A potato variety developed at North Dakota State University is joining the list of potatoes approved to make McDonald’s french fries. NDSU released the Dakota Russet in 2012. Potato breeder Susie Thompson developed the “game changer” potato variety. “The original cross was made in 1999, but my first year back at NDSU, the seedling tubers were grown in Langdon, North Dakota,” explains Thompson. “I selected what eventually was named Dakota Russet in fall 2001.” The variety has a good shape and is well suited for frying and produces low sugars, resulting in consistent french fry color and minimizes defects. Other quick serve restaurants are using the potato variety already, but because of the long process, it’s taken ten years to get McDonald’s approval. “In the potato industry, oftentimes McDonald’s french fries are