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The Furrow – Superb Spuds

There’s a quiet revolution going on in dozens of potato fields — a new wave of genetically modified crops with consumer benefits.

First marketed in 2015, the first generation of J.R. Simplot’s Innate potatoes silences PPO genes that lead to bruising and browning. Another trait reduces the production of asparagine, which produces acrylamide — a possible carcinogen — when potatoes and other foods are cooked at high heat.

This spring, a couple thousand acres of the second generation are likely to be planted, too. In addition to lower bruising and acrylamide, Generation 2 Innate potatoes contain genes that confer late blight resistance and produce lower levels of reducing sugars, which allows the potatoes to be stored at cooler temperatures.

Attractive spud. By reducing browning and bruising, the White Russets yield more marketable tubers in the shed. Consumers like a bright, white potato. And food service chefs appreciate the chance to reduce waste, prep their potatoes earlier, and create more fresh-cut and salad offerings.

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