Electricity-zapped spuds healthier
Zapping spuds with ultrasound or electricity can make them healthier, research has shown.
The stress of being sonically blasted or shocked causes them to generate more antioxidants, which have been shown to combat heart disease and cancer.
Researchers believe the techniques could be used to turn the humble spud into one of nature's "superfoods".
Potatoes, the world's fifth most widely consumed plant food, are already a good source of antioxidants, including vitamin C and compounds called polyphenols.
Scientists built a laboratory "torture chamber" where they could subject spuds to high frequency ultrasonic sound waves or mild electric shocks.
The treatment almost doubled the levels of some antioxidants in the potatoes.
Plants create antioxidants to help them survive stressful events such as drought, and attacks by pests and infections.
The chemicals mop up destructive molecules and also influence growth and cell death.
When consumed in plant foods, they are believed to protect arteries, reduce the risk of diabetes and help prevent the DNA damage that leads to cancer.
The findings were presented at the 240th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston, Massachusetts, US.