LSU AgCenter researcher works to control sweet potato shape

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Candied, baked, boiled, roasted, mashed or fried, sweet potatoes are a culinary staple in Louisiana.

The versatile vegetable is available in a wide array of colors, shapes and sizes as a result of extensive research and breeding protocols designed to match develop what consumers want.

LSU AgCenter professor Arthur Villordon is researching how growers can manipulate agricultural inputs, such as fertilizer, to control the shape of the sweet potato during growth.

“Knowledge about factors that determine sweet potato storage root shape is of scientific and practical importance, and growers want a predictable storage root shape,” Villordon said.

In the processing industry, especially in french fry production, more uniform, round-shaped roots are desirable, producing more uniform slices.

Consistency in root shape is also needed for increased mechanization, leading to overall reduced cost of production.

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