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Keywords:

  • acidulants;
  • after-cooking darkening;
  • boiling;
  • graying;
  • potatoes

Abstract:  After-cooking darkening (ACD) is an inherent and undesirable trait that develops in cooked potatoes. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of sodium acid sulfate (SAS) dip treatments compared to other antigraying treatments and a control to reduce ACD in boiled, Katahdin potatoes. Dip treatments were applied for 3 min prior to boiling and included: 3% SAS, 3% citric acid (CA), 3% sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP), along with a distilled water control. SAS- and CA-treated potatoes had slightly, but significantly (P 0.05) higher b* and chroma values, which indicates a more intense yellow potato color, with less graying, compared to the control. SAS- and CA-treated potatoes also had significantly (P≤ 0.001) lower pH values for inner and outer potato surfaces than the control. No significant (P > 0.05) differences were detected for total phenolic or mineral contents among treatments. CA and SAPP samples had slightly, but significantly (P≤ 0.05) higher moisture contents than the control. Sensory test results showed no significant differences for color, aftertaste, or overall acceptability. However, CA-treated samples were rated significantly (P≤ 0.05) lower for flavor than all other treatments and panelists commented on sour notes. CA- and SAS-treated potatoes were scored slightly, but significantly lower for texture than other treatments due to a waxy outer layer. However, SAS was the most acidic dip treatment, but did not significantly affect flavor. Overall, results suggest that SAS was similarly accepted by consumers in comparison to CA and SAPP, which is the industry standard to reduce ACD.

Practical Application:  After-cooking darkening (ACD) is an undesirable potato trait that occurs after potatoes have been processed. Sodium acid pyrophosphate (SAPP) has been used as the industry standard to reduce ACD. Sodium acid sulfate (SAS) treatments prior to boiling appeared to be comparable to SAPP and citric acid in effectiveness to reduce ACD. SAS did not negatively affect the flavor of boiled potato samples according to sensory results. The SAS treatment may be more beneficial for potatoes intended for potato salad products.