What is potato: Definition and 33 Discussions

The potato is a starchy food, a tuber of the plant Solanum tuberosum and is a root vegetable native to the Americas. The plant is a perennial in the nightshade family Solanaceae.Wild potato species can be found from the southern United States to southern Chile. The potato was originally believed to have been domesticated by Native Americans independently in multiple locations, but later genetic studies traced a single origin, in the area of present-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia. Potatoes were domesticated there approximately 7,000–10,000 years ago, from a species in the Solanum brevicaule complex. In the Andes region of South America, where the species is indigenous, some close relatives of the potato are cultivated.
Potatoes were introduced to Europe from the Americas by the Spanish in the second half of the 16th century. Today they are a staple food in many parts of the world and an integral part of much of the world's food supply. As of 2014, potatoes were the world's fourth-largest food crop after maize (corn), wheat, and rice. Following millennia of selective breeding, there are now over 5,000 different types of potatoes. Over 99% of potatoes presently cultivated worldwide descend from varieties that originated in the lowlands of south-central Chile. The importance of the potato as a food source and culinary ingredient varies by region and is still changing. It remains an essential crop in Europe, especially Northern and Eastern Europe, where per capita production is still the highest in the world, while the most rapid expansion in production since 2000 has occurred in southern and eastern Asia, with China and India leading the world in overall production as of 2018.
Like the tomato, the potato is a nightshade in the genus Solanum, and the vegetative and fruiting parts of the potato contain the toxin solanine which is dangerous for human consumption. Normal potato tubers that have been grown and stored properly produce glycoalkaloids in amounts small enough to be negligible for human health, but, if green sections of the plant (namely sprouts and skins) are exposed to light, the tuber can accumulate a high enough concentration of glycoalkaloids to affect human health.

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  1. Steven Ellet

    Growing Fuzzy Potatoes at Home

    I put a russet potato in a clear plastic container with a dish of water. It had sprouted potato tubers(I think that's the right term) but I waited too long... it now has roots and white fur. Is there a reasonable change I can still get a plant out of it, or should I just start over?
  2. P

    Calculating velocity of a potato

    Hello all! Please note this is my first post and I would love to learn the method of calculating the below question... so that I may retain the knowledge and apply it for further models. First... the question. How can I take the following information... and using existing data find the velocity...
  3. L

    I Fried round potato slices' shape....

    Sorry if already asked: Why round, thin, fried potatos often comes out with a "saddle" shape? Thanks. -- lightarrow
  4. F

    Medical Potato Battery: Exploring the Nutritional Impact of Using Food as a Power Source

    If a potato ( or any other food, for that matter) is used as a battery by say, simply inserting two different metal pins in it and connecting it to a load, then does it reduce the nutritional value of potato ? or does it affect the potato negatively in any way ?
  5. S

    What explains this potato light socket & battery?

    There is an interesting video @ Facebook about a potato that is made into a light socket & battery: https://www.facebook.com/HECHOenNUEVOLEON/videos/vb.1388218328082289/1950024855234964/?type=2&theater Now, I see how the generation of energy is done in the way that a "lemon battery" is done...
  6. N

    B A 100 metre potato drop will it be unharmed (check)

    for my own intressest i thought of a way to look i a potato could survive a 100 metre drop. my hypothesis was abviously no not it will be potato salad when it hits the ground. but my calculations turned against me as far as i know. here are they average potato weight: 0,15 kg height: 100m i...
  7. R

    Solving the Sugar Content in Potato Flour Puzzle with Chemistry

    Homework Statement Hi everyone, i have a problem. My brain is short-circuited, and it seems like i can't find out the simplest chemistry in the world :D We made this experiment where we should determine the sugar content in potato flour. We added amylases to break down the starch to glucose...
  8. K

    Finding the Specific Heat Capacity of a Potato

    Homework Statement So I've been trying to find the specific heat capacity of the potato for a while and keep coming up with an outrageous number (over 700,000 J/kgC) Here's what I've found mass of potato = 0.15kg initial T of potato = 18 degrees C final T of potato = 83 degrees C (is this not...
  9. C

    Potato battery, how does it work?

