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"Ivory Crisp" Potato Makes Tasty Chips

by Marcia Wood, ARS News Service

potato chip

Your favorite potato chips might be made from "Ivory Crisp," an excellent potato from university scientists and their Agricultural Research Service colleagues. ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.

Ivory Crisp's compact, round shape makes it perfect for slicing into delicious chips. When fried, as part of the chip-making process, Ivory Crisp chips brown evenly to a light-golden color.

The secret? Ivory Crisp has a good balance of starch to sugar. This favorable ratio helps prevent the unattractive dark spots and burnt flavor that can occur when frying potatoes with a higher amount of sugar.

What's more, Ivory Crisp keeps its desirable ratio of starch to sugar even during cold storage. Most "chipping" potatoes spend at least some time in cold storage before they're needed for processing into chips. Cool temperatures help inhibit rot and other diseases, and thwart unwanted sprouting. But those temperatures also have the undesirable effect of enhancing the natural conversion of starch to sugar.

That means, before they're made into chips, some potatoes have to be reconditioned, to reduce the amount of accumulated sugar. But Ivory Crisp needs little or no reconditioning. This feature cuts costs and helps keep a more even supply of chipping potatoes ready for use.

Ivory Crisp originated from a seedling produced in North Dakota's potato breeding program. In Oregon, it was selected for further study in that state and for tests in Idaho, Oregon and Washington as well. Last year, scientists determined that Ivory Crisp was ready to offer to growers.

Plant geneticist Richard G. Novy of the ARS Small Grains and Potato Research Unit, Aberdeen, Idaho, and the other co-developers of Ivory Crisp reported their work earlier this year in the American Journal of Potato Research.


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