Submitted to: American Journal of Potato Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 27, 2009
Publication Date: March 29, 2010
Citation: Jansky, S.H. 2010. Potato Flavor. American Journal of Potato Research. 87(2):209-217.
Interpretive Summary: Potato breeders and growers are interested in developing more flavorful potato varieties in order to increase consumer interest in fresh potato consumption. This article discusses the compounds that contribute to the major flavor components of potatoes, including taste, texture, and aroma. The effects of production environment, storage, and potato variety on flavor components are reviewed. Changes in flavor due to cooking method are also discussed.
The potato is one of the most popular vegetables worldwide and is the most important vegetable crop in the United States, accounting for nearly one-third of per-capita vegetable consumption. Potatoes can be prepared in many ways, including baking, boiling, roasting, frying, and microwaving, allowing for a diversity of uses. Most people find potatoes to be an agreeable food and very few actually dislike potatoes. Potato flavor results from the combination of taste, aroma, and texture. Flavor precursors synthesized by the plant are present in raw potatoes and consist mainly of sugars, amino acids, RNA, and lipids. Plant genotype, production environment and storage environment influence the levels of these compounds and the enzymes that react with them to produce flavor compounds. During cooking, flavor precursors react to produce the Maillard reaction compounds and the sugar, lipid and RNA degradation products that contribute to flavor.