Ongoing Research Helps Identify the Best Potatoes

Published online: Feb 25, 2020 Articles Spencer Roberts
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Source: WABI-5

Farmers have been growing potatoes in Maine for generations. Lots of research goes into making sure those potatoes are at peak quality.

Volunteers at the University of Maine's Sensory Evaluation Center were judging four different kinds of baked potatoes on their color, flavor, texture, and how they liked them overall.

Miryellen Camire is a professor of food science and human nutrition at UMaine. She says ongoing taste tests like this help Maine potato growers determine what new varieties they should grow.

"Some of the traditional varieties need more pesticides or fertilizer or are more prone to disease, so these new varieties are more robust and they may taste better," she says. "When I was an assistant professor back in the early '90s, Yukon Gold was one of our experimental varieties. Now you can find Yukon Gold everywhere."

Senators Angus King and Susan Collins recently announced $550,000 in federal funding for continued potato research at the university.