Growing Futures

Zebra chip in potatoes

Maintaining quality in the wake of a pest

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Zebra chip in potatoes

The infection of potatoes with Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum causes zebra chip disease in potato tubers, a particular issue with potatoes grown for processing. The disease results in an accumulation of sugars instead of starch in the potato, which burn when the potato is fried and result in the formation of unattractive blackened sugars in crisps and French fries. This adds a bitter flavour to the final product which is unacceptable to consumers, and is particularly damaging for processed potato exports.