Zinc biofortified potatoes have considerable potential to reduce zinc deficiency due to their low levels of phytate, an inhibitor of zinc absorption, and their high consumption, especially in the Andean region Peru.
The purpose of this study was to measure fractional and total zinc absorption from a test meal of biofortified compared with regular potatoes.
We undertook a single-blinded randomized crossover study (using 67Zn and 70Zn stable isotopes) in which 37 women consumed 500 g biofortified or regular potatoes twice a day. Urine samples were collected to determine fractional and total zinc absorption.
The zinc content of the biofortified potato and regular potato was 0.48 (SD: 0.02) and 0.32 (SD: 0.03) mg/100 g fresh weight, respectively. Mean fractional zinc absorption from the biofortified potatoes was lower than from the regular potatoes, 20.8% (SD: 5.4%) and 25.5% (SD: 7.0%), respectively (p<0.01). However, total zinc absorbed was significantly higher (0.49; SD: 0.13 and 0.40; SD: 0.11 mg/500 g, p<0.01, respectively). Conclusions The results of this study demonstrate that biofortified potatoes provide more absorbable zinc than regular potatoes. Zinc-biofortified potatoes could contribute towards reducing zinc deficiency in populations where potatoes are a staple food.