Production of convenience and snack products is taking an ever-larger proportion
of the potato crop. This is particularly the case in the wealthier countries but
is also happening everywhere potatoes are grown and consumed.
Potatoes for different processing uses must meet very precise specifications, notably
on dry matter content, shape and flesh colour.
Processors need reliable supplies year-round to keep their plants operating as close
to capacity as possible. This means storage – and the current widespread use of sprout-suppressant
Browning (for instance of French fries and crisps) is caused by high levels of acrylamides.
Varieties with low acrylamides are high up on processors’ wish lists.
The main industrial non-food use of potatoes is for starch production. Starch manufacturers
want potatoes with high amylpectin/low or zero amylose. There’s also great scope
– so far exploited on a small scale - to use potatoes modified to produce pharmaceuticals
and other high value chemicals … more >