Potato texture and cooking time
Cooked potato tuber texture is an important organoleptic parameter as it impacts most notably on mouth-feel. Cooking time is also important for many consumers and is related to textural changes during processing. Hutton research has developed a method for quantitatively assessing cooked potato texture and cooking time. Our research has also identified tuber pectin methyl esterase (PME) activity as a key determinant of textural properties using a range of molecular physiology and genetic approaches. This work pinpointed the PME gene that encodes the important isoform and our genetic studies indicate that natural variation in this gene underpins textural differences between potato genotypes. Our work is supporting research in the Roots Tubers and Bananas Food project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a large international collaboration of groups across Europe and Africa.