Tuesday, 21 November 2017

 

The Potato Research Institute, based in the town of Havlíčkův Brod, Czech Republic, has announced that it has managed to cultivate a new potato variety, known as “Val Blue”, which is characterized by a striking blue-purple color, according to the Czech public radio.

Dr. Jaroslava Domkářová, geneticist at the Potato Research Institute, explained the significance of colored potatoes such as the Valfi and Val Blue: “Blue potatoes contain higher amounts of anthocyanin pigments, and that means they have about 20-30% higher levels of antioxidants than potatoes with a yellow or white flesh…the Val Blue variety, which we registered this year, is in part an offspring of the first Valfi potato variety from 2005.”

The process of creating new potato varieties is one of the missions of the Potato Research Institute. The Institution specializes in potato-related genetic cultivation, research and studies, and also offers advice to fellow potato growers. Domkářová says: “Cultivating any new potato variety is a long and complicated process. It can take between ten and twelve years to develop such strains. And these types of blue-colored potatoes are even more difficult. Because when we want to create a table variety (suitable for human consumption) then it is very hard to make the potato meet all the nutritional criteria that we are used to here in Central Europe. We already have very high-quality varieties of white and yellow potato here, and these blue ones tend to have a more spicy and distinctive taste.”

The Institute will now grow a small crop of the Val Blue at its own facilities, gradually cultivating greater amounts of the potato, which will then be made commercially available to other growers. 

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Exclusive Interview: Branston - We Work to Improve Varieties and Develop Tastier Potatoes 

Breeders in Canada Release 15 New Potato Varieties 



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