The potato’s colouring contained the chemical anthocyanin, which is known to lower the risk of cancer and could even possibly slow down certain types of the disease. The colour is the important part because the purple colour is responsible for the amount of anthocyanin in the potato. Scientists have already used two strands of anthocyanin to treat colon cancer and found that the pigment slowed down the growth of cancerous cells.
Anthocyanin, which produces red, blue or purple colours in different types of food, can also be found in blueberries, red grapes and red cabbage, however the specially grown purple sweet potato has a higher concentration of the chemical than any other species of potato. Dr Weiqun Wang, who was also involved in testing the potato, has said that the new purple sweet potato tasted sweeter than other potatoes but was still perfectly edible. According to Wang, “It’s good not only for cancer prevention but other benefits like antioxidants as well.”