From INTA Balcarce, Buenos Aires, Argentina, researchers advance in the industrialization of a native Andean potato as snacks. They would be entering the market by 2020.
This Andean potato with which the snacks would be made, it is an ancestral crop of 10,000 years of history. INTA specialists from Balcarse and Jujuy are giving it an added value, a regional identity with the industrialization of this variety from the Argentine northwest.
Unlike conventional potatoes, this one stands out for its high nutritional value and superior organoleptic qualities. "It is the first experimental batch of native Andean potatoes in an industrial plant, belonging to the Gauchitas de Balcarce company, where it was possible to reach the packaging for consumption and tasting of the product with renowned Argentine chefs ", explained Sergio Feingold, Coordinator of the National Biotechnology Program and head of the Agrobiotechnology Laboratory of the Balcarce Agricultural Experiment Station (EEA) of INTA.
"The first experimental run of native Andean potatoes has already been carried out in an industrial plant where it was possible to reach the packaging for consumption and tasting of the product with renowned Argentine chefs," Feingold explained.
With the identification of genotypes of high industrial, organoleptic and nutritional value for the provision of seed potatoes,"The multiplication began to be able to deliver them to the producers". INTA specialists estimate that a volume of 5,000 kg / ha can be obtained, from producing between 60 and 80 thousand seeds to distribute among producers in the 2019/2020 campaign.
In this investigation "Five genotypes of superior nutritional and industrial quality were selected to produce a sufficient quantity of 'seed potatoes' for cultivation.”Feingold noted.
In addition, with funds from the Federal Council of Science and Technology (COFECYT), INTA researchers and technicians will train local producers to introduce improvements in irrigation, fertilization and other optimized crop management practices in the Abra Pampa EEA and in the IPAF NOA of Jujuy to increase its production and sustainability.
The adoption of this technological package will allow an increase in the production volume with tubers of greater caliber for the chip-making industry, greater than 4 cm in diameter, while those that are below will be destined for the fresh market and restaurants gourmet in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
This industrialization process that took 8 years of research, “It demanded to characterize and multiply some 120 genotypes of this Andean crop, mostly provided by the Balcarce Potato and Forage Germplasm Bank, among which the genotypes with the highest nutritional and industrial quality were selected and multiplied in order to achieve number of tubers to be distributed as 'seed potato' among producers”Feingold said.
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