Fresh Potatoes, like many other forms of produce, are living respiring plant foods. Unlike many other produce commodities, fresh potatoes thrive off a 21% atmospheric oxygen level, and consequently, need sufficient “air flow” to maximize their shelf life. Reduced air flow results in shorter shelf life, which, in turn, increases supply chain waste.
With the growth of quick-prep fresh potato microwave “steam kits” (pre-washed potatoes with seasoning packet in microwave-safe packaging) the breathability or “air flow” can as sometimes be restricted by the packaging.
Furthermore, cooking inconsistently shaped fresh potatoes in the microwave without packaging that properly regulates moisture loss typically results in an inconsistent and unsavory spectrum of cooking outcomes. In addition, the UV light rays present in grocery stores, can create “greening and sprouting” of the potatoes, reducing their consumer shelf appeal.
With the objective of achieving extended 60+ day shelf life for optimal retail distribution and delivering a superior quick-prep microwave-able package that yields excellent flavor and texture profiles, the challenge becomes controlling the inter-package oxygen and moisture atmosphere during distribution, blocking detrimental UV light rays at retail, and regulating excessive moisture loss during microwave steam prep.