Potato Research

, Volume 58, Issue 1, pp 29–41 | Cite as

Total Carotenoids and l-Ascorbic Acid Content in 60 Varieties of Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Grown in Ireland

  • Jesus Valcarcel
  • Kim Reilly
  • Michael Gaffney
  • Nora O’Brien


Potato is a staple food crop providing basic nutrition to millions of people globally. Although valued as a staple carbohydrate crop, tubers with higher levels of health-promoting compounds could have a positive impact on the health of populations. In this study, 60 varieties of potato, including rare, heritage and commercial varieties, were planted in two trial sites in Ireland and evaluated for total carotenoids and l-ascorbic acid content. Higher levels of total carotenoids were found in the skin of tubers, with variety ‘Burren’ showing maxima values of 28 and 9 mg kg−1 dry weight (DW) in skin and flesh, respectively. Yellow-skinned or fleshed varieties also had higher contents than those with paler or white tissues, with no relationship found for other colours. Results showed a significant difference between tubers planted in consecutive years in the same site, but no difference was found for different sites in the same year. l-Ascorbic acid was analyzed in the flesh only, with variety ‘Nicola’ showing the highest content at 800 mg kg−1 DW. Significant differences in l-ascorbic acid content were observed across years and sites. This study provides useful information on the levels of an important micronutrient, l-ascorbic acid, and potential health-promoting phytochemicals such as carotenoids in a range of potato varieties.


Antioxidant Carotenoids l-ascorbic acid Phytochemicals Potato 



The authors would like to thank Teagasc and the Walsh Fellowship Programme for funding this work and thank Dr. J. Grant, Dr. D. Griffin, Dr. D. Milbourne and Mr. C. Roberts for the assistance in designing, analyzing or implementing the field trials.


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Copyright information

© European Association for Potato Research 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jesus Valcarcel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kim Reilly
    • 1
    • 3
  • Michael Gaffney
    • 1
  • Nora O’Brien
    • 2
  1. 1.Teagasc Ashtown Food Research CentreDublin 15Ireland
  2. 2.School of Food and Nutritional SciencesUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  3. 3.Agrifood ScientificDublin 5Ireland

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