Why are there potatoes on the Google homepage?

The internet search engine giant has honoured the work of woman scientist Eva Ekeblad from Sweden on its home page today that led to extraction of alcohol and flour from potatoes.

Eva Ekeblad, born in 1724, is best known for inventing a method to make flour and alcohol out of potatoes. Ekeblad Discovered How to Use Potatoes to Make Flour & Vodka: During her time, potatoes were considered inedible.

After the death of her husband Count Claes Claesson Ekeblad in 1771, Ekeblad retired to her countryside estates. The image honors Eva Ekeblad, a scientist to whom we we owe many potato-based innovations. Her work paved the way for gluten-free baking and alcohols such as potato wine and vodka.

Her research made potatoes extremely popular in Sweden.

The innovation reduced the risk of starvation and relieved a awful strain on the rural poor.

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Her discoveries resulted in her admittance to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1748, aged just 24, the first woman to join.

Until Eva Ekeblad came along the presence of potatoes in much of Europe was, well, small potatoes.

No records of her participation in the meetings of the Academy were available, as the statutes confined membership to men. "Her discovery helped reduce starvation in years to come", Google wrote in its description of the doodle.

In 1751 she found a way to make a form of flour from potatoes as well but rather than using it for gastronomy, she advocated its use as a replacement for more risky substances being used in cosmetics (usually poisonous heavy metals such as zinc and mercury).

She died on the 15th of May in 1786 in Lidkoping in Sweden.

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  • Regina Walsh