Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blue Potato Chips

JetBlue airlines now gives out blue potato chips as their "official" snack.

I'm very impressed by the fact that these blue potato chips exist. It's no small feat to create a good-frying potato with excellent agronomic qualities in itself. I can't imagine crossing in blue coloring (anthocyanin expression) on top of this in a reasonable amount of time - especially since potatoes aren't true to seed. Non true to seed crops like potatoes have messy, highly heterozygous genomes that when crossed (or selfed) produce offspring that segregate for all the traits you care about. I've been told that potato breeders typically make a bunch of crosses in the first year of their program - and then spend the rest of their careers evaluating and propagating the resulting segregants asexually.

Though the chips really are purple, not blue...


  1. How bluetiful! Can't wait to see the new Blue Meanie JetBlue steward/stewardess uniforms.

  2. There are several old heritage varieties of blue-fleshed potato. Some are available as commercial seed, but others are maintained by gardeners saving tubers every year. Interestingly, these do not seem to show decreasing yields due to virus build-up, as with many modern potatoes.
    "Negresse" gives good yields for me, despite the obvious signs of virus in the foliage. More detail and photos here:

  3. Very nice looking potatoes, Ian. I'm looking forward to growing some of those heirlooms myself.

  4. The chips look nice but they don't really taste good.
    They have some bitterness which reminds me of eggplants.

  5. Yeah, they were kinda coarse too.

    That bitterness that reminds you of eggplants is probably some alkaloid. Whenever I get around to analyzing all my Solanaceous diversity panel metabolomic data, I might be able to suggest which one...



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