Color may not be the best measure of a vegetable’s nutritional value, according to scientists at a symposium sponsored by a potato research and education group.

A panel of food and nutrition scientists met April 19 in Boston at a session preceding the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting and sponsored by the Alliance for Potato Research Education, according to a news release from the organization.

White vegetables are often overlooked as significant sources of key nutrients including potassium and dietary fiber, according to scientists speaking at the symposium.

“White Vegetables: Addressing the Nutrition Gaps” was at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center as part of the American Society for Nutrition’s 77th Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting and Experimental Biology 2013.

“We eat a lot of white vegetables. They add variety, texture and nutrients and they fit in many places on the plate, but we need to know more,” Tufts University professor and symposium co-chairwoman Johanna Dwyer said at the symposium, according to the release.

Different groups

White vegetables are classified and placed in many different groupings — starchy vegetables, or categories like snacks or grains, Dwyer said.

“As a result, there are some data gaps with regard to how we look at the whole group of white vegetables and the contributions they make to total intakes of nutrients and positive health outcomes,” Dwyer said.

“At present, not enough data exists, so it is an area that food and nutrition scientists need to look at more closely.”

The Alliance for Potato Research and Education is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to expanding and translating potato nutrition research into science-based policy and education initiatives.