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Texas A&M Potato Breeding Program looks at French fry, chipping and fresh markets

New potato varieties created by the Texas A&M Potato Breeding Program might be entering the French fry market soon. Isabel Vales, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife potato breeder in the Department of Horticultural Sciences in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences said about the subject: “We are quite excited about a light russet experimental potato clone that has a very special feature: a high percentage of starch and high gravity even under the very stressful high-temperature conditions in Texas. I think the French fry processing market, for which Texas has not released any processing russets, is a possibility.”

The potato’s experimental identification is COTX08063-2Ru. The initial cross was made in Colorado and the selection took place in Texas.

Although Texas has not really been a player in that French fry market, mainly because of the heavy competition from the Northwest, Vales added: “But also, in Texas, we cannot get the high solids required for the processing markets. Out of all of the varieties and experimental clones we evaluated over time, none of them had a high gravity. The experimental clone COTX08063-2Ru has a high specific gravity, even under high heat stress conditions in Texas, and makes very good French fries. This is the second year this clone is in the National French Fry Potato Trials.”


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