Agronomic and storage factors affecting acrylamide formation in processed potatoes

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Agronomic and storage factors affecting acrylamide formation in processed potatoes


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Acrylamide has been classified as a probable human carcinogen with neurological and reproductive effects. The compound is formed from reducing sugars and asparagine in the Maillard reaction during high-temperature processing, such as frying, baking and roasting. Among all foods containing acrylamide, fried potato products have been shown to be the highest contributors. Therefore, lowering acrylamide concentration in French fries and chips is a priority for the potato industry. The overall objective of this research is to determine effects of nitrogen (N) rate on tuber yield, tuber quality and acrylamide formation of recently developed potato cultivars, relative to the standard cultivars during the growing season and storage. The first experiment determined the effect of N rate on tuber yield and tuber quality at harvest, and on tuber glucose concentrations and acrylamide concentrations in French fries and chips during storage at 7.2 ºC. New cultivars Alpine Russet, Dakota Trailblazer and Ivory Crisp were compared to conventional cultivars Russet Burbank and Snowden over two years. The new cultivars had similar or higher marketable yields than standard cultivars, which quadratically increased with greater N rate and optimized at 231 kg ha-1 in 2011 and 319 kg ha-1 in 2012. Critical petiole nitrate-N concentrations 50 and 70 days after planting for all cultivars were greater in 2012 than in 2011, suggesting that interpretation of critical values can be affected by growing conditions. Alpine Russet and Ivory Crisp had specific gravities suitable for commercial processing and low hollow heart incidence at all N rates. Dakota Trailblazer had high hollow heart incidence (greater than 10 % at N rates above 125 kg ha-1), and excessively high specific gravity, making it undesirable for processing but with potential to be a parent in a breeding program. In chip cultivars, glucose and acrylamide concentrations linearly decreased in 2011, and quadratically increased then decreased with greater N rates in 2012. The effect of N rate on French fry glucose concentrations varied with cultivar. Russet Burbank and Alpine Russet glucose concentrations decreased with increasing N rate, while they were not affected by N rate in Dakota Trailblazer. Glucose and acrylamide concentrations of chip cultivars generally increased during storage, while they were not changed, increased or decreased depending on year in the French fry cultivars. While N supply and storage time can affect acrylamide concentrations in fried potato products, the direction of response will depend upon cultivar and growing conditions, which often precludes the ability to predict effects on acrylamide formation. The second experiment determined the effects of N rate on tuber yield, tuber quality, reducing sugars and asparagine concentrations during the growing season, glucose and acrylamide concentration during storage, and the relationships between acrylamide and its precursors for Dakota Russet and Easton compared to standard cultivar Russet Burbank over two years. Highest yield was produced by Easton, followed by Russet Burbank and then Dakota Russet in both years. New cultivars had less hollow heart tubers than Russet Burbank when environmental conditions were favorable for hollow heart formation. Dakota Russet and Easton had lower stem end reducing sugars than Russet Burbank at harvest under contrasting environmental conditions. Easton had lower asparagine concentrations at the stem and bud ends than Dakota Russet and Russet Burbank at harvest. Nitrogen rate effects were significant for yield, specific gravity and asparagine concentration, but these parameters were sometimes influenced by sampling times and environmental conditions. The effect of storage time on glucose concentrations was significant, but differed by cultivar and year. When the potato crop experienced cold stress before harvest in 2014, higher stem end glucose concentration accumulated and then decreased during storage for all cultivars. However, in a growing season with minimal stress, stem end glucose concentrations either increased or did not significantly change after 32 weeks of storage depending on cultivar, while bud end glucose stayed at the same level for all cultivars. At 16 weeks of storage at 7.8 °C, acrylamide concentration linearly increased with increasing N rate. French fries produced from Dakota Russet and Easton contained significantly lower acrylamide concentrations than those produced from Russet Burbank both years. Glucose concentrations were positively correlated with acrylamide concentration with an R2 = 0.61. Asparagine concentrations measured in tubers at harvest were also correlated with acrylamide concentration (R2 = 0.37), when the ratio of asparagine/glucose was less than 1.06. These relationships suggest that in addition to tuber glucose and asparagine, other factors are involved with acrylamide formation in fried potato products.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2017. Major: Soil Science. Advisor: Carl Rosen. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 141 pages.

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Sun, Na. (2017). Agronomic and storage factors affecting acrylamide formation in processed potatoes. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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