A bag of three pieces of potato steamed bread goes for 5.8 yuan ($0.9), about twice as much as those made from wheat
China has successfully made the potato an ingredient of steamed bread after two years of efforts following a national strategy to convert the potato into a staple of Chinese people's daily diet, the Ministry of Agriculture announced Tuesday. The ministry had said that the potato will soon become a staple after rice, wheat and corn, and 50 percent of the annual potato production will be consumed as staple food by 2020.
After over 12,000 failed attempts, steamed bread made with 30 percent of potato flour is now being sold at a few supermarkets in Beijing.
A bag of three pieces of potato steamed bread goes for 5.8 yuan ($0.9), about twice as much as those made from wheat, The Beijing News reported. "We're promoting it and sell about a dozen bags a day," a supermarket employee said.
Compared to wheat steamed bread, the potato version is harder. "It's good and I did not notice the taste of potato," said a customer.
Mu Taihua, the research team leader, said that every 100 grams of potato streamed bread contain 14.59 milligrams of Vitamin C while the wheat ones barely have any. It also contains abundant minerals and dietary fiber, leading to a healthier diet.
The bread's producer, Beijing Haileda Food Company, said it plans to churn out about a ton of potato steamed bread every day, which will be delivered to 100 supermarkets. The company will increase its output based on feedback and plans to expand to 500 supermarkets by September.
"The potato steamed bread supplements the current staple food system and will increase the food supply, ensure food security and raise the farmers' income especially those who live in western China who depend on potato growing," Li Duo, a professor at the department of food science and nutrition of Zhejiang University, told the Global Times Tuesday.
However, Li added that researchers should try harder to win more customers by improving its taste and nutritional value to compete with traditional ones.
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