Zebra chip pathogen found in Western Canada for the first time

Image result for zebra chip imageFor the first time, evidence of the zebra chip pathogen has been found in potato fields in southern Alberta, but the University of Lethbridge’s Dr. Dan Johnson cautions against panic. “So far, the zebra chip pathogen has appeared in only small numbers of potato psyllids,” says Johnson, a bio-geography professor and coordinator of the Canadian Potato Psyllid and Zebra Chip Monitoring Network. “The number of potato psyllids in all Alberta sites is very low and many sample cards have found no evidence of the potato psyllid insect. Zebra chip does not normally become a problem unless the potato psyllids are found in much higher numbers than are currently being found in Canada.” An infected potato psyllid insect carries the Lso (Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum) pathogen that can cause zebra chip disease in potato crops. Zebra chip has affected potato crops in the United States, Mexico and New Zealand and caused millions of dollars in losses. Potatoes with zebra chip develop unsightly dark lines when fried, making affected potatoes unsellable. More

Uganda: GMO potatoes expected to reach store shelves in 2020

Scientists say the first batch of locally grown genetically modified potatoes will be on sale in Ugandan retail markets in 2020. Dr Alex Barekye, the director of Kachwekano Zonal Agriculture Research Institute in the western district of Rubanda, said agricultural biotechnology research on potatoes is underway to create a genetically modified variety that will be resistant to diseases. Barekye said three trials have been conducted on the Victoria potato variety and so far, tests did not find any disease, yet the yield is high. “When we look at all the products in the GMO line and look at the duration of the crop, I think potatoes will be the first GMO crop to be commercially available in Uganda. We have conducted three trials and found that the disease is not there. The yield is good and there is nothing that has changed,” Dr. Barekye told The Observer in an interview during the World Food day celebrations in Rubanda on October 16. More

Report: 5 Key insights on the frozen potato market through 2022

global-frozen-potato-market.jpgAccording to a new study by Fact.MR,  global frozen potato market for frozen potato is estimated to bring in US$ 60,109.5 million revenue by 2022 end. The market is projected to register moderate growth of 4.0% CAGR during the forecast period 2017-2022. The growing business of quick service restaurants and increase in disposable income of consumers are some of the key factors fuelling the growth of the frozen potato market globally. Manufacturers are focusing on using advanced technology for refrigeration at the right temperature, thereby preserving frozen potato for a longer period of time. Some insights discussed in the report show how the global frozen potato market will perform in the next five years. Europe is expected to dominate the global frozen potato market, and North America is expected to emerge as the second most lucrative market. By the end of 2022, modern trade is projected to exceed US$ 25,100 million revenue. More

From zero to hero: Increasing potato waste value 10,000-fold

From zero to hero: Increasing potato waste value 10,000-foldThe least valuable part of potato residue that currently goes to landfill could increase in value 10,000-fold, say the Danish researchers transforming them into natural additives. The aim of the project, which is being coordinated by Technical University of Denmark, is to develop tools that scan potato residues for protein sequences with properties that could be used to produce additives. These proteins could be used to make a range of natural food additives from preservatives and flavouring agents to emulsifiers, the researchers said. Currently, however, many of them are being used for low-value animal feed or simply being thrown out as waste. One of the challenges will be to develop an extraction process that is cost efficient and effective. The project, dubbed PROVIDE (Protein valorization through informatics, hydrolysis, and separation), will run for the next five years with a budget of DKK 21 million, two thirds of which comes from investment from Innovation Fund Denmark. Five companies have already signed up to the project, one of which is KMC Ingredients. More

