2 June 1995

Hot potatoes

WARMING tubers before handling out of store can help reduce "thumbnail" damage and bruising. But achieving that warming in a busy store is not easy. Current research is considering heater banks to speed the process.

According to Rod McGovern of the SAC Aberdeen, a rise to 10C (50F) is the optimum. Blowing boxes can raise the temperature from 4-10C (39-50F), but each batch takes 18 hours and condensation can be a problem.

He has tried using 100s of kW of radiant gas heaters. The technique looks promising, achieving the desired temperature rise, without "cooking" the tubers. &#42