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Barbara J. Daniels-Lake, Robert K. Prange, Stephanie D. Bishop, and Kimberly Hiltz

The fry color of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) stored for processing remains an important quality characteristic that can be affected by many factors, including ethylene gas from various sources and the interaction of very low concentrations of ethylene gas (less than 1 μL·L−1) and accumulated CO2. Because previous studies show that pretreatment with 1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP) can substantially reduce fry color darkening attributable to applied ethylene, we hypothesized that 1-MCP could also reduce fry color darkening attributable to the interaction of ethylene and CO2. Trials were conducted over two storage seasons, using ‘Russet Burbank’ tubers, either untreated or treated with 0.5 μL·L−1 ethylene gas ± 2 kPa CO2 and ± 1-MCP. Tubers exposed to ethylene gas had darker fry color than untreated tubers, whereas the fry color of tubers exposed to ethylene plus CO2 was darker still. However, the fry color of tubers pretreated with 1-MCP was as light as that of the untreated tubers. This provides a potential new tool for the potato industry to manage potato fry color of stored processing potatoes.