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potato mash

Science-based classification for SA potatoes

For the very first time, the eating quality of South African potatoes cultivars from different production regions has been determined and described. The research was conducted in a systematic manner using a trained sensory panel at the Agricultural Research Council at Irene, supplemented with quality tests performed by researchers at the University of Pretoria.

Says Prof Hettie Schönfeldt, University of Pretoria, “The classification system for South African potatoes, developed from these research activities, will provide consumers with information regarding the use of different cultivars of potatoes. For the very first time in South Africa we are assisting consumers to select an appropriate potato cultivar for a specific use.”

Significant research results revealed that:

• Cultivar characteristics are more pronounced than regional differences
• Different cultivars dictate different culinary uses
• All cultivars fit into three categories according to the scientific results of the study

Waxy potatoes have a higher moisture and lower starch content. During boiling these potatoes retain their shape and stay firm. Upon eating they have a pasty texture in the mouth. They are best suited to culinary uses requiring that the potato retains its shape, e.g. boiled potatoes or salad potatoes

Waxy / floury potatoes have a moderate starch and moisture content. They have a slightly floury mouth feel once cooked. They can be used for a variety of applications, including boiling, microwaving and baking

Floury potatoes have a low moisture and high starch content. They have a dry and sometimes crumbly mouth-feel once cooked. They tend to break up or slough during boiling. They are most suitable to roasting, frying, mashing and baking.

Benefit to the consumer:
• By classifying potatoes according to their culinary use we take away the risk from the consumer
• We assist you in cooking the perfect potato every time!

For further information contact:
• Prof Hettie Schonfeldt, University of Pretoria, hettie.schonfeldt@up.ac.za, Tel: 083 458 2757

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