New processing technique to make potatoes healthier

Researchers report that the method performed well in tests with a simulated digestion process in the laboratory

Researchers have announced early tests of a new potato processing technique designed to make our bodies digest potato starch more slowly. Laboratory demonstrations show that the approach blocks certain digestive enzymes from reaching the potato starch as quickly, leading to a more controlled release of dietary glucose.

“There is a perception that potato foods are unhealthy because eating a large amount of some potato foods can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar, which is a risk for people with diabetes or those who want to control body weight,” said Amy Lin, PhD, the study’s principal investigator and lead of the Food Carbohydrate Program of the Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI) at A*STAR. “Our team revealed that toggling the accessibility of two digestion enzymes, α-amylase and mucosal α-glucosidase, in the small intestine is a successful strategy to make dietary glucose slowly and continuously release from potatoes.”

As a next step, the researchers are preparing to further test impacts on digestibility in a clinical trial. They also plan to study whether a similar approach could be used to improve other staple foods.

image credit- shutterstock

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