Understanding the role of potatoes in the Peruvian diet: An approach that combines food composition with household expenditure data uri icon

abstract

  • Agricultural research in developing countries has increasingly focused on meeting nutritional objectives. Biofortified varieties and increased use of fertilizers have been studied to improve the nutrient profile of staple foods and thereby reduce micronutrient malnutrition. To understand where and for which Crops this is appropriate, a better understanding of population-level consumption patterns is needed. In this paper, we demonstrate an approach to understanding the role of the potato in the Peruvian diet, and how it varies by geographic and socio-economic group. We combine readily available data on household expenditures from a Peruvian living conditions survey (ENAHO) with food composition data to derive estimates on the amount of potatoes consumed per adult equivalent, and the contribution of potatoes to meeting the energy, protein, calcium, iron, and vitamin C needs of Peruvians. Households in the highlands, where potatoes are often the basis of cropping systems, consume the greatest quantities of potatoes, averaging 421 g/adult equivalent/day (g/ae/d). In this region, potatoes contribute 18%,16%,17%, and 97% of the recommended needs for energy, protein, iron, and vitamin C, respectively. Sensitivity testing using different cultivars previously examined from the Peruvian highlands shows that potatoes could Supply a range from 7-31% of the recommended intakes for iron in this Population. This work gives support for continuing agricultural research to reduce micronutrient malnutrition and provides guidance for where and with whom such research might have the greatest impact. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009