Vol.3 ISSUE 2 Spring 2011
The chipping potato National Chip Processor Trials (NCPT) program held their first program review meeting in Chicago. In attendance were the numerous researchers, breeders and program cooperators that have taken the chipping industry variety development program into the national spotlight with a national focus versus the traditional regional or state focus.
This Chicago meeting was the first time NCPT cooperators met with data now available from the summer and fall 2010 trials that were planted in eight different locations across the southern and northern production areas. The NCPT group reviewed the program, suggested potential ways to improve on last year’s results, reviewed data from all the variety trials, made selections for 2011 trials and selected some new varieties for the fast track program. One of the principle goals of the meeting was to identify some high potential southern clones to enter into the fast track seed program.
For more information on the NCPT, please contact David Parish, USPB Chip Program Manager, at 214-674-8567 or email@example.com.
David Parish, USPB Chip Program Manager announced, “Two high potential fast track varieties, CO95051 and W2133, have now expanded to semi-commercial production in Washington, Michigan, Wisconsin, Idaho and Texas. These varieties show potential for improving finished product quality, both from the field and throughout long-term storage. Consumer testing of CO95051 has been positive, and acrylamide levels late in the storage season have been exceptionally low.”
Three loads of CO95051 and W2133 were shipped from R&G Potato in American Falls, ID, to Poore Brothers’ manufacturing facility in Goodyear, AZ. The following information is the result of observations taken when the loads were processed.
This information represents the first commercial process run for W2133. CO95051 has several years of information available from work done by the Michigan Potato Growers. Both of these varieties were reported to be better than average in quality and processing capability for this time of the season.
“A special thank you to all of the individuals that make these reports possible,” noted Parish. “They are numerous, and we do not wish to leave anyone intentionally off the list but want to extend a special thank you to R&G Potato, Poore Brothers/Inventure Group, Charlie Higgins, University of Wisconsin and Colorado State University.”
Raw Grade Observations:
Specific gravity was 1.095. No internal defects were present with the exception of two very large potatoes that had hollow heart. No external potato defects were observed. There was a small amount of greening in the load. The potato size was excellent for chip production with the majority of the potatoes in the 2.5-3.5 inch range with very few under 1.5 inches or over 4 inches. The potatoes were very round with shallow eyes. There was a good skin set. Potatoes peeled easily due to the round shape and shallow eyes.
Specific gravity was 1.090. A small amount of necrosis was noticed inside some of the tubers. The defect was observed in the finished product as well. External defects were minimal with shatter bruising representing the observable defect. The potato size was smaller than the CO95051; most of the potatoes were in the 2-3 inch range. There were no potatoes over 4 inches, very few over 3.5 inches. Both varieties were planted late and killed early by a frost. The potatoes were round with shallow eyes. The potatoes peeled easily due to shape and shallow eyes.
The potatoes were processed on both kettle and continuous fryers. There were no internal or external defects observed. Defects were recorded as a zero. Agtron color was a 59 on kettle and 60 on the continuous line. It was noted color and quality were better than recent loads. No process defects were observed through either process. There were no noticeable taste or texture issues on either process.
The potatoes were processed on both kettle and continuous fryers. There were no external defects observed, internal defects were observed due to the necrosis in the raw tubers. Total defects from two tests on the continuous line were 3.5 and 5.3%. Agtron color was 63 on the continuous line. No process defects were observed through either process. There were no noticeable taste or texture issues on either process.
Finished product from both varieties was collected along with a check variety. This material will be sent to the University of Wisconsin for analysis on consumer acceptability and will be made available upon completion of the consumer testing.
Both of these varieties will be stored in Idaho to monitor their storage capability. Sugars, color and defects will be collected over the storage season. The remaining storage volume will be shipped later in the storage season.
To kick-off a week long Reverse Trade Mission (RTM), an International Chip-Stock Symposium was held for RTM participants and US growers. Five grower/shippers attended the symposium, along with representatives from snack manufacturing companies in Vietnam, Malaysia, Central America, Japan and Thailand.
