National Chip Processing Trial: growers identified a critical need for chip potato cultivars that maintain quality in storage through May. A second focus on heat-tolerant varieties for use in Southern states as added subsequently.
Project planning began in 2008. Approximately 200 early generation clones in non-replicated trials at 10 locations were evaluted in 2011 and 2012. Additional sites in OR and TX were added for the 2012-2013 trial. Clones were evaluated for tuber appearance, sugar content, chip color, and specific gravity. Data were discussed at the 2011 Potato Breeding and Genetics Technical Committee meeting and promising clones were advanced to the USPB/SFA (Snack Food Association) trial for in depth evaluation. The USPA/SFA trial had 15 clones at 11 locations in 2011-2012 and 16 clones at 13 locations in 2012-2013. Clones from this trial with greatest potential for meeting goals established by industry were processed into chips at commercial plants operated by Barrel O’Fun Snacks, Better Made Snack Food, Inventure Foods, Kettle, Shearers Foods, and Utz Quality Foods and used for taste tests and acrylamide determinations. Taste test data are highly encouraging in that panelists were unable to taste differences between established varieties and new clones in most cases.