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Protein-Packed Potatoes

Protein, protein, protein. American consumers want it. American producers try to provide more of it. Potatoes may offer a possibility.

Global AgInvesting detailed how PoLoPo, an Israeli molecular farming company, has introduced its SuperAA platform which allows potatoes to produce proteins found in chicken eggs by altering the makeup of the potatoes.

The potatoes are grown in a greenhouse setting and produce two valuable proteins.

  • Patatin – A family of glycoproteins commonly found in potatoes.

  • Ovalbumin – Main protein found in egg white.

Expanding protein options and production could be key to meeting the world’s demand in the years ahead. Researchers like the University of Minnesota’s Dr. George Annor study ways to do that. Annor explained his team’s work in this American Farmland Owner interview. 

Global AgInvesting described PoLoPo’s project as a platform “to turn a simple potato into a biofactory.” The process produces specific amino acids in the potato that eventually get harvested, extracted, and converted into a powder. That powder can be introduced to other food sources.

Pea protein has already become an additional source, as described in this article from the Cleveland Clinic. 

The goal of developments like the one from PoLoPo is to create a more protein-rich potato that can provide an alternative to eggs. Long-term it could increase the value of potatoes for producers.

Expanding potential of potatoes’ protein levels has been in the works for several years. Food & Beverage Insider wrote about a 2022 study that showed the possibilities. “…largely because plant protein options are perceived as being more sustainable, healthier and more environmentally friendly compared to their animal counterparts,” the article stated as a reason that consumers were looking at plant-based proteins.

A traditional Russet potato (including the skin) contains 2.63 grams of protein, according to the USDA. A chicken egg has nearly five times as much protein: 12.6 grams, according to the USDA.  


American Farmland Owner Hayfields mountains


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