Hot Potatoes

What food comes in shades of deep red, purple and yellow and is bursting with anti-oxidants? The humble potato! Find out more about new varieties being developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and what makes potatoes "just about the perfect food".

View profiles for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada potato researchers Agnes Murphy and Benoit Bizimungu.

Video transcript

[Fade up from black.]

[Retro-sounding electronic background music.]

[Canada wordmark and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada signature. The title of the video appears on screen.]

Text on screen: Hot Potatoes

[Fade up to a shot of a brick building; snow in the forefront, blue sky above.]

Female narrator:
It is here at the Potato Research Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick that a large...

[Cross fade to potted potato plants.]

[Cross fade to flowering potato plants.]

...part of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's research into potatoes is performed.

[Cross fade to potted potato plants.]

[Cross fade to a lab technician handling test tubes containing potato plants.]

The centre is a recognized world leader in potato research with studies aimed at improving what the potato offers Canadians.

[Cross fade to a woman working at a desk behind a window.]

[Cut to an interview shot of Agnes Murphy.]

Text on screen: Agnes Murphy, Research Scientist, Sustainable Production System

Agnes Murphy:
Potatoes are an excellent food. They're highly nutritious. They're full of Vitamin C, high in potassium and a good source of dietary fibre. They’re just about a perfect food.

[Cut to Agnes Murphy (wearing a lab coat) speaking with a male lab technician (also wearing a lab coat). Test tubes containing potato plants are on a shelf in the foreground.]

Female Narrator:
Scientist Agnes Murphy and others here...

[Cut to another male lab technician (wearing a lab coat) transporting the test tubes containing potato plants to a refrigerated unit.]

...are developing new varieties of potatoes that offer an advantage to growers and consumers...

[Cross fade to Agnes Murphy speaking to a man in a greenhouse. Potted potato plants are in the foreground.] better taste...

[Cross fade to a petri dish containing seeds.]


[Cut to Agnes Murphy (wearing a lab coat) and a male lab technician (also wearing a lab coat) having a discussion in a lab setting.]

...growing characteristics and better disease and pest resistances in the field.

[Cut to gloved hand (in a lab setting) slicing various potato varieties. We see various coloured flesh potatoes.]

Agnes Murphy:
When you cut them open you can see brightly coloured pigments, they may be deep red deep purple, on occasion you might see a deep yellow.

[Cut to a female lab technician working at a computer. We see various graphs on the computer screen.]

What makes these particularly good and so exciting to work with is that they are associated with anti-oxidant activity...

[Cross-fade to a test tube (containing a purple liquid) partially immersed in water (as part of a lab experiment).]

...and these are thought to have very good health promoting properties.

[Cut to an interview shot of Agnes Murphy.]

We have a large group of people working on this. We have the breeding team, we have biochemists...

[Cut to a female lab technician in a lab.]

...we have nutritionists, we have chefs...

[Cross fade to a purple liquid being pureed in a blender (still in a lab setting).]

[Cross fade to a female lab technician in a lab carrying test tubes to a team of 3 lab technicians (2 female, 1 male all wearing lab coats) working at computers.]

...we have people working in industry, working in universities. It is a wide group. We're working together very effectively as a team...

[Cut to a female technician arranging sliced potatoes on a tray and inputting data in a computer.]

...and we hope that we will be able to produce some exciting products for the future.

[Cut to an interview shot of Agnes Murphy.]

Farmers are interested in what's going on here. They take a great interest in the novelty aspect.

[Cut to a female technician in a greenhouse walking past various potted potato plants.]

Female narrator:
Potato producers are fully aware of the public interest in antioxidants...

[Cut to the female technician placing a potato in a terra cotta pot.]

...and the benefits of having a diet that is rich...

[Cross-fade to a shot of various potted potato plants.] coloured fruits and vegetables...

[Cut to a female technician in a greenhouse (wearing a lab coat and carrying a clip board) studying various potted potato plants.] it is important that producers and growers have access to a wide array...

[Cross fade to a shot of the interior of a greenhouse containing tall potato plants.]

...of potato varieties that grow well...

[Cut to close ups of two potato sacks. One filled with yellow skinned potatoes the other with red skinned potatoes.]

...and meet other challenges they face in their fields, from environmental or disease pressures.

[Cut to a shot of various bowls containing slices of coloured (white, yellow, purple and red) potatoes.]

This research into potatoes will lead to new products in the marketplace. Already we are seeing coloured chips, purple and red ones, some with patterns.

[Cross-fade to a close up of a plate of blue potato chips.]

[Cross-fade to a close up of a plate of red potato chips.]

[Cross-fade to a close up of a plate of pattered potato chips.]

[Cross-fade to a close up of a plate of purple potato chips.]

They are already testing red and purple French fries, not to mention mashed potatoes that might be red instead of cream or yellow.

[Cross-fade to a close up of two bowls of mashed potatoes. One containing cream, the other containing blue.]

[Cross-fade to a close up of two bowls of mashed potatoes. One containing red, the other containing blue.]

[Cut to an interview shot of Agnes Murphy.]

Agnes Murphy:
People do like them. It appeals to their whimsical nature and I'm finding particularly that children like them. They're the bold and innovative creatures of the future.

[Fade to black.]

[Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada signature]

Text on screen: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Text on screen: © Her Majesty the Queen in the Right of Canada, as represented by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2010.

[Canada wordmark]

[Fade to black.]

[Retro-sounding electronic background music fades out.]

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