During the symposium information was given by each country on their local potato production, their snack market, potato chips and each of the participating snack companies. These presentations gave US attendees, as well as other country RTM participants, more information about these target markets. Presentations were also given on the US chip industry and US variety development work, the identification and control of post harvest rot, maintaining US potato quality, US chipping potato varieties, supply and demand, contracting and market access. Providing an opportunity for US growers to meet and learn about these international snack manufacturers, the symposium provided a chance for manufacturers to interact with and learn about US growers, leading, at some point in the future, to net new sales of US chip-stock.
Following the International Chip-Stock Symposium, the group of 17 RTM participants from seven countries traveled to Washington and Idaho to tour growing areas. During the tours the group visited fields, dug potatoes and saw harvest. The group was also able to see potatoes from the field being washed, dried, inspected, packed and loaded into totes or into containers in bulk. Participants walked through the production line and learned first-hand more about grading, washing and the prevention of bruising, while inspectors were able to answer questions about how export requirements are met. Demonstrations were given on measuring specific gravity, sugars and fry testing, giving participants a good look at how growers monitor their product to ensure high quality potatoes are shipped. Looking at full storage facilities also gave the participants a good understanding about how storages are controlled to maintain potato quality throughout the year.
During the week, tours were conducted at the Aberdeen Research and Extension Center where the group learned about potato variety development and toured the lab and greenhouse. Participants were impressed with the work going into variety development and were excited to see the greenhouse and hear about the breeding process. A tour was also given of Shearer’s Foods, during which the group walked through the tortilla and potato chip lines to learn about processing techniques. This gave foreign manufacturers an opportunity to see a US plant and ask the plant manager questions about efficiency and reducing loss. The visit also generated strong interest in importing finished chips.
Overall, this was a very successful RTM for the USPB International Chip-Stock Marketing Team. The Japanese participants were very interested in importing finished chips and were looking for suppliers to purchase chipping potatoes from storage during the winter months. The Vietnam and Central American manufacturers were happy to learn about US potatoes from the visit and learned a lot from other participants by hearing of their experiences using US potatoes.
Some of the Central American participants talked with growers about possible future purchases. The groups from Thailand and Malaysia were interested in learning about new varieties of chipping potatoes they haven’t previously used in their plants and talked about future purchases also.
Judging by the very strong interest, this single RTM may very well have laid the foundation for not only net new sales of US chip-stock, but of finished product and the potential establishment of long-standing foreign customers very satisfied with the quality of US chip-stock.
A total of 1,909 metric tons of fresh US chipping potatoes were shipped to Japan during the February–June 2010 shipping window. The 88 containers all arrived in Hiroshima during June 2010 and were processed. The importer reports quality was very good and there were no issues at the port. Hopefully, this successful shipping season will lead to even larger exports; however, serious increases in exports to Japan will require improvements in the market access agreement, which the US industry is working cooperatively to address.
The Japanese chip manufacturer, Calbee, satisfactorily received all of the shipments totaling 1,909 metric tons, the largest ever. With a smaller than average crop in Japan, these US potatoes are the key to being able to operate the plant during the summer months.
The USPB and US industry have worked with Calbee for quite some time, so their understanding of the benefits of US chipping potatoes is high, such that they now look to the US when local potato supplies are insufficient to meet their needs—just another example of the USPB identifying relationships with the greatest potential for US exports and carefully cultivating those relationships over time.
It only took four years following the PCN find, but Korea has finally reinstated Idaho as an eligible state for shipping fresh table-stock and chip-stock potatoes. This success came as the result of a concerted effort on the part of the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC), National Potato Council (NPC) and the USPB through the national “phytosanitary initiative”, which hires Bryant Christie Inc., to work on fresh and seed potato market access issues.
The direct negotiations with the Korean government were handled by USDA/APHIS and the Idaho Department of Agriculture, and we appreciate their efforts. The final effort in convincing the Korean’s that potatoes from Idaho were free of PCN was a visit by an inspector from the Korean Ministry of Agriculture. He spent a week viewing the quarantine areas, witnessing samples being taken and learning about all of the efforts that have gone on since the small find was initially reported. This visit was paid for with Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) funding secured by the USPB for hosting foreign government officials.
©2011 United States Potato Board