Biofortified yellow fleshed potatoes provide more absorbable zinc than a commonly consumed variety: a randomized trial using stable isotopes in women in the Peruvian highlands

Reyna Lina-Dominguerz, Mary Penny, Paul Antony Kroon, Gabriela Burgos, Jack Dainty, Christopher Zeder, Michael B. Zimmermann, Janet King, Richard Mithen, Erick Boy, Olla Al-Jaiballi, Susan Fairweather-Tait

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Background: Zinc-biofortified potatoes have considerable potential to reduce zinc deficiency because of their low levels of phytate, an inhibitor of zinc absorption, and their high consumption, especially in the Andean region of Peru. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to measure fractional and total zinc absorption from a test meal of biofortified compared with regular potatoes. Methods: We undertook a single-blinded randomized crossover study (using 67Zn and 70Zn stable isotopes) in which 37 women consumed 500-g biofortified or regular potatoes twice a day. Urine samples were collected to determine fractional and total zinc absorption. Results: The zinc content of the biofortified potato and regular potato was 0.48 (standard deviation [SD]: 0.02) and 0.32 (SD: 0.03) mg/100 g fresh weight, respectively. Mean fractional zinc absorption (FZA) from the biofortified potatoes was lower than from the regular potatoes, 20.8% (SD: 5.4%) and 25.5% (SD: 7.0%), respectively (P < 0.01). However, total zinc absorbed was significantly higher (0.49; SD: 0.13 and 0.40; SD: 0.11 mg/500 g, P < 0.01, respectively). Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrate that biofortified potatoes provide more absorbable zinc than regular potatoes. Zinc-biofortified potatoes could contribute toward reducing zinc deficiency in populations where potatoes are a staple food. This trial was registered at as NCT05154500.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2893-2900
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number10
Early online date28 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Zinc absorption, biofortified crops, potatoes, stable isotopes
  • stable isotopes
  • potatoes
  • zinc absorption
  • biofortified crops

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