Monday, 19 March 2018

The speaker programme for this year's convention in Riga, Latvia (June 26-28) is almost complete and boasts a mix of international academic, research and industry leaders.

North American researchers Professor Joe Guenthner and Dr Joe Sowokinos will speak on ‘Zebra Chip research' and ‘Factors affecting sugars, processing colour, and acrylamide concentration in stored potatoes' respectively.

From the University of Idaho, Guenthner, is a leading authority on the potato industry and its economics, has been leading research into Zebra Chip - in a team funded by a five-year, $7 million USDA grant. He will examine the disease, methods to curtail it and the economic impact on the in dustry.

Sowokinos, since retiring from the University of Minnesota in 2009, has served as a consultant in the regulation of crisp and French fry colour in potatoes. He developed a commercial method to quantify free sugar concentration in potatoes during growth and storage. This method is termed ‘chemical maturity monitoring'.

Latvian academic and researcher Dr Irisa Murniece, from the Latvia University of Agriculture's food technology faculty, will speak on ‘The Effect of Storage and Processing on Fried Potato Quality'.

From the industry point of view, Rod Herbert, founder of RJ Herbert Engineering in the UK, will speak on Forty Year's of Potato Handling Experience, outlining how the market has changed, the impact of technical innovation and future challenges.

Herbert built his prototype potato grader in 1971,a dn ayear later started his company.

Since then, the company has grown to become an international supplier of grading, washing, sorting, conveying and packaging equipment.

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