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Innovative packaging to slow potato greening

Copyright free (Pixabay/Creative Commons CC0)

Research supported by the Agritech Catalyst and co-funded by BBSRC has led to the creation of innovative packaging that delays greening in potatoes. If introduced more widely, the packaging will help reduce the 116,000 tonnes of potatoes thrown away each year in the UK.

Data breakout

£60M Value of losses incurred by UK retailers due to potato greening
116,000 Tonnes of green potatoes thrown away every year by UK households
1 Number of extra days of shelf life for potatoes in the new packaging
£126K Value of BBSRC research funding, alongside £237K from Innovate UK and the Scottish Government

The researchers, from the University of Southampton, the James Hutton Institute and a consortium of businesses from across the food supply chain, showed that certain wavelengths of light cause potatoes to begin turning green.

The new packaging blocks those wavelengths, adding an extra day to the shelf life of the potatoes. Waitrose and Tesco have carried out initial consumer feedback testing with the prototype packaging. The project also identified genetic markers for potato greening, suggesting that in future breeders could create new varieties that stay fresh for longer.