Swiss College of Agriculture, Zollikofen

Routine prediction of potato cooking quality

Information on the cooking quality of fresh potatoes is of increased importance to consumers. Usually information is based on characteristics typic for a specific variety. However, single potato lots that do not meet the expected cooking type due to differences in growth conditions may lead to discontent customers. In a three year project, we further investigated the relationship between variety, tuber density (i.e. starch content) and growth conditions with respect to the cooking quality. We also developed methods to predict the cooking quality of single lots. The project was supported by the Swiss Innovation Promotion Agency CTI and by Swisspatat. Potato tubers from 65 lots were divided into 192 fractions according to their density and subsequently evaluated with respect to their sensory-perceived cooking quality. Tuber density and the cooking quality varied significantly not only between but also within tuber lots. Cooking quality depended to a high degree on the variety and the tuber density. The results further suggest that the cooking quality can be predicted just by the tuber density and a visual rating of potato sloughing without the need of further information about the variety. The results contribute to a further optimised utilisation of individual potato lots.

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