Today, Pakistan ranks in the world top twenty potato producing nation. The percentage of the potato crop used for processing have steadily increased. Pakistan produce good quality, smooth and natural yellow and red skin, long and round shaped potatoes. Potato is a versatile, carbohydrate-rich food highly popular worldwide and prepared and served in a variety of ways. Freshly harvested, it contains about 80 percent water and 20 percent dry matter. About 60 to 80 percent of the dry matter is starch. On a dry weight basis, the protein content of potato is similar to that of cereals and is very high in comparison with other roots and tubers.
Nutritionally, potatoes are best known for their carbohydrates content (approximately 26 grams in a medium potato). Potatoes contain a number of important vitamins and minerals. A medium potato with the skin provides 27mg vitamin C, 620mg of Potassium, 0.2mg vitamin B6 and trace amount of thiamin, riboflavin, foliate, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc.
The potato is a good source of dietary energy and some micronutrients, and its protein content is very high in comparison with other roots and tubers. Potato is low in fat - but preparing and serving potatoes with high fat ingredients raises the caloric value of the dish. Boiling potatoes in their skins prevents loss of nutrients.
Potatoes are important in many diets, but need to be balanced with other vegetables and whole grain foods. Further research is needed to determine the link between potato consumption and Type 2 diabetes.