Potatoes, food storage


There is interest in dehydrated potatoes packaged for long-term storage for uses such as military rations, disaster relief, and space travel. Research has shown the effects of processing and storage (up to 2 years) on dehydrated potatoes, including such aspects as sensory properties and nutrient degradation. The quality of dehydrated potatoes during long-term storage has not been studied. The objective of this study was to examine the quality of dehydrated potato flakes held at ambient conditions in residential storage up to 30 years. Thirteen samples of dehydrated potato flakes packaged in No. 10 cans were obtained from donors. Sample age ranged from <1 to 30 years. A 50-member consumer panel rated the samples for appearance, aroma, texture, flavor, and overall acceptability on a 9-point hedonic scale. Acceptance was defined as the percentage of panelists willing to use the product in everyday and emergency situations. Additional analyses included can seam integrity, headspace oxygen, water activity, color, and headspace hexanal. Hedonic scores ranged from 3.74 to 6.57 and declined significantly over time. Acceptance for everyday use was significantly lower than acceptance for emergency use, and both declined significantly over time. Water activity ranged from 0.27 to 0.39, hexanal concentration ranged from 0 to 0.0209 µg/g, and headspace oxygen ranged from 0.59 to 19%. Can seams varied in quality, but were adequate to maintain a hermetic seal. There was no significant correlation between headspace hexanal of dry flakes and hedonic scores of reconstituted product. Sensory data indicate that potato flakes held in residential storage had greater than 50% acceptance for daily use at 5 years, and greater than 50% acceptance for emergency use at 30 years of storage. Dehydrated potato flakes appear to retain sufficient quality over time to warrant consideration for long-term storage purposes.

Original Publication Citation

Neilson AP, Farnsworth H, Ogden LV and Pike OA. July 24. Quality of dehydrated potato flakes in long-term storage. Poster Presentation. Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting.

Document Type


Publication Date


Permanent URL




Life Sciences


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science