New potato varieties enter the market

03/10/2014 03:42:00 PM
Melissa Shipman

With the rise of specialty potatoes in the retail world, several new varieties are emerging in the race to find new favorite options for retail and processing application.

One variety, MonDak Gold, is nearing the retail market, according to Chuck Stadick, potato consultant with Spud Viking Potato Consulting, Caldwell, Idaho.

The new, branded potato variety, named for its desired growing region, was developed by Christian Thill of the University of Minnesota, and is thought to be an improvement over Yukon gold.

“We were looking for a yellow-flesh variety that would process better, store longer and avoid the internal defects common to the Yukon gold,” Stadick said.

Stadick said the variety fries well and has less shrink. It also has very low acrylamides compared to the russet burbank and other varieties.

MonDak Gold is still in its first year of commercial production. It has been under seed generation for the past several years.

“Consumers will probably be able to see a little bit of this variety on the East Coast in the spring and summer,” Stadick said. “Hopefully it will be accepted by the market so we can expand it next year.”

After the testing period, growers should be able to generate enough seed to supply a commercial crop.

Enander Seed Farm in Grenora, N.D., has been working on the mini-tubers and first generation potatoes. The potatoes were sent to Countryside Seed Co. of Alliance, Neb., this year to grow the second generation, according to a news release.

“We’ve been cooperating and testing both North Dakota State University and University of Minnesota breeding lines for 15 years,” Jerry Bergman, director of the Williston Research Extension Center at North Dakota State University, said in the release.

Stadick is very optimistic about the variety.

“In all the testing we’ve done so far, it has either met or exceeded the russet. This will be a good variety for processing and fresh uses,” he said.

Potandon’s Klondike Royale

Potandon Produce LLC, Idaho Falls, Idaho, introduced the Klondike Royale potato, a yellow-skin variety with purple markings, according to Barbara Keckler, marketing manager.

It has a creamy yellow flesh, and is suitable for grilling, frying, baking, roasting or mashing.

Potandon will have the variety available in a 3-pound matte-finish upright pouch bag, or a 10-pound poly bag.

“This is a perfect offering for retailers to offer out to their consumers a whole new look to the potato aisle,” Keckler said.



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