A recent U.S Potato Board (yep, there is such a thing) in Idaho Falls, promoted the use of dehydrated potatoes as an ideal fit for international food assistance programs. Since then, the non-profit organisation Counterpart International have requested more than 1,000 metric tons of dehydrated potatoes to feed malnourished school children in foreign nutrition agendas.
Although mashed potatoes aren’t necessarily a familiar or stereotypical dish in areas such as West Africa, here’s some reasons why we think they are a perfect fit for international aid and well, just about anything:
- It’s versatile. Dehydrated potato products may be eaten alone as mashed potatoes or used to extend local flours or other foods, to extend the shelf life of baked goods, to thicken sauces or gravies, for breading, or as an ingredient in soups, porridges, breads, or other foods and beverages.
- Dehydrated potato products are also hypoallergenic, easy to chew, swallow and digest, and have a neutral, likeable flavor. These qualities make them appropriate as complementary foods for children under two and for those with illnesses or difficulty eating.
- They can be adapated to meet nutritional needs of populations ranging from infants to HIV patients. They’re easy to digest, easily fortified with nutrients, require little fuel and preparation time and high in potassium, which is important for building muscle in malnourished populations.
- Without lowering the tone, dehydrated potato has also been known to prevent diarrhea, a leading killer of malnourished small children.
- When reconstituted, both dehydrated flakes and granules have a fluffy texture with a flavour very similar to fresh mashed potatoes.
- Potatoes, in any form, lend calories and the all important – carbohydrates to meals and help stretch other ingredients.
So there you go, a few dehydrated potato facts for you.
Let us know if you have any plans for donations, or charity ideas!
We are always keen to stay supportive, up-to-date and aware of what’s going in the world outside of our potato realm!