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Research Project: Resources for the Genetic Improvement of Potato

Location: Vegetable Crops Research

Title: Update on the National Acrylamide Project

item Bethke, Paul

Submitted to: Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Associaiton Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/14/2016
Publication Date: 2/2/2016
Citation: Bethke, P.C. 2016. Update on the National Acrylamide Project. Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Associaiton Conference Proceedings. Paper No. 6.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Acrylamide, a suspected human carcinogen that may delay fetal development, is a Maillard reaction product that forms when carbohydrate-rich foods are cooked at high temperatures. Processed potato products, including French fries and potato chips, make a substantial contribution to total dietary acrylamide. Health safety concerns raised by acrylamide in food increase financial risks to the potato industry and have encouraged industry to take a proactive response toward acrylamide mitigation. The USDA NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) on acrylamide reduction in potato is a cooperative endeavor in which industry partners and researchers are working jointly at a systems level to develop acrylamide mitigation strategies. Short-term goals are focused on identifying potato clones that have lower acrylamide-forming potential than standard varieties, and on in-season management practices that minimize accumulation of acrylamide precursors in tubers. Research is directed at developing more efficient potato breeding techniques, including marker-assisted breeding, genome wide selection, and improved methods for phenotyping tubers. Data from the National Fry Processing Trial have shown that dramatic reductions in acrylamide are achievable through the use of low reducing sugar varieties. Chip potato trials coordinated by the US Potato Board and data from breeding populations are indicating that reductions in tuber asparagine content are likely to be highly advantageous for chipping potatoes. To have an impact, new varieties must have exceptional agronomic performance and must produce finished products that meet requirements for consumer attributes including color, texture and taste. Data consistently show that this is more easily achievable in chipping potatoes than in fry processing potatoes.