American Journal of Potato Research

, Volume 96, Issue 2, pp 139–149 | Cite as

The Contribution of Potatoes to Global Food Security, Nutrition and Healthy Diets

  • Ramani Wijesinha-BettoniEmail author
  • Béatrice Mouillé
Invited Review


Potatoes play an important role developing countries’ food security; 50% of the world’s food energy needs are supplied by potatoes, rice, wheat and maize. Developing countries’ share of global potato output now surpasses that of developed countries. Global potato consumption was on average 35 kg/capita/yr. in 2013, with large regional differences. Trends in potato consumption show that while in Europe potato consumption has been steadily decreasing, Africa and Asia have seen a ~70% increase between 1961 and 2013. Potato biodiversity is vast; variety is one of the main factors governing nutrient content. Potatoes are fat free, a source of vitamin C and vitamin B6, and can also supply good amounts of other micronutrients and fiber. Potatoes feature in the food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs) of many countries. Some FBDGs make a distinction, recommending consumption of healthy preparations while limiting that of unhealthy forms high in energy, salt and fat.


Potato Food security Nutrition Healthy diets Biodiversity Food-based dietary guidelines 


Las papas juegan un papel importante en la seguridad alimentaria de los países en desarrollo; el 50% de las necesidades mundiales de energía de los alimentos las suministra la papa, el arroz, el trigo y el maíz. Lo que comparten los países en desarrollo de la contribución mundial de papa ahora sobrepasa a lo que corresponde de los países desarrollados. El consumo global de la papa estaba en un promedio de 35 kg/cápita/año en 2013, con grandes diferencias regionales. Las tendencias en el consumo de la papa muestran que mientras que en Europa el consumo de papa ha estado disminuyendo establemente, Africa y Asia han visto un ~70% de aumento entre 1961 y 2013. La biodiversidad de la papa es muy amplia; el aspecto varietal es uno de los principales factores que gobiernan el contenido de nutrientes. Las papas estan libres de grasa, son una fuente de vitamina C y de vitamina B6, y también pueden suministrar buenas cantidades de otros micronutrientes y fibra. Las papas están presentes en las guías de dietas alimenticias (FBDGs) de muchos países. Algunas FBDGs hacen una distinción, recomendando el consumo de preparaciones sanas mientras que limitan las de formas no sanas, altas en energía, sal y grasas.


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Copyright information

© The Potato Association of America 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nutrition and Food Systems Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United NationsRomeItaly
  2. 2.Animal Production and Health Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United NationsRomeItaly

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