Study: Consumers in Spain prefer fresh potatoes; buy potato products also via e-commerce channels

Image result for la patata frescaAccording to a news story published by the Spanish website Argenpapa, consumers in Spain bought a total of 1,32 million kilos of potatoes during March 2016 and March 2017 – 6.3 million kilos more than in the same time period for the previous year. This translates into an increase of 87 million euros. A study done by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment in Spain found that consumers prefer fresh potatoes, a segment that represents more than 70% of total potato consumption, or 22 kilos per person annually. The average consumption of all potato products (including processed) is about 30 kilos per person per year. Households with single and retired adults have the highest consumption rates, which stand at an average of 41 and 43 kilos per person per year respectively. The study further found that potatoes and potato products bought by Spanish consumers through e-commerce channels grew by 21% since 2016. Read the full story in Spanish

Smell is an important part of snacking, study finds

Image result for mccain smell

Smelling McCain’s jacket potatoes at a bus shelter…

Aroma is an essential component of the snacking experience for millennials, and many want their food products to immediately emanate the smell of their central flavors, according to a recent survey published in Bakery and Snacks. The survey included 1,000 male and female participants from the U.K., Germany, France, Spain and Poland. Food and beverage manufacturers have long known that consumers eat with all five senses. Pringles performed an experiment where they played the sound of different chips crunching for consumers. The brand determined that the sound a chip makes when broken was a strong indicator of whether it was stale or fresh. Pringles used that feedback to modify its chips’ texture, as well as its packaging and marketing campaigns, to reinforce the sound of fresh chips. Food manufacturers such as McCain Food have also leveraged product aroma in order to create multi-sensory experiences for their consumers. Continue reading

Storage Technology: Innovative new sensor nominated for Award

The Tolsma-Grisnich storage technology company developed a unique temperature sensor to measure the temperature at different locations and heights within a bulk potato storage facility. The product, in essence a 5 meter long cable, is said to measure temperature differences quite accurately at different locations, and the developers figure that the device provide storage managers with more fine-tuned control over temperature regulation in a storage facility. More measurements closer to each other can be obtained. It is easy to install multiple sensor cables whilst a storage bin is being filled during loading operations. The product has been nominated for a Potato Europe 2017 Innovation Award. Judges reportedly called it a “beautiful forward-looking solution in storage technology, with practical application potential”. Full report in Dutch published on Agf.nl. Tolsma-Grisnich will also launch a new version of its mobile phone app for storage management during the Potato Europe 2017 event in the Netherlands in September.

New report: Global potato processing market worth $30.85 billion by 2022; frozen segment largest share in 2017

Related imageAccording to information published in a new report “Potato Processing Market – Global Forecast to 2022”, published by MarketsandMarkets™, the global potato processing market was valued at $22.74 billion in 2016, and is projected to reach $30.85 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 5.3% during the forecast period. The market for potato processing is showing a significant growth due to the rise in demand for applications such as snack foods and prepared ready meals, and because of the increase in consumer preferences for convenience foods. The authors of the Report say an increase in the number of retail channels such as hypermarkets and supermarkets; rapid growth of the fast food industry; industrialization policies (such as the FDI and the establishment of Export Processing Zones) adopted by governments of developing economies such as India and China, are also expected to drive the growth of the Potato Processing Market during the forecast period. Continue reading

China Daily: China and Scotland to build £3 million potato laboratory

Mr Liang (left) and Jonathan Snape of JHI at PiP 2016, with cans of a potato drink – manufactured by Xisen Potato Industry Group.

ChinaDaily.com reports today that Scottish potato experts have joined forces with China’s potato processor Xisen Potato Industry Group to create a 3 million-pound ($3.87 million) potato research facility in Shandong Province. Xisen and the Chinese government will fund the lab which will be run in collaboration with potato scientists from the James Hutton Institute, an agricultural research center based in Dundee, Scotland. The announcement of the new lab follows a visit to the Potatoes in Practice event Scotland last August by Xisen Potato Industry Group founder Liang Xisen. Liang Xisen is China’s self-proclaimed “King of Potatoes” and his company is one of the largest processors of potatoes in China.  Continue reading

Irish research project funded to develop nanosensors for quick disease detection

Image result for “A vital step in addressing barley and potato crop disease is the implementation of adequate surveillance strategies so that rapid, in-field diagnosis can be made,” said Dr Alan O’Riordan, research fellow at Tyndall National Institute. Scope will develop prototype nanosensors by combining all parties’ expertise in crop pathology, immunochemistry and nanotechnology.Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork, Dublin City University and Teagasc are teaming up to research crop disease in Ireland. Backed with a €1m investment from the Department of Agriculture, a number of research institutions are looking to get to the bottom of crop disease. Ireland’s two most important crops are barley and potato, and disease poses a significant challenge to these and many other strands of agriculture. With that in mind, SCOPE, a research project addressing the issue, brings researchers from several institutions together to investigate the problem and develop an antibody-based sensor Continue reading

Global demand for french fries growing; processors expand capacity

Image result for french friesIn a news story published by the Canadian based potato magazine Spudsmart, it is said that “hot, convenient and delicious fast food” is what’s driving the growing global demand for frozen potato products such as french fries. According to the article, Bruce Huffaker, potato market analyst and publisher of North American Potato Market News, says the biggest current growth markets for french fries are Brazil and several countries in both the Pacific Rim and Middle East. While Europe offers aggressive pricing, good currency value and some transportation advantages, Huffaker says North America’s biggest advantages are quality and consistency. However, Huffaker believes North American processors need to further develop shipping lanes to some of the major markets to reduce costs.  Continue reading

