The U.S. Potato Board will give the Alliance for Potato Research and Education $1 million per year for the next two years to nutrition research and education efforts for the white potato in all forms.

The Denver-based U.S. Potato Board, a founding member of the McLean, Va.-based alliance, will provide the increased contribution to help advance the nonprofit group’s initiatives on all forms of the potato, according to a news release from the alliance. The board had previously had committed to $250,000 per year.

In 2011, the National Potato Council, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Potato Board, Denver, created the Alliance for Potato Research and Promotion in concert with McCain Foods, Lamb Weston/ConAgra, Heinz/Ore-Ida, Cavendish Farms and Simplot.

Maureen Storey, resident and chief executive officer for the alliance, said the additional funds from the potato board will be valuable to confirm and explain the role of the white potato in all forms in a balanced diet.

Storey said the alliance is currently supporting a study at Texas A&M University on plate waste in schools, in addition to providing an unrestricted grant to Purdue University for a roundtable discussion on nutrients in vegetables. The alliance is also conducting research in conjunction with the National Health Nutrition Examination Survey that looks at potato consumption in all forms across age and gender groups using the most current data.

“Going forward, one of the things our Science and Education Committee needs to do is to prioritize research projects we have identified for them and determine which ones we want to support going forward, particularly for the dietary guidelines,” she said.

Storey said she also attends a number of health professional meetings, including an upcoming annual meeting of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

“We have been exhibiting at (various meetings) and giving presentations in front of their leadership to talk about the nutrient dense white potato and what it does for you.”

Tim O’Connor, president and chief executive officer of U.S. Potato Board, said the group sees value of the alliance’s mission to advance science-based data on the nutrition attributes of the white potato in all forms.

“The additional funding provided by the USPB board to APRE will help support new research into the nutritional contribution of potatoes in the American diet,” O’Connor said in the release.