Potassium and Potato Preparation
June 24, 2008
The preparation of a potato can have a
big impact on its mineral content, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists report in a new study of
this popular vegetable.
Baked, roasted, boiled or fried, the potato is America's favorite vegetable.
Every year, the average American eats about 130 pounds of potatoes, which are
loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Cubing potatoes can reduce boiling time, but it also reduces mineral content
by as much as 75 percent. That's one conclusion from a study by research
Jansky and plant physiologist
Bethke at the
Vegetable Crops Research Unit in Madison, Wis.
Jansky and Bethke subjected six potato varieties to various methods of
preparation, and then ran a mineral analysis for potassium and 10 other
minerals. They found that cubing or shredding potatoes prior to boiling
resulted in significant potassium reductions.
This could be a good cooking strategy for potato fans hoping to reduce
potassium intake, such as dialysis patients. But individuals who want to get
the highest nutritional bang for their buck would be better off boiling their
Jansky and Bethke also examined the effects of leaching the
potatoesletting them soak in water overnight. Their results showed that
leaching had no significant impact on potassium reduction, in contrast with
The results of this research could help guide the cooking decisions of
people who want to reduce the mineral content of their potatoes, as well as
those people who want to maximize their nutritional benefits.
ARS is a scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.