Scientists around the world focus on zebra chip disease and potato tomato psyllid

Potato crisps exhibiting Zebra chipFor the past number of years, many potato researchers in several countries around the world have been focusing on the problem of zebra chip disease of potatoes, and the insect that transmit this disease to spud tubers, the potato tomato psyllid. Zebra chip became a serious problem for many potato growers and processors alike during the past few years in many potato producing countries, including North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Zebra chip is caused by the Liberibacter bacterium and spread by tiny, winged insects called potato psyllids – and it creates bands in tuber flesh that darken during frying. University of Idaho (UI) researchers are studying reflections of various light wavelengths off of zebra chip-infected potatoes, seeking to devise a quicker and more precise method of quantifying disease prevalence. Continue reading

New on Potato News Today: Podcasts of news headlines

Folks, I have created the first of future bi-weekly Podcasts, featuring of some of the news headlines published here on Potato News Today. I hope you will find this to be of value. The narrators for our first Podcast is David from the US, Haley from Australia, and Hazel from the UK. Those of you who might be interested, can listen to it on Soundcloud and also listen/watch on YouTube – please see below, or visit my YouTube channel for Potato News Podcasts  Continue reading

US: More than 500 potato growers and retailers unite on sustainability initiative

The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) announced today their mutual membership and partnership with the Potato Sustainability Initiative (PSI) to align metrics in measuring sustainability issues in the potato supply chain. TSC and PSI will work together to align sustainability metrics for over 500 potato growers and key retail partners. This partnership will also help streamline reporting by potato growers to retailers by working together to align metrics between PSI and TSC. PSI will join several agriculture initiatives currently TSC has in place to align metrics from farms to manufacturers to retailers. Dr. Christy Melhart Slay, director of research at TSC said, “TSC is very pleased to announce our partnership with PSI. Potato growers have been some of the first to create and adopt sustainability metrics. We look forward to learning from this progressive initiative.”  Continue reading

US: Potato growers do their part for soil health

Soil health is the next frontier in agriculture. While the ag industry has seen leaps in innovation in seed technology, equipment design and precision management strategies, there hasn’t been a concentrated effort to aggregate and measure the beneficial effects of innovative soil management strategies — until now. Nick Goeser, director of the Soil Health Partnership, says by managing soil’s physical, biological and nutrient aspects, practices to improve soil health can make a significant difference in yield resiliency and enhanced environmental outcomes. Additionally, improved soil health can make good business sense, too. John Keeling, vice president and executive director for the National Potato Council, said the potato industry is in the early stages of understanding soil health from a potato-centric view. Keeling notes potato growers are interested in strategies that have to do with enhancing soils to make them a part of pest management practices. More

Sweden: Good potato crop expected; consumers view potatoes as healthy

Related imageAlthough some areas are more affected than others, Lars Elofson of Svensk Potatis says that generally there was not much damage to potato crops in Sweden due to the cold weather during April / May. Most of the Swedish potato production, around 40%, takes place in the southern region of Skane. According to Elofson, potatoes are of good quality and growers are at present not expecting any serious problems to show up this season. Soloist is the most common early variety planted in Sweden, followed by other popular varieties later in the season, such as Magda and Rocket. “Organic production is still growing in Sweden, and I expect that this season it will increase by 3-5%,” Lars mentions. Continue reading

Allowing Simplot’s GMO potatoes called ‘foolhardy’ by Council of Canadians

Leo Broderick

Leo Broderick has concerns about GMO potatoes (Council of Canadians)

The Council of Canadians is pressing the provincial government to keep genetically modified potatoes out of Prince Edward Island soil. Council chair Leo Broderick questions the science behind Innate generation 2 potatoes, and added that the Island. would be better off staying away from the controversy surrounding genetically modified food. Canadian officials approve Simplot’s second generation GMO potatoes last week. Broderick noted P.E.I. is already attracting attention as a producer of genetically modified salmon. “It would be foolhardy for the province to allow genetically engineered potatoes to be grown in the province,” said Broderick. “If we add genetically engineered potatoes we will have a very poor image and that’s not the kind of image that we want for the province.”  Continue reading

Scotland: China invests £3m for new potato research lab in collaboration with James Hutton Institute

The announcement of £3 million towards a new international laboratory for scientists from Dundee and China underlines Scotland’s global reputation for potato research at the Potatoes in Practice (PiP) event. The Chinese Government and leading potato processing company,  Xisen Potato Group have committed the funds to a collaboration with James Hutton Limited (JHL) to breed new varieties and research resistance to pests and diseases, tuber storage and potato processing. The shared facility is likely to be located in China’s Shandong province. Continue reading

Global Snack Market Report: ‘Sector anticipated to register steady expansion; revenues to increase as well’

Snacks MarketThe global snacks market sector is anticipated to register a steady expansion, according to the latest report by Fact.MR. The report estimates market revenues to increase at a steady rate during the forecast period. Currently, consumers are more concerned about their snacking habits. Earlier, snacks were considered to be stop-gap food between meals. At present, they are being consumed with meals across many developed economies. This has led to a higher adoption of healthy snacking products such as extruded snacks, on the back of their metabolic benefits. Intense competition is expected to prevail in the global snacks market, owing to continuously changing spending patterns of consumers, local and national economic conditions, and demographic trends. North America is expected to remain dominant in the global snacks market in terms of revenues, while the market in Europe is expected to be in the order of US$ 4,979.2 Mn between 2017 and 2022. Supermarkets/hypermarkets is expected to remain the largest distribution channels for snacks. More