Eva Ekeblad – scientist who made flour and alcohol out of Potato

Eva Ekeblad was a Swedish scientist particularly known for her achievement of extracting flour and alcohol out of a potato. She was able to extract starch out of potatoes which ultimately paved the way to make flour, gluten-free baking and alcohols out of potatoes.

Eva was born in Sweden on 10 July 1724 and went on to become the first woman to gain admission to Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for her research on how to make flour and alcohol out of potatoes.

Google also honored her by marking a Doodle on her 293rd birth anniversary


Potatoes first arrived in Sweden in 1658, but for a long time were only available to aristocrats as they were not really considered edible for humans and were only fed to animals. She had heard that in Germany potatoes were used to create alcoholic drinks.

In 1746 she discovered that these vegetables can be cooked, crushed and dried to create a form of flour. At the age of 24, she discovered her findings to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and became the first female to be admitted.

Her discovery helped in solving the food crisis in Sweden, as other eatables such as wheat, cereals were freed from alcohol production and were instead used to feed the population.


This discovery came at a time when the country was facing a shortage of cereals, such as oats and barley, which were necessary for food and alcohol supplies, but with potato being used to make alcohol, it helped Sweden in solving the crisis. But this discovery also lead to increased alcohol consumption in Sweden.

Yet the vegetable wouldn’t become a common food until the 19th century, around the same time it gained prominence in British cooking.

She died in 1786 and was the only woman admitted to Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences until 1951.