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Thursday, 15 February 2018

What is gained and what is lost with precooked potatoes

Although precooked potatoes are attractive for industrial consumption, because of their practicality and conservation power, nutritionally they are not the best option.


The country imports around 30 thousand tons of precooked potatoes from the Netherlands and other European countries each year , even though Peru is an ancestral producer of this tuber, with around 3 thousand varieties. The reason: the fast food, restaurants and chicken shops aim to reduce costs. 

And the fact of not having to wash, peel or cut the potato, translates into saving time and labor. 

Although precooked potatoes are attractive for industrial consumption, because of their practicality and conservation power, nutritionally they are not the best option. 

"They suffer the loss of nutrients (vitamin C), in the process of pre-fried." The precooked potato is not comparable to fresh potatoes, which is much better and more if consumed with well-washed peel, "says nutritionist and dietitian Sara Abu Sabbah . 

But the businesses decide if they are more interested in their profitability or in the sale of foods of better quality and nutritional value for their consumers. 

According to Abu Sabbah , qualities related to conservation, texture, aroma, color or flavor, can be achieved with food additives. In the same way, the natural oxidation of the tuber can be avoided. "It may also go through a fast process of escalsado (like a parboiled fast) and frozen, that sudden change of temperature neutralizes the metabolic process of the potato and conserves it", he notes.  

The precooking processes can be varied, for example, fried, then cut, packaged, and continues the freezing stage that helps the preservation of the food, before it is cooked again. 

"Usually, when the potato is destined to be fried, it has gone through a first rapid cooking process, which can be a scaling, a baking or a pre-fried." There is also another industrial way that does not require water or medium fat, but it's done with special machines. " 

The precooked potato that is imported comes from varieties different from those sold in the market, and are intended for domestic use.  

Finally, always remember to read the labels of industrialized products.While in your hands, choose to be an informed consumer. Bon Appetite!

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