Kondor, Famosa, BR63-18, Mirabel.
In Nigeria this crop prepared and enjoyed for food in so many ways they are:
- Prepared as Porridge,
- boiled and taken with sauce or stew,
- Prepared with pepper soup the same way as yam and plantain pepper soup,
- Used to make sauce or stew,
- Used in salad,
- As a filling an example is meat pie,
- Fried (chips),
- It’s a good meal for babies and toddlers,
- Used to make flour: used to bake and also as a swallow with soup,
- Potato starch.
OTHER VARIETIES OF POTATOES
Several varieties of potato exist as there are over hundred varieties of potatoes,
the different varieties differ in behavior, texture and colour, some of the popular variety are
Russets, White Potato, Waxy Potato, Colourful Potato (purple peruvian, cranberry red, red thumb, all blue etc),
Fingerling Potato and the list goes on as there are lots of potato varieties.
The varieties of potato when cooked or baked do not have the same taste and texture, some
are starchy, fluffy, moist, dry, and creamy when cooked.
USES OF POTATO
Potato has lots of uses other than food for cooking at home, potato processed into starch for industrial use, and potato starch, used
In food industry to:
thicken soups and sauces,
it’s processed into food products and food ingredients like concentrates, prepare jellies and puddings, produce pasta, produce yeasts, in meat industry,
In textile industry to finishing fabrics and starch fabrics;
In pharmaceutical industry to produce antibiotics,
In chemical industry to produce glues;
In paper industry
In the production of dextrins, starch hydrolysers, starch syrups, glucose, ethyl alcohol, starch modifiers. starching preparations.
For technical purposes in other industry sectors
It’s used in the treatment of ailments, it’s used as fed for farm animals, it’s reused as seed tubers,
and other surprising uses of potato are:
- Removal of food stains from beets, turmeric.
- Used as a hot or cold compress, potatoes can keep their temperature for a long time.
- Cleaning of glass like windows, car screen even eyeglasses, potatoes are good non-toxic cleaners
- Used to remove warts
- Shine your silverware
- Relieve a burn
- Absorbs excess salt from a cooking meal.
- Banish Rust from Metal
HEALTH BENEFITS OF POTATO
Potatoes have amazing health and nutritional benefits,
They are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6 and are fat, sodium and cholesterol free.
Only 110 calories per serving.
Good source of vitamin c
Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C (30% of the DV).
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant stabilizing free radicals, thus helping prevent cellular damage.
It aids in collagen production; assists with iron absorption; and helps heal wounds and keep your gums healthy.
Vitamin C may help support the body’s immune system.
One medium potato with the skin contributes 2 grams of fiber or 7% of the daily value per serving.
Dietary fiber is a complex carbohydrate and is the part of the plant material that is not digested and absorbed in the bloodstream.
Soluble fiber may help with weight loss as it makes you feel full longer,
and research has shown it also may help lower blood cholesterol.
Good source of vitamin B6
Potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6 with one medium potato providing 10% of the recommended daily value.
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays important roles in carbohydrate and protein metabolism.
It helps the body make nonessential amino acids needed to make various body proteins;
it is a cofactor for several co-enzymes involved in energy metabolism;
and required for the synthesis of hemoglobin – an essential component of red blood cells.
One medium potato provides 6% of the recommended daily value of iron.
Potato Contains potassium
One medium potato with skin provides 620 milligrams or 15% of the recommended daily value (DV) of potassium per serving and is considered one of the best foods with potassium.
Potatoes rank highest for foods with potassium and are among the top 20 most consumed raw vegetables and fruits.
Potassium is a mineral that is part of every body cell.
It helps regulate fluids and mineral balance in and out of cells and in doing so, helps maintain normal blood pressure.
Potassium is also vital for transmitting nerve impulses or signals, and in helping muscles contract.
Potassium is a powerful dietary factor that may help lower blood pressure.
Its other health benefits include improvement of digestive health,
reduce inflammation, improve brain health, benefits the skin, and relieves Premenstrual Symptoms.
DIFFERENCE IN HEALTH BENEFITS BETWEEN POTATO AND SWEET POTATO
Potatoes and sweet potatoes are both nutritious, energy- rich tubers,
and both originated from Central and South America and have spread through the world.
But there are differences between potato and sweet potato,
first botanically potato and sweet potato are completely unrelated
Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are in the Solanaceae family, related to tomatoes and peppers.
Plants in this family produce solanine, which is poisonous.
So don’t eat the leaves or stems of any plant in this group, or potatoes that have gone green.
Sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are in the Convolvulaceae family with flowering morning glory vines.
Unlike potato, you can also eat the leaves of sweet potato, which are very nutritious.
|A medium sized baked potatoes||A medium sized baked sweet potatoes|
Nutritional information of potatoes and sweet potatoes
Potatoes as for vitamins and minerals, potatoes have lots of vitamins C, B6, niacin, folate, potassium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus.
Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, antioxidant beta-carotene, potassium and vitamin B6 and contain a small amount of vitamin C.
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN POTATO AND SWEET POTATO
They both have a wide range of varieties, potato has over 4000 varieties and sweet potatoes has over 5000 varieties.
They both come in ranges of colours white to orange to purple and so on
Potatoes differ in their starch content and type which affects how fast they digest and how they act when cooked,
Sweet potato types also vary in their texture, cooking properties, moisture and sugar level.
They both contain antioxidant substances that help control oxidation damage in the body.