Managing maturity to improve crop processing quality and storage
This project built on work carried out in a previous AHDB Potatoes funded study. This had shown that tuber maturity was the predominant factor influencing processing quality, both at harvest and throughout storage.
This project involved two years of field and storage trials which were carried out at ADAS and Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research. Both chipping and crisping varieties were included, and fry colour and fry defects were used to gauge processing quality. The field experiments included different seed crop husbandry, chitting and planting date treatments whilst the storage trials evaluated the influence of storage temperatures on processing quality.
The work showed that although the planting date and chitting treatments resulted in significant effects on fry colour during storage, these effects were small relative to the seasonal differences in fry colour that were observed during the study. It was not possible to use simple in-field measurements such as rate of canopy senescence, level of senescence at defoliation or tuber sugar concentrations to predict storage potential. In store, raised temperature generally maintained fry colour better.
About this project
To test the relative importance of agronomic factors on the physiological age of the ware crop and therefore tuber maturity at harvest on processing quality