US: Spud breeders focus on PCN-resistant russets

John O’Connell/Capital Press
Rich Novy, right, a potato breeder with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Aberdeen, Idaho, saves breeding clones crossed from an Irish parent with late blight resistance while evaluating more than 100,000 first-year “single hill” clones Sept. 28 in trials hosted in Aberdeen.A project underway in Aberdeen, Idaho, aims to develop russet potatoes with resistance to pale cyst nematode, while identifying new molecular markers associated with resistance. Researchers with the local potato breeding program harvested a special block of first-year clones on Sept. 29, screened for their ability to help the industry cope with potato cyst nematode. The block contained a half dozen plants from each of 223 breeding clones resulting from crosses of Western Russet and Eden, a round Scottish variety with known resistance to potato cyst nematode. Joe Kuhl, a University of Idaho associate professor of plant genetics, will also use clones from the plot in genetic mapping research to identify new genes associated with PCN resistance. Kuhl said he’s midway through a five-year project focused on breeding PCN-resistant russets, funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. More

Major Dutch potato companies and organizations establish new research association

Ten Dutch potato companies as well as organizations have established a new association: Holland Innovative Potato (HIP), with the goal to facilitate research which leads to higher quality, yield and efficiency in the cultivation, transport and processing of the potato. The partnership also aims to provide insight in the genetics related to stable economic yield and quality. The members of HIP are Avebe, Aviko, Farm Frites, McCain, Lamb Weston Meijer, PepsiCo, Bejo, HZPC, Meijer and Solynta and the two trade organizations NAO (trade) and VAVI (processors). HIP wants to strengthen the potato’s importance as a third food crop (after wheat and rice) in the world.  Continue reading

Study: World may run out of several potato, coffee, and cacao species by 2055

Image result for wild potato speciesA recent study has linked global warming to depleting food sources as scientists claimed different species of potatoes, coffee and cacao plants faced the risk of extinction due to rising temperatures. Up to 22 percent of wild potato species were predicted to become extinct by 2055 due to climate change and misuse of pesticides. In Ghana and Ivory Coast, where the raw ingredient for 70 percent of world’s chocolate is grown, cacao trees will not be able to survive as temperatures rise by 2 degrees centigrade over the next 40 years, the study claimed. Bioversity International, a group of expert scientists, has said that the “sixth mass extinction” was already under way and a total of 940 animal and plant species were facing extinction worldwide.  Continue reading

New report: Global Potato Fryers Market Research Report 2017 to 2022

Image result for Potato FryerThe newly published Global Potato Fryers Market Research Report 2017 to 2022 presents an in-depth assessment of the Potato Fryers Market including enabling technologies, key trends, market drivers, challenges, and more. This study answers several questions for stakeholders, primarily which market segments they should focus on during the next five years to prioritize their efforts and investments. Stakeholders include potato fryer manufacturers such as Flo-Mech, Heat and Control, JBT, Kiremko, EMA Europe, Wintech Taparia, and several others. The research includes historic data from 2012 to 2016 and forecasts until 2022. The study was conducted using an objective combination of primary and secondary information including inputs from key participants in the industry. The report contains a comprehensive market and vendor landscape in addition to a SWOT analysis of the key vendors. More

Israeli scientists develop more nutritious, colorful potatoes

FeaturedImage_2017-08-24_Flickr_Purple_Potatoes_5087912635_3f0480714e_bAre you ready for violet-colored potatoes? How about orange tobacco? Researchers at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science have figured out how to produce betalain pigments in plants and flowers that don’t normally have them. If you’re thinking, “Who needs violet tomatoes?” you should know that red-violet and yellow betalain pigments contain healthful antioxidant properties. They’re also the basis for natural food dyes for products such as strawberry yogurt. Antioxidant activity is 60 percent higher in betalain-producing tomatoes than in average ones, said Prof. Asaph Aharoni of Weizmann’s Plant and Environmental Sciences Department, who teamed up with Dr. Guy Polturak for the pigment research. “Our findings may in the future be used to fortify a wide variety of crops with betalains in order to increase their nutritional value,” he said. More

