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The formation of a hollow approximately in the center of a potato during the growing season (subsequently called hollow heart) is undesirable both to the consumer and to the farmer. To the consumer, a potato with a hollow heart is esthetically unpleasant especially if it is encountered at a connoisseur restaurant where a high price is paid for the meal. To the farmer, it could mean severe loss of market potential and with it financial loss. For example, if a bin of potatoes on a RE.I. farm destined for an out-of-province market is found to contain more than 10%ofthe potatoes with hollow hearts, the bin is condemned and cannot be shipped. The U.S. regulation only allows 5% hollow hearts. Exact data on the frequency of occurrence of hollow heart are not available from government or private sources. However, the average percentage of hollow hearts in processed potatoes is estimated by one company (in Nova Scotia) as varying from 3 to 15%, with 1 year in every 5 or 6 in which the frequency of hollow hearts exceeds 10%. If it were possible to non destructively detect defective potatoes, the loss to farmers and to the market could be significantly reduced. Also, if large potatoes could be guaranteed to be free of hollow hearts, then the farmer should be able to obtain a higher price from the connoisseur market. Although the primary objective of this paper is to evaluate previous methods of detection, the cause and condition and cultural control of hollow heart in potatoes is first briefly examined, since detection of hollow hearts becomes irrelevant if the incidence can be reduced or eliminated by proper cultural practice.
a review of techniques for detecting hollow heart in potatoes
Watts, K..C. and L.T. Russell 1985. A REVIEW OF TECHNIQUES FOR DETECTING HOLLOW HEART IN POTATOES. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 27(2):85-90.
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