Potato Bioactives 08/RTD/AFRC/673

Exploring the potential of potato peel waste as a source of phytopharmaceuticals, bio-active peptides and as a control measure for potato nematodes

Type of funding scheme: Food Institutional Research Measure (FIRM), DAFF.

List of participants:

Partner no.PartnerOrganisation
1 (Coordinator)Nigel BruntonAshtown Food Research Centre (AFRC)
2Nora O'BrienUniversity College Cork (UCC)
3Anita MaguireUniversity College Cork (UCC)
4Peter JonesUniversity College Cork (UCC)


Aim and objectives

  1. Develop high through-put efficient methods for analytical and pilot scale processing, extraction, analysis and purification of glycoalkaloids from potato peel waste for use as a control agent for potato nematodes
  2. Develop methodologies for the controlled production of glycoalkaloids in potato peels through manipulation of storage conditions
  3. Examine levels and seasonal variation of glycoalkaloids in potato peel and whole potatoes used in the Irish potato processing industry
  4. Design a scheme for the asymmetric synthesis of glycoalkaloids and glycoalkaloid derivatives
  5. Investigate the bio-activity and toxicity of pure, crude and refined glycoalkaloid fractions in in-vitro call based assays
  6. Investigate the potential of potato peel waste as source of bio-active peptides

Innovative aspects of the project
The project seeks to generate novel scientific knowledge with regard to the recovery and synthesis of a group of poorly understood and researched compounds. The following potential outputs from the project are potentially exploitable by end-users:

  1. Novel glycoalkaloid compounds and their associated use
  2. Methodolgies for primary processing of potato peel waste for use as control agent for nematodes
  3. Technologies and schemes for pilot scale extraction and purification of glycoalkaloids from potato peel waste for potential end use as a pharmacological agent or as a nematicide
  4. Methods aimed at maximising levels of glycoalkaloids in potato peel waste and therefore using this resource as bio-factory for the production of glycoalkaloids.
  5. Measures for controlling the accumulation of glycoalkaloids in whole potatoes for human consumption.

Methodology and associated work plan
A key objective of the proposed project will be to develop methodologies for processing of potato waste for use as a control agent for nematodes. This will involve generating a spectrum of products refined to various degrees including extruded peel, freeze dried peel and a crude glycoalkaloid fraction for use in field trials. Smaller scale trials will be utilised to investigate the effectiveness of more refined glycoalkaloid fractions generated using pilot scale recovery methods such as resin adsorption and membrane and ultra-filtration. Pure glycoakaloids will be generated at a laboratory scale using techniques such as column choromatography and preparative high performance liquid chromatography. These pure compounds will be investigated both as nematode control measures and in in-vitro cell culture assays which will investigate the effectiveness of the recovered compounds as anti-cancer agents and their toxicity. The potential of potato peel waste as a bio-factory for the production of glycoalkaloids will also be examined in the proposed project by manipulation of exposure to light at different light wavelengths and storage temperature. Finally the waste, left over after removal of glycoalkaloids will be tested for potential bio-active peptides.

WorkpackageWorkpackage titleLeading InstitutionPartners involved
1Project management, review of literature and equipment commissioningAFRC/UCCAFRC/UCC
2Extraction, isolation, characterisation and purification of glycoalkaloids from potatoes and potato peelAFRCAFRC/UCC
3Factors affecting glycoalkaloid levels in Irish potatoes and potato peel wasteAFRCAFRC/UCC
4Large scale concentration, extraction and purification of glycoalkaoloids from potato peelAFRCAFRC/UCC
5Determination of the anti-carcinogenic potential and anti-inflammatory properties of potato glycoalkaloids using human cell culture model systems
6Determine the potential cardioprotective effects of glycoalkaloids using in vitro model systemsUCCAFRC/UCC
7Potato peel as a product for environmentally protective management of potato cyst nematodesUCCAFRC/UCC
8Asymmetric synthesis of novel glycoalkaloidsUCCAFRC/UCC
9Potato peel waste as a source of functional and bio-active peptidesAFRCAFRC/UCC

Evolution of the project
Dissemination will consist of publications (peer reviewed and technical journals), conference presentation, industry workshops, focus group meetings with companies, person-to-person contacts, a blueprint, facts sheets, a best practice manual and specifications documents. Updates on project outcomes will be disseminated on the relay website (www.relayresearch.ie) on a 6 monthly basis.


Contact person

Name, SurnameNigel Brunton
PositionSenior Research Officer
Phone number+ 353-1-8059505
fax+ 353-1-8059550