    Hi just made a potato battery, using a cupper coin and zink nails (not connected in any way, just pit in a nail and 3 inches appart a penny), I was just wondering what is the chemistry/physics theory here? Potatoes contain phosphoric acid H3PO4 Is it the acid in potatoes that oxidize...
  10. S

    Combustion potato gun - Need associated variables, ideas and concepts.

    Hi Guys, I have a Year 11 Project weighted 15% of my year mark due in 5 weeks. For my project I've decided to build a classic combustion potato gun. This gun will consist of pvc piping, barrel, Lantern lighter, any other components and of course hairspray (combustion) Anyways It is still only...
  11. L

    Current Carrying Ability of A Potato

    During a conversation a friend and I made a joke that was along the lines of "at least you're not powering it using an orange or a potato" while discussing the power supply for his electric bike. Now I'm wondering...would it actually be possible to power an electric bike using potato batteries...
  12. O

    Launching a Potato with a Spring: Solving for the Spring Constant

    Homework Statement A Certain potato "canon" consists of a 1.2 m tube with a thin platform inside. The Platform has a negligible mass and is attached to a spring. The spring is 20 cm long when relaxed, and the spring is compressed to a final length of 5 cm when ready to launch a potato. A potato...
  13. E

    Converting Potato waste (peel) to bio-ethanol

    hello all, I'm a mechanical engineering student my graduation project is an automatic machine to make the following "converting Potato waste (peel) to bio-ethanol" i need a detailed research about the chemical process until getting ethanol waiting for your help guys , I'm not good chemist...
  14. B

    Launching of a Potato (Involve kinetic and potential energy and an angle )

    Launching of a Potato (Involve kinetic and potential energy and an angle!) A potato of mass 210 g is launched from a potato gun, being released from a height of 0.6 m, at an angle of 47o with respect to the horizontal, and with an initial speed of 38 m/s. Assume the effect of air resistance can...
  15. A

    Potato Launcher with Constant Velocity

    Homework Statement As a participant in a robotic competition, you must launch a potato from a moving cart and strike a target. The potato must reach the apex of flight just as it travels over a screen, then it must pass through the center of an opening in a wall. The cart moves at a steady...
  16. C

    Maximizing Distance Traveled with 1200 Joules of Fuel in a Potato Cannon

    Homework Statement We are given an amount perfume, that has an energy level amounting to 1200 joules. Using this as the fuel, i need to build a potato cannon. How can i build the cannon to maximize the distance the potato travels when shot with this amount of fuel? Homework Equations...
  17. J

    Calculating Force of a Small Potato Cannon

    Hello, I built a small potato cannon out of PVC pipe/steel. It's 15.5 cm long, and about 7.6 cm wide on the inside. It's made of 2 parts the barrel and combustion chamber (or as i refer to, "the death chamber"). the "death chamber" is cylinder about 7.6 cm long and 7.6 cm thick. and the...
  18. S

    Fitting the Potato Yield Model with Superphosphate Fertiliser

    Homework Statement Suppose (Y1, Y2, Y3, Y4) = (5.2, 6.8, 11.9, 17.0) are the average yields (in tonne/ha) of potato grown in soil with 4 different levels of superphosphate fertiliser, x1 = 1.20, x2 = 1.75, x3 = 2.30, x4 = 2.85. We want to fit the model E[Yi] = \beta1 + \beta2xi + \beta3zi...
  19. T

    Potato Explosion: Why and How?

    I'm reading an electrodynamics textbook and in the preface there is a mention that the number of positive and negative charges in solid objects is extremely precisely balanced, and gives an example, that if there was an imbalance of even 1 part in 10^10, "a potato would explode violently"...
  20. G

    Who Would Win in the 'One Potato, Two Potato' Game Without Full Elimination?

