UK: FSA prepares guide for acrylamide management

The UK Food Standard Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland are working with the British Hospitality Association and other key stakeholders to develop simple guidance which will help the catering and foodservice sectors comply with new rules regarding acrylamide. Food businesses, including potato processors in the UK will be required to put in place practical steps to manage acrylamide within their food safety management systems, under new EU legislation, which will apply from April 2018. The legislation describes practical measures based upon best practice guidance developed by the food industry to mitigate acrylamide formation in a range of foods. Guidelines to aid understanding of the enforcement of the legislation will also be available in the New Year. More

UK: First SDHI fungicide to control Rhizoctonia said to offer 20% more yield

In-furrow applicationThe first in-furrow SDHI fungicide for potatoes offers farmers another option for controlling Black scurf, caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia solani, a disease that can slash marketable yields by 30%. (SDHI stands for Succinate DeHydrogenase Inhibitors in the UK). Although growers can successfully control the disease with azoxystrobin, it can prove harsh on plants leading to delayed emergence. However, from next season growers will have an alternative that is less harsh, said Basf campaign manager Matthew Goodson at the recent British Potato event in Harrogate. Based on the SDHI active fluxapyroxad, the new potato product Allstar outperformed the in-furrow strobilurin in independent German trials. “Allstar yielded 20% more potatoes than azoxystrobin [treated crops] across all six varieties tested.” More

Simplot partners with Spanish biotech company to enhance nutritional properties of potatoes

Image result for J.R. Simplot Company para el descubrimiento de genes para la mejora de la patataIden Biotechnology – a Spanish biotechnology company – and J.R. Simplot Company, a potato processor and developer and marketer of Innate® GMO potatoes, recently entered into an agreement to explore the potential for nutritional enrichment of the potato. As part of the agreement, Iden will identify promising genes for potential use in Simplot’s proprietary Innate® biotechnology platform. Iden has established other industrial collaborations for gene trait discovery and development in row crops like wheat and corn. More. News release in Spanish

US: Potandon launches CarbSmart yellow potatoes

Image result for carbsmart potato potandonIdaho-based Potandon Produce introduced its low-carbohydrate CarbSmart potato at Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit show in October, said Ralph Schwartz, vice president of sales.The new item is part of Potandon’s promotional focus on potatoes as healthy items, Schwartz said. It’s the first of many that will come out that have additional health benefits,” he said of CarbSmart. The product has 55% fewer carbohydrates than rice or pasta, Schwartz said. When you look at this potato, it has 7 grams less carbs per serving than a regular yellow potato. We’ve been testing it for years. It’s exciting.” More

How Frito-Lay is making its products healthier

Indian Tikka Masala, Yorkshire Pudding and Salmon Teriyaki Lay's potato chips“Somebody was telling me the other day that we have over 3,000 flavors in what we call our flavor bank,” said Christine J. Cioffe, Ph.D., senior vice-president, Sustainability and Global Snacks R.&D. at PepsiCo, Inc., parent company of Frito-Lay. “I think it speaks to the power of a company that operates across 200-plus countries.” Flavor, Dr. Cioffe said, is a “stronghold” for Frito-Lay. “It’s definitely a capability that R.&D. has built and strengthened over the last decade or so,” she added. “Flavor is going to continue to be an opportunity.” Meanwhile, the product development team at PepsiCo is focused on making its snacks healthier. The company has committed to limiting sodium and saturated fat while adding whole grains, vegetables and protein, said Elizabeth Roark, registered dietitian and principal scientist, PepsiCo Nutrition Services. In its Performance with Purpose 2025 Agenda PepsiCo outlined its nutrition goals. More

Video: New Mexico State University researchers conduct field trials of South American potato, papa criolla

Woman in hat holding potato plantNew Mexico State University is collaborating with U.S. Department of Agriculture research geneticist Kathy Haynes to conduct field trials of the South American potato, papa criolla, that she has breed to grow in the United States. White-fleshed potatoes typically grown in the United States are low in carotenoids that act as antioxidants for healthy eyes. The most well-known carotenoid is beta-carotene found in carrots. The carotenoids in the South American papa criolla potatoes, which make the potato yellow-fleshed, are lutein and zeaxanthin, which help prevent age-related macular degeneration. At least one study has suggested that zeaxanthin also improves mental acuity in elderly people. “Yukon Gold, a yellow-flesh potato that consumers are familiar with, has these carotenoids,” Haynes said. “Comparatively, the papa criolla types have 10-20 times more lutein and zeaxanthin than Yukon Gold.” Watch YouTube video. More information will be presented at the New Mexico Sustainable Agriculture Conference Wednesday, Dec. 13. Also see this press release

