Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Improved Breeding and Variety Evaluation Methods to Reduce Acrylamide Content and Increase Quality in Processed Potato Products

Location: Vegetable Crops Research Unit

Project Number: 5090-21220-002-12
Project Type: Reimbursable

Start Date: Sep 01, 2011
End Date: Aug 31, 2015

Objective:
1. Partner with industry to implement a coordinated, nationwide, fast-track evaluation and deployment of processing varieties to reduce acrylamide in processed products in the near term. 2. Identify and validate molecular markers associated with key agronomic and tuber quality traits that can be used to increase the efficiency of potato breeding programs. 3. Establish quantitative goals for tuber reducing sugars and asparagine in next generation potato varieties and identify breeding parents with high potential for meeting these goals. 4. Establish quality criteria critical for maintenance and enhancement of end products. 5. Conduct an economic analysis to estimate the value of new potato varieties and/or production methods to growers, processors and rural communities that reduce acrylamide in finished products. Include in the analysis the benefits of eliminating cold-induced sweetening and sugar-end defect. 6. Quantify the net value and risk to industry associated with introducing new varieties and associated management practices. Consider the value and risk of conventionally bred and GM potatoes. 7. Produce a roadmap for developing and deploying potato varieties that exceed expectations for quality throughout the potato industry and consistently yield chip and processed potato products with acrylamide contents lower than current benchmarks. 8. Begin implementation of this process in cooperation with key stakeholders including growers and grower organizations, potato seed producers, processors, distributors and the food service industry.

Approach:
Our goal is to reduce the acrylamide content of processed potato products in the short term, and lay the foundation for removing concerns about acrylamide in potato in the next decade. To do this will require a coordinated effort that requires the input and involvement of industry, research and extension personnel at every step. The Fast-track variety evaluation process implemented by the USPB Chip Committee established a precedent for what we are proposing, and many of the project leaders and cooperators working on this proposal have participated in that process. In brief, we propose a multidisciplinary attack on the acrylamide problem that uses basic research, plant breeding, economic assessment, variety evaluation and deployment to bring varieties with low acrylamide forming potential to market. An overriding requirement for each activity is acceptance of products and practices at all levels of the potato industry including growers, processors, packers, distributors, marketers, and end users. Research. Research is focused on establishing quantitative goals for tuber reducing sugars and asparagine in next generation potato varieties, and on identify breeding parents with high potential for meeting these goals. Breeding. There are two essential breeding components. Making rapid improvements in potato varieties requires that we identify and validate molecular markers associated with key agronomic and tuber quality traits. These will then be used to increase the efficiency of potato breeding programs. Economic assessment. Change may be beneficial, but is always associated with risk. We will conduct an economic analysis to estimate the value of new potato varieties and/or production methods to growers, processors and rural communities that reduce acrylamide in finished products. We will also quantify the net value and risk to industry associated with introducing new varieties and associated management practices. Variety evaluation and deployment. We need to partner with industry to implement a coordinated, nationwide, fast-track evaluation and deployment process for varieties that reduce acrylamide in processed products. Part of this process must be rigorous field, storage and processing evaluations to gain acceptance by industry partners. Our goal is that these varieties exceed expectations for quality throughout the potato industry and consistently yield chip and processed potato products with acrylamide contents lower than current benchmarks.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page