Low Glycemic Potatoes, a value-added crop for Montana

2013 Annual Report for SW12-108

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2012: $154,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2015
Region: Western
State: Montana
Principal Investigator:
Dr. David Sands
Montana State Univ

Low Glycemic Potatoes, a value-added crop for Montana

Summary

Two different assays were used to screen several hundred cultivars and crossed lines of potatoes in search of candidate cultivars that could be further compared for their glycemic indexes. Using these two assays we developed a ranking of available lines of potatoes (Table 2), with the highest amylose lines listed at the top in descending order. The top 10 cultivars include two commercially available lines, a positive finding in that their agronomic and table traits have been proven to be market acceptable in the table potato category. All top ten are being increased and 50 pounds of the Green Mountain cultivar has been ordered from a commercial seed producer. These will be held for Glycemic Index Testing in humans at a USDA laboratory in Grand Forks, North Dakota, if supplemental funding can be found. The germplasm is made available to the Montana Seed Potato Association (Director Dr. Nina Zidack, Montana State University) for virus-free verification and cultivation in tissue culture. The objective is to test the most promising agronomic line for glycemic index and simultaneously develop enough virus-free germplasm for growers interested in this niche market crop.

Objectives/Performance Targets

The overall goal of this project is to develop low glycemic potato as a value-added Montana crop. The specific objectives are to:

I. Identify low-glycemic index potato cultivars that are adapted for production in Montana.

a. Screen available germplasm for starch composition (determine amylose: amylopectin ratios).

b. Isolate and produce disease-free micro-tubers (MSU Seed Potato Laboratory). The state of Montana has provided funding for the first year of this project. This objective will be completed by researchers at MSU under the direction of Dr. David Sands.

II. Evaluate selected cultivars in field studies in collaboration with Montana seed potato producers and select the most-promising cultivars for seed production scale-up. Continue to evaluate and select varieties throughout commercial scale-up. Dr. Barry Jacobsen (MSU extension) will work directly with seed and commercial potato producers to evaluate the selected germplasm. These field studies will be replicated on private potato fields and on MSU Ag Research station fields. The studies on private fields will be maintained by our cooperative producers, and the plots on Ag Research Stations will be maintained by MSU personnel.

III. Generate a feasibility analysis, including economics of low GI seed and commercial potato production and estimated market demand. Dr. Alice Pilgeram will work directly with the Montana Seed Potato Growers, the American Diabetes Society, natural food distributors and food developers to evaluate and develop research demand. The State of Montana will assist in marketing newly developed agricultural crops and products (www.madeinmontanausa.com).

IV. Evaluate selected lines in greenhouse studies for disease susceptibility (year 1) and impact of agronomics on starch profile (year 2 and 3). This portion of the study will be done jointly by researchers in the MSU Plant Science department and the MSU seed potato lab.

V. Evaluate selected cultivars in field studies in collaboration with Montana potato producers to determine the most-promising cultivars for low-GI potato production in Eastern MT. Work with producers to scale-up production to commercial levels.

VI. Evaluate cultivars in local and university taste studies (MSU, Extension and Producers).

Accomplishments/Milestones

Over one hundred cultivars were screened for their amylose content using spectrophotometric analysis of freeze dried starch extract. The cultivar highest in amylose (straight starch) and lowest in amylopectin (branched starch) was Green Mountain. The data are  presented in Table 1.

 

Table 1. Amylose percentage in freeze dried potato cultivars.

Percentage of amylose in freeze dry potato

Potato line

Delta mean ——- Standard Deviation

Green MT

45.1

±

9.2

Norland

34.4

±

5.2

661983

32.9

±

0.1

Yucon Gen

32.7

±

2.3

Multa

31.7

±

2.0

Oct Blue x Col Rose

31.1

±

2.2

Alaska frostless

31.1

±

1.8

Kuchi Akita

30.8

±

2.8

Anolla

30.6

±

1.9

Lumper

30.3

±

3.5

Marbel Gold

30.0

±

1.6

Gorbea

30.0

±

1.4

Arma

29.9

±

0.4

Charlotte

29.7

±

1.2

Centennial Rush

29.6

±

1.9

Sassy Lassy

29.5

±

1.7

L. Range x A trope

29.5

±

1.3

Cherry Red

29.4

±

0.6

BiddyTaro

29.1

±

0.6

Red Pontiac

29.0

±

1.2

Bison

28.8

±

1.3

Monona

28.8

±

0.7

Another 80 lines were below this 28.8 reading.

 

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Our members of the Montana Seed Potato Association have developed a $30 million dollar industry producing virus-free seed potatoes for the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Their principal market is the Idaho and Oregon producers, and the principal cultivars are Russet types for processors in those two states. They work closely with the Montana State University Potato virus laboratory to insure that the cultivars are certified to be virus-free. New cultivars that might be lower in their glycemic index are of interest to these seed producers. As evidenced by the success of Carisma potatoes in Australia there is a value added aspect of potatoes that are produced and marketed as low glycemic. Several of the above cultivars and breeding lines in table one are strong candidates for this low glycemic market. Our objective is to test the most promising agronomic lines with a human test panel at the USDA Human Nutrition Laboratory in Grand Forks, North Dakota. We have 50 pounds of Green Mountain (the cultivar at the top of the list) available in storage for such testing.

It will remain to be seen how the human testing of glycemic index unfolds. The whole project is centered on public recognition of the problem. If the testing proves positive and points to the possibility that low glycemic index potatoes are part of a better diet, first for diabetics and pre-diabetics, will then there be a market response and how will that be implemented? The absolute credibility of the testing laboratory is important. It is for this reason that the USDA laboratory in Grand Forks was chosen.

Collaborators:

Dr. Barry Jacobsen

uplbj@montana.edu
Professor
Montana State University
119 Plant Bioscience Building
Bozeman, MT 59717-3150
Office Phone: 4069945161
John Venheizen

Grower
Spring Creek Farms
3990 Churchill Road
Manhattan, MT 59741
Office Phone: 4062844233
Steve Cottom

Grower/owner
Cottom Seed, Inc
P.O. Box 445
Dillon, MT 59725
Office Phone: 4066606266
Dan Lake

lakeseed@ronan.net
Grower
Lake’s Glacier View Farm
35822 Spring Creek Road
Ronana, MT 59684
Office Phone: 4062533638
J.E. Day

Grower
J.E. Day Seed Potatoes
P.O. Box 61
Twin Bridges, MT 59754
Office Phone: 4066845669
Roger Starkel

Producer
Starkel Farms, Inc
42530 North Foothills Drive
Ronan, MT 59864
Office Phone: 4066758231
Dr. Alice Pilgeram

pilgeram@montana.edu
Research Professor
Montana State University
119 Plant Bioscience Building
Bozeman, MT 59715-3150
Office Phone: 4069945155
Art Mangels

Grower
Mangels Seed Potatoes, Inc
2660 Albers Road
Dillon, MT 59725
Office Phone: 4066834356
Dr. Nina Zidack

nzidack@montana.edu
Director Montana Seed Potato Lab
Montana State University
Plant Growth Center 223
Bozeman, MT 59717
Office Phone: 4069946110
Dennis Day

thedays@3rivers.net
Grower
J.E. Dayy Seed Potatoes
PO Box 61
Twin Bridges, MT 59754
Office Phone: 4066845669
Sid Schutter

sidschutter@gmail.com
Producer
Schutter Seed Farm, Inc
3627 Wooden Shoe Road
Manhattan, MT 59741
Office Phone: 4062846478