Simplot's genetically engineered potato, Innate, has been approved for sale by Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The first-generation Innate potatoes have passed the food safety assessment, and have been deemed healthy and safe as traditional spuds.
Based in Boise, Idaho, the J.R. Simplot Company can start selling the potatoes in the Canadian markets this 2016. It says that some of the benefits of the Innate potatoes include reduced bruising or browning, and reduced asparagines.
Innate potatoes are packed with the same nutritional composition just the same with regular potatoes. It's not labeled "genetically engineered" because it is not a requirement of Health Canada. In the U.S., the packaging has details about the product website and a QR code for consumer information.
Asparagine is released, and then produces acrylamide when potatoes are cooked at temperatures higher than 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit). Acrylamide is suspected to cause cancer. Some foods that contain high acrylamide are french fries, coffee, cookies, potato chips, bread and processed cereals.
"Our potato cuts acrylamide up to 62 percent and a future generation will take up to 90 percent, making it virtually negligible, which is a really big deal in the potato world," says Director Doug Cole, Marketing and Communications, Simplot.
Simplot says it was able to remove bruising and the browning effect of potatoes without using foreign genes. Cutting off parts that have gone brown, bruised and black results in less potato for consumption and more waste.
"Consumers throw away about 30 percent of their potatoes either due to bruising or sprouting, so we've solved the bruising problem," says Cole.
The general manager of United Potato Growers of Canada, Kevin MacIsaac, believes Innate will attract more commercial interest, as it is the kind of potato that makes cooking and storing easier.
According to Simplot, experts said that if potatoes have the traits of Innate, the carbon dioxide emission could be cut down to 30 million kilograms (66.1 million pounds), reduce water usage to 5.6 billion liters, and pesticide need per hectare will decrease by 15,000.