Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, Switzerland

Comparison of ethylene and chlorpropham for potato storage

CIPC (or chlorpropham) is the most commonly used product for controlling potato sprouting during storage. A new technique involving storage in an ethylene-enriched atmosphere (the Restrain® process) has been recently implemented in Switzerland. The efficacy of these two methods was compared in Switzerland during three storage seasons over six potato varieties stored in different commercial storage facilities. The two methods produce comparable effects: both ensure good control of sprouting during storage and lead to comparable weight losses. The frying test did not reveal whether ethylene hastens the production of reducing sugars, since the samples were stored at low temperature (between 4 and 5 °C), which resulted in their generalised crisp’s browning. Nevertheless, a sweet taste was more frequently detected in tastings of potatoes stored under ethylene, indicating a risk of sugar accumulation for this treatment. Consequently, this method is not recommended for potatoes intended for processing into crisps or French fries. Tastings of the samples have also revealed a very slight change in the taste of potatoes stored in an ethylene atmosphere, although the difference compared to the samples stored under CIPC is minimal. Lastly, neither CIPC or ethylene is capable of limiting the development of symptoms of silver scurf and black dot. Symptoms of both fungi developed very rapidly during storage, with significant levels of infestation being reached

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