Arguably the most versatile vegetable of them all.

Alternative Name

Irish potatoes, spud

Scientific Name

Solanum tuberosum

Health benefits

Heart Skin


Potatoes are related to tomatoes, capsicums and eggplants. They can vary in size and shape and also have varying skin and flesh colour, from creamy-to-white, yellow, red to even purple. They should never be green though. Different varieties can be starchy or waxy, which affects their ideal uses. Check which variety is best suited to the use you intend.

Information for farmers+

Potatoes are generally harvested once tubers have reached a desirable size for the variety or market. Irrigation and planting bed management, along with vine-killing treatments are used to manage harvest maturity. Immature potatoes are easily bruised and 'skinning' leads to shrivelling or decay. Quality traits include tuber shape, brightness of colour (especially reds, yellows, and whites), uniformity, firmness, freedom from adhering soil, freedom from bruising, scuffing or skinning, growth cracks, sprouting, insect damage, rhizoctonia black scurf, decay, greening, or other defects.

Postharvest storage temperature
Optimum storage conditions depend on the intended use of the potato. Table potatoes should be stored at 7°C at 98% relative humidity, potatoes for frying stored at 10–15°C at 95% relative humidity and potatoes for chipping at 15–20°C and 95% relative humidity.

Controlled atmosphere storage
Controlled or modified atmospheres offer little benefit to potato. Periderm development and wound healing is delayed at atmospheres below 5% O2. Injury from low O2 (<1.5%) or elevated co2 (>10%) will induce off-odours, off-flavours, internal discolouration and increased decay.

Ethylene sensitivity
Potato tubers are not very sensitive to external ethylene, although low levels have been shown to elevate respiration, especially in immature potatoes, resulting in weight loss and mild shrivelling. After aging for 2–3 months at temperatures above 5°C and in the absence of sprouting inhibitor application, low levels of ethylene may retard sprouting. High concentrations of external ethylene may induce sprouting.

Humidity storage
Potatoes should be stored at 95–98% relative humidity.

Disease & infection
Diseases are an important source of postharvest loss, particularly in combination with rough handling and poor temperature control. The major bacterial and fungal pathogens that cause postharvest losses in transit, storage, and to the consumer are bacterial soft rot, ralstonia, solanacearum, pyhytopththora infestans, fusariam rot, pink rot and water rot. Occasionally serious diseases of immature tubers include pink eye and grey mould.

Preparation & Storage+
Peel before use (optional). Keep in cool, dark cupboard.
A good source A good source –  1 serve provides 25% of RDI or 4g of fibre A source A source –  1 serve provides 10% of RDI or 2g of fibre
Nutrition information
Qty per serve % RDI per serve Qty per 100g
Energy 237 kJ 3% 316 kJ
Protein 1.8 g 4% 2.4 g
Fat, total 0.1 g 0% 0.1 g
– saturated 0 g 0% 0 g
Carbohydrate 12.8 g 4% 17.0 g
– sugars 0.2 g 0% 0.3 g
Dietary fibre, total 1.3 g 4% 1.7 g
Sodium 3 mg 0% 4 mg
Niacin 1.6 mg 16% RDI 2.1 mg
Vitamin C 14 mg 36% RDI 19 mg
Potassium 333 mg - 444 mg

Note: % RDI are based on an average adult diet of 8700 kJ. Your daily intakes may be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. RDI = Recommended Dietary Intake; ESADDI = Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intake.


Veggy tip

Try to leave the skin on when eating potatoes for added fibre and nutrients. If you must peel them, only remove a thin layer of the skin.