Studies show increase of global market for processed potato products

Reports made by research companies show the increase of the global market for processed potato products. Although the increase is not high, it has been a steady one in the past three years. PotatoBusiness.com analyzed two reports regarding the potato chips market and frozen finger potato chips. The global potato chips market will grow at a CAGR of 4.58% during the period 2017-2021, according to the “Global Potato Chips Market 2017-2021” report recently launched by Research and Markets. The latest trend gaining momentum in the market is the innovative product offerings. Manufacturers of potato chips are tapping on the heavy demand for health foods by offering chips made from healthy ingredients. The demand for functional and non-GMO ingredients is high due to the rising cases of obesity, diabetes, gluten allergy, and other maladies. 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

Potatoes South Australia wins grant to develop vodka from waste potato peelings

In an effort to combat food waste, Potatoes South Australia has teamed up with the University of Adelaide and Adelaide Hills Distillery to make vodka from potato skins. Robbie Davis, chief executive officer of Potatoes SA, said at a national level, food loss in the agricultural industry — pre farm gate — was $3 billion annually. “But the horticulture component of that is $1.8 billion dollars annually, and potatoes are the biggest contributor,” she said. Potatoes South Australia received $30,000 for the project from the State Government. Ms Davis said although whole potatoes were already used to make vodka, they hoped to determine if a premium SA spirit could be made using only waste potato peel. “Having gone to lots of processing plants — what is happening to the skins? Why shouldn’t we try and use them for something?” she said. “The potential is just phenomenal. We want to do a comparison between different varieties of potatoes and their skins, and we will also do a comparison with whole potatoes.” More

Mexico: Zebra Chip-tolerant potatoes for the fresh market identified

Over the past few years, the potato production of US, Mexico, New Zealand and Central America has been under threat by Zebra Chip (ZC), a disease associated with the Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum bacteria, vectored by the potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli). The disease turns part of the amide in soluble sugars so, when potatoes are cooked, sugars caramelise and streaks appear. Of course ZC is currently monitored with pesticides, but sustainable defence requires the development of resistant and/or tolerant varieties. Entomologists from the University of California Riverside, together with researchers from INIFAP (Mexico), characterised four promising potato lines (246, 865, 510, NAU) exposed to Cls-positive adult psyllids and monitored the vector’s behaviour towards the plants and the effects of the bacteria on the tubers. The potato lines were compared to ZC-susceptible variety Atlantic. More

Canadian students try to give lowly potato peel a future in furniture

Mount Allison research studentsA company started by six Mount Allison students in the province of New Brunswick in Canada, sees a place for potato peels in furniture, flooring and ceiling tiles. Enviroot’s goal is to reduce waste by using food remains, especially potato peelings, to make a safe material for use in the home. The company received a national business prize of $20,000 from Enactus Canada, a student-led entrepreneurial organization, and the McCain Social Enterprise Project Partnership to get the project going this summer. “We use the potato peels that we get from McCain Foods here in New  Brunswick in our particle board as a kind of filler,” said Justin Trueman, Enviroot CEO and fourth-year biology student. The potato peels are plasticized by melting them a little bit, and a bond between the potato peels’ particles is created. “When we found out there was a partnership available through Enactus Canada and McCain Foods, we started thinking about how we can make something viable out of something McCain has to offer,” Trueman said. More

French fries – Friend or foe?

That strip of golden goodness, that salty and crisp fried chip of a potato that makes burgers better, steaks superb and, generally, a meal magnificent. That’s what many of us think and feel about the French fry, frites or Belgian frieten, writes Andre Erasmus. But is it so, particularly the ’golden goodness’ part? Not according to the European Union and many food scientists. Acrylamide, says the EU, is ‘a carcinogenic substance that forms from naturally present free asparagine (amino acid) and sugars during high temperature processing, such as frying, particularly in potato-based products’. And this, obviously, would be bad news for the global potato industry, affecting both growers and processors. This follows some research in 2002 which showed a disposition towards cancer after consuming fried potato products. But Emma Shields, at charity Cancer Research UK, says: “Although evidence from animal studies has shown that acrylamide in food could be linked to cancer, this link isn’t clear and consistent in humans.” More