Research & Development

Background

Robert Graveland, Director: ‘Over the past year, the Research & Development team has been expanded with employees who work directly with the crop and experts in biometrics, bio-informatics and hybrid potato breeding. We are active in the latest technologies, which we are using to try to shorten the breeding process. HZPC is quickly on its way to halving the development time of a new variety from over ten years to approximately five years. I see plenty of opportunities to develop varieties of the near future according to hybrid breeding methods. New techniques such as gene manipulation and cisgenesis are a welcome addition to the breeder’s toolbox for crops with a multiple genome and clonal propagation. It is a promising process, but its outcome cannot be reliably predicted, especially due to the difference in legislation in Europe and beyond.

Also, early in the breeding programme, we are increasingly selecting more variety characteristics through the use of molecular markers and R&D is making great progress in the breeding process, but it is high time that governments also create legislative space for the latest technologies. Over the past year, the acquired activities of KWS Potato were integrated into our team. It is a valuable programme. Another result that can be reported is that HZPC has again introduced a number of beautiful, self-developed varieties to the market. We have very high expectations when it comes to making the cultivation of seed and consumption ever more sustainable and costeffective.’

Prince of Orange

Over the past year we introduced a unique new potato. Suitable for retail. The Prince of Orange provides a special taste experience.

The latest techniques

HZPC Research has state-of-the-art processing techniques like markers to follow simple and complex properties.

At present, when it comes to new breeding techniques, such as the manipulation of present genes and cisgenesis (the addition of exclusively species-specific genes), we are still limited by legislation that has not kept up with current responsible technical developments.

It remains a constant challenge to use facts and figures to predict, select and indicate the added value of new varieties
Robert Graveland, director of R&D

100 hectare

In 2016/2017, the Lucinda, Memphis and Sunita varieties surpassed the 100-hectare seed potato boundary.

New varieties

A number of promising products were added to the catalogue of varieties over the past year.

  • Alverstone Russet  for fries
  • Anvia  for more luxurious traditional home fries
  • Generosa  with yield in early areas
  • Hermosa  a strong coarse medium early variety
  • Joly  a traditional bulk variety
  • Whitney  a white-fleshed variety for North America
It remains a constant challenge to use facts and figures to predict, select and indicate the added value of new varieties
Robert Graveland, director of R&D

New trends

R&D guides the development of the new Fries4All® concept. We are on our way to healthier French fries. For this we have developed and patented knowledge about the production of low calorie French fries. We also provide process technology to the processing industry, which allows sensory values to be measured.