Potatoes are usually a high-glycaemic index (GI) food. Finding a low-GI potato and developing a screening method for finding low-GI cultivars are both health and agricultural priorities. The aims of the present study were to screen the commonly used and newly introduced cultivars of potatoes, in a bid to discover a low-GI potato, and to describe the relationship between in vitro starch digestibility of cooked potatoes and their in vivo glycaemic response. According to International Standard Organisation (ISO) guidelines, seven different potato cultivars were tested for their GI. In vitro enzymatic starch hydrolysis and chemical analyses, including amylose content analysis, were carried out for each potato cultivar, and correlations with the respective GI values were sought. The potato cultivars had a wide range of GI values (53–103). The Carisma cultivar was classified as low GI and the Nicola cultivar (GI = 69) as medium GI and the other five cultivars were classified as high GI according to ISO guidelines. The GI values were strongly and positively correlated with the percentage of in vitro enzymatic hydrolysis of starch in the cooked potatoes, particularly with the hydrolysis percentage at 120 min (r 0·91 and P <0·01). Amylose, dietary fibre and total starch content was not correlated with either in vitro starch digestibility or GI. The findings suggest that low-GI potato cultivars can be identified by screening using a high-throughput in vitro digestion procedure, while chemical composition, including amylose and fibre content, is not indicative.
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