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Quality and Nutrition Laboratory

The Quality and Nutrition Laboratory (QNL) of the International Potato Center was set up in 2005 under the umbrella of the HarvestPlus Program, which aims to reduce malnutrition through the improvement of the nutritional quality of staple crops.
Present activities include:
  • The analysis of micronutrients such as iron, zinc and provitamin A carotenoids, as well as the micronutrients that promote or diminish the bioavailability of these compounds in potato, sweetpotato and other crops.
  • The evaluation of the antioxidant concentrations of potato and sweetpotato and other crops in the context of projects that seek to promote health through the improvement of the antioxidant concentration of these crops.
Using such cutting-edge technologies as spectrophotometry, HPLC, ICP and NIRS, the laboratory analyzes total and individual carotenoids and polyphenols, vitamin C and minerals (iron and zinc).
We have expertise in total and individual carotenoid quantification by HPLC and NIRS in sweetpotato and potato, as well as in other crops such as maize and cassava; and in mineral analysis by ICP.

Mission

The mission of the QNL is to support research on the nutritional evaluation and improvement of potato, sweetpotato, other root and tuber crops and other staples like maize, cassava, beans, rice, wheat and pearl millet; and provide service for nutrient analysis in these crops.

Vision

The vision of the QNL is to be a worldwide reference laboratory on nutrient analysis of sweetpotato, potato and other staple crops with a view to contribute to improving human health and to reducing poverty and hunger.