Czech Republic creates tuber for health-conscious purple-potato eaters

 

In October, the the Potato Research Institute in the east-Bohemian city of Havlíčkův Brod in the Czech Republic, introduced the “Val Blue,” a debut 11 years in the making and the first new variety of potato bred at the Institute since 2005. Like most potatoes, Val is fairly unprepossessing at first glance. But inside, its flesh is a rich, royal violet color, which cooks up to a purple shade straight out of a box of Crayolas. The texture is smooth and dense, the flavor earthy and fairly non-distinctive. Rather like a potato, PRI geneticist Jaroslava Domkářová notes with a smile. According to Domkářová, the Val Blue’s vivid purple color is 30 percent more intense than that of its “mother” potato, the PRI-bred “Valfi.” Its trademark hue indicates an antioxidant load surpassing its white- and yellow-flesh relatives two or three times over. According to Domkářová, of the approximately 1,500 varieties of potato grown in the European Union, the Val Blue belongs to a rare cohort. More

Potato Expo 2018 to help children in need

Second Harvest - PeoplePotato farmers who attend National Potato Council’s upcoming Potato Expo 2018 in Orlando, Fla., will also be helping to feed children in need. Potato Expo is scheduled for Jan. 10-12 at Rosen Shingle Creek, and will be followed by the NPC’s annual meeting Jan. 12-13. NPC will solicit donations from guests at the event, aiming to fund at least 2,000 Hi-Five Kids Packs, which are provided by Second Harvest of Central Florida to keep children who qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches fed during weekends and breaks. The packs contain cereal, milk, juice, fruit cups and shelf-stable potato products. Potato Expo co-chairman Jim Tiede, a farmer from American Falls, Idaho, said the Eastern Idaho dehydrated potato manufacturers Idahoan Foods and Basic American Foods have donated potato products for the packs. More

Yellow-fleshed, ‘golden’ potato delivers bounty of vitamins A and E

'Golden' potato delivers bounty of vitamins A and EAn experimental yellow-fleshed, “golden” potato could hold the power to prevent disease and death in developing countries where residents rely heavily upon the starchy food for sustenance, new research suggests. A serving of the yellow-orange lab-engineered potato has the potential to provide as much as 42 percent of a child’s recommended daily intake of vitamin A and 34 percent of a child’s recommended intake of vitamin E, according to a recent study co-led by researchers at The Ohio State University. Women of reproductive age could get 15 percent of their recommended vitamin A and 17 percent of recommended vitamin E from that same 5.3 ounce (150 gram) serving, the researchers concluded. The study appears in the journal PLOS ONE. The golden potato, which is not commercially available, was metabolically engineered in Italy by a team that collaborated with study lead Mark Failla, professor emeritus of human nutrition at Ohio State. More

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-11-golden-potato-bounty-vitamins.html#jCp

US fresh produce company unveils its first low-carb potato

Potandon Produce has released a new CarbSmart potato, developed with lower carbohydrate levels. Officials say the product is an example of new choices in the fresh category helping to strengthen fresh-potato sales. Potandon Produce has released a new potato variety making a counter-intuitive marketing claim for a starchy vegetable. Officials say the product is an example of new choices in the fresh category helping to strengthen fresh potato sales. The Idaho Falls-based company unveiled its first low-carbohydrate potato Oct. 19 during the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit convention in New Orleans. Potandon boasts its CarbSmart potato has 55 percent fewer carbohydrates than rice or pasta. Ralph Schwartz, the company’s vice president of sales, marketing and innovation, believes the product will continue a recent trend of convenient, colorful and innovative specialty products strengthening sales in the long-stagnant fresh potato category. “We’ve been working on it for several years,” Schwartz said, explaining this is the pilot for what could become a broader line of potatoes bred for specific health attributes. More

