In January the Ag-Canada Potato Research Center in Fredericton, NB, will again take the best french fry clones that have cleared its rigorous selection process and offer them industry-wide for companies interested in field testing.
This fast-track process, first launched in 1998, moves a potato clone from the scientist's lab to the production line in half the usual 12 years.
The Accelerated Release Program is designed to boost Canadian exports of frozen fries now worth almost A$600 million a year.
"Processors are increasingly focussing on meeting specific consumer needs for different markets. New varieties make this task a little easier," Paul Milburn, center acting director, stated.
So far no one has commercialized a clone through the program. However, the Center has released 20 clones that are being tested by different companies for feasibility. Of these 20, five have made it into the exclusive phase.