Acrylamide content has become an important factor for profitability and sustainability in the production of deep-fried potato products (chips and French fries). Acrylamide is formed when starchy foods are cooked at high temperatures and it is suspected to be carcinogenic. In recent years, the frying industry has been continuously working on improving processes and raw materials in order to reduce the acrylamide content. However, Norway’s climatic conditions make it challenging to satisfy European standards due to a short growing season. Optimal temperature control during storage creates correct after-ripening and reduced amounts of acrylamide.
This project focuses on the storage conditions of potatoes, and on reducing the increase in the amount of acrylamide that naturally occurs during storage. The goal is better quality, lower acrylamide content and more profitable and sustainable production of Norwegian chips and French fries through new knowledge about the interaction between raw produce quality and storage conditions. Studies are being carried out on technical storage conditions, with emphasis on storage facility design, filling/emptying facilities, and ventilation and air distribution, as well as temperature and humidity control. Environmentally friendly and future-oriented refrigeration systems will be able to extend the storage period. Through new knowledge in important areas, and close collaboration between producers, industry and researchers, the project is expected to contribute to more adapted potato storage strategies. Better quality of the finished product, less waste, and a less resource-intensive production process will contribute directly to value creation for both producers and the potato industry. A higher utilisation rate of the raw material will be positive for the environment and the use of resources in society in general.