Low carb potato variety wins New Zealand Food Award

Image result for LotatoesT&G’s Lotatoes has won The Ministry for Primary Industries Primary Sector Products Award at the 2017 New Zealand Food Awards. The category promotes, recognizes and showcases innovations in primary sector products, processing and packaging methods. Lotatoes came out on top with the judges being particularly impressed with the process used to naturally breed and sustainably grow the lower carbohydrate and fewer calorie potato that’s taken New Zealand by storm. “Lotatoes is a high-quality and delicious potato, sustainably grown right here in New Zealand by passionate farmers loved by kiwi consumers. We’re extremely proud of Lotatoes win at the 2017 New Zealand Food Awards,” says Andrew Keaney, executive general manager, T&G who accepted the top award. This potato, with 40% less carbs and fewer calories than other potato varieties, was developed by cross-breeding different varieties of potato seeds together. More

New Zealanders could soon be eating crisps and chips made from GE potatoes

New Zealanders could soon be eating crisps and hot chips made from GE potatoes, with little idea of the added health risks from genetic engineering. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), which has just approved six new lines of GE potatoes for human consumption, has breached its duty of care to consumers, says the Soil & Health Association. Last week the Trans-Tasman food regulator released its decision approving the sale of food derived from potatoes that have been genetically engineered for disease resistance to foliar late blight, reduced blackspot bruising and reduced acrylamide potential. The potatoes are aimed at fast food outlets and the frozen chip and crisps market. “FSANZ has a legal requirement to protect the health and safety of people in Australia and New Zealand through the maintenance of a safe food supply,” says Soil & Health chair Graham Clark. “By approving these potato lines without sufficient evidence to prove that they are safe to eat, FSANZ has effectively breached this legal requirement.” More

Experts reveal how you can survive a one-year potato diet

One year on, he still likes potatoes.Last year, Andrew Taylor ate nothing but potatoes. The Victorian man in Australia told news.com.au in December he embarked on the extreme diet to combat his addiction to food, and he lost 50kg over 12 months. When he started, he weighed 151.7kg, and he spent his days eating deep-fried food, ice cream, cake, chocolate and pizza. “I had a realisation I was a food addict and it got me thinking about how if you’re an alcoholic you quit alcohol, or a drug addict you quit drugs,” he said. “You can’t quit food, but I wanted to get as close as possible and wondered if there was one particular food I could eat and potatoes came up best.“ No competent doctor in the world would prescribe such a restricted eating plan — Australian health guidelines promote eating a balanced diet of carbohydrates, vegetables, fruit, dairy and fats — but experts say the plan actually isn’t all bad. “For the money and your blood pressure, you can’t beat a traditional baked spud,” says Joan Salge Blake, a clinical nutrition professor at Boston University. More

Research: Whole food, purple potatoes may help prevent colon cancer

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Eating purple potatoes could reduce the risk of developing colon cancer, according to a new study. Pigs fed the vegetables found levels of a damaging protein that fuels tumours and other inflammatory bowel diseases were reduced by six times. Researchers say other colorful fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli and red grapes, could bring the same beneficial effects. The study in pigs by an international team of researchers found purple fleshed potatoes suppressed the spread of colon cancer stem cells – even as part of a high calorie diet. Both uncooked and baked potatoes had similar effects. According to Jairam K.P. Vanamala, associate professor of food sciences, Penn State, white potatoes may have helpful compounds, but the purple potatoes have much greater concentrations of these anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant compounds. More

Taiwanese french fry suppliers to be checked amid food concerns

Taiwan’s health authorities will conduct stringent checks of potato suppliers after reports that French fries served at fast food restaurants were found with green patches. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official Cheng Wei-chih said that potatoes can turn green due to exposure to enough light. However, consuming a large amount of green potato can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea as it often contains a toxic chemical called solanine. No regulations regarding the maximum level of solanine are imposed yet, Cheng added. The scoop of green-tinted potatoes was first posted online by a user of PTT, the largest terminal-based bulletin board system (BBS) in Taiwan. He wrote that his tongue felt weird when he was eating potato wedges at McDonald’s and he found there was a green tint in the food. McDonald’s later responded that the company has adopted strict control measures requiring suppliers and workers to remove green potatoes. More