    I'd like to hear any ideas on how to determine the eventual winner of "One potato, two potato" without going through the full elimination process. Given n people in a circle, eliminating every 8th person left (which is the process in "One potato, two potato" although every mth person would...
  21. S

    Designing the Best Potato Launcher: Catapults, Compressed Gas, and Combustion

    hello, i was wondering what people here would think the best design type for a potato launcher would be. I looked at catapults, ones that use compressed gas, and combustion. firstly, which would be the easiest to make?
  22. G

    Solving a Gr. 11 Physics Assignment: Finding Vertical Displacement of a Potato

    I have to find the vertical displacement of a potato shot out of a potato launcher (Gr. 11 Physics assignment). It would make sense (and make this easier) to assume that the potato went straight up and down and I am allowed to assume that air resistance is negligible. My main problem is proving...
  23. wolram

    Tasty Mackerel and Potato Roast

    I think i must be one, try this simple meal. Roast some potatoes, add one chopped birds eye chili and a couple of branches of oregano and sea salt in the last 10 mins of cooking, put the spuds on a plate then add a tin of mackerel in oil, wow are you in for a treat.
  24. S

    Understanding Tree and Potato Mass

    I learned in Ap Bio that a tree's mass comes from carbon.It makes sense, but is it the whole tree or just the trunk of the tree? Cuz I took a Practice Ap test and there involved a question with a piece of potatoe in Water. At first I assumed that it was diffusion or osmosis that occurred but it...
  25. S

    Potato Cannons: My Experiences and More

    Does anyone else make potato cannons here? Ive made a few with hairspray and 2 pneumatic ones. The best one is over 7 feet tall. I just tested it with a reeses peanut butter cup and it shot it through a 1/4" piece of plywood. I was just wondering if anyone else has made potato cannons or...
  26. JamesU

    Pass the Potato: 50 States in 50 Days!

    Pass the PF potato and get it to all 50 states(for some reason): http://www01.passthepotato.com/potato-1.php?potatoid=060420011530-664072
  27. A

    Is 1000 m/s² a Realistic Acceleration for a Potato in a PVC Cannon?

    Okay. we were given a problem in Physics class regarding a PVC pipe, a potato and a piece of dowling(wood) we were instructed to stick both ends of the pipe into the potato and then (once we had a good plug in either end) push one plug towards the other through the pipe with the piece of...
  28. K

    Find Osmolarity of Potato Cores | Lab Tips

    We did a lab in my class where we put slices of potatoe into solutions with different molar concentrations of sucrose. Now, I am asked to find the osmolarity of the potatoe cores. How do I do this?
  29. F

    Can potato skin effect the rate at which catalase breaks down hydrogen peroxide

    can potato skin affect the rate at which catalase in potato discs breaks down hydrogen peroxide? does potato skin contain the polysacharide cellulose?
  30. S

    Physics Project: Exploring Potato Gun Explosions

    For a physics project, I really want to do something with an explosion in it, but I can really only come up with one practicable idea - a potato gun. Practicable meaning, an idea that won't cost me much more than 2 hundred dollars in instruments and materials. I plan to find out how much energy...
  31. T

    Osmosis & Potato Chip: Exploring Deeper Meaning

    Hi.. I am currently doing an experiment on Osmosis - Potato Chip, Looking at the effect of osmosis etc, However I was curious whether there was an inner depth to this, So far were ever I look the only defination of Osmosis is higher concentration to lower, but within my prediction I would like...
  32. V

    The Physics Behind a Potato Gun

    I have to tie the construction and dynamics of a potato gun with one chapter from my physics book. That's fairly hard to do because a potato gun has much to do with more than one chapter, but my teacher just wants one... Does anybody have an idea on what the best chapter would be? I have...
  33. S

    Increasing Voltage of Potato Battery in Chemistry Class

    hey guys what's up? just recently I've been working on this potato battery thingy in chemistry class and the highest i can get it is 15 volts. i knwo there are a lot of variables involved but are there any suggestions that you might think would help achieve a higher voltage? i was thinkin of...