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R298 Store Atmosphere and Tuber Quality

Publication Date: 
24 August 2011
Author/Contact :
Adrian Briddon

Contractor :

Full Research Project Title: The effect of atmospheric components in potato storage on tuber characteristics
Duration: August 2007 - October 2009

Aim: To determine the effects of different carbon dioxide concentrations with/without ethylene on tuber flavour and texture characteristics. 

Industry Challenge

A significant issue raised at the 2007 AHDB Potatoes Forum on potato storage was the effects of the atmosphere within refrigerated stores on tuber quality. This includes interactions between carbon dioxide and other atmospheric treatments, notably ethylene used for sprout suppression.


Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research (SBCSR), Leatherhead Food International (LFI)


The storage component of the work was carried out at SBCSR and the taste and texture assessments were provided by taste panels at LFI. Carbon dioxide levels were monitored in a range of commercial stores during the 07/08 and 08/09 storage seasons.

Key Findings

Weight loss of tubers exposed to high levels of carbon dioxide was increased, however whether this is a direct or associated effect or the consequence of air movement through the store is unknown. Changes in taste and texture were small and inconsistent between year and storage phase of the trial except a slight increase in sweetness in the variety Marfona. There was no finding of a deleterious effect produced by either ethylene or carbon dioxide.


Monitoring of carbon dioxide should be included as part of routine store management, with the build up of carbon dioxide to be mitigated with regular air flushing.

Reports and Key Words

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