Senescent sweetening in potatoes: literature review (2012)


For potato tubers destined for crisping and chipping, accumulation of the reducing sugars glucose and fructose must be avoided as it leads to deterioration in processing quality. If potato tubers are stored at temperatures below approximately 6-8°C, the concentration of glucose and fructose tends to increase due to a process termed low-temperature sweetening.  If potato tubers are stored at a moderate temperature (above approximately 6-8°C), sugar levels are maintained at a relatively low concentration for a period before another form of sweetening occurs – termed senescent sweetening. The onset of senescent sweetening cannot currently be predicted, and results in losses because changes are irreversible. 

The aim of this review, published in 2012, was to summarise the knowledge on senescent sweetening, to identify research gaps and recommend new strategies to study the problem. 

New strategies to study senescent sweetening were recommended including molecular techniques to follow gene expression patterns, comparative studies of varieties with different propensities to develop senescent sweetening and assessment of the impact of mineral nutrition on tuber health and storage potential. These aspects were addressed in the subsequent related projects.

Project code:
01 January 2011 - 30 May 2011


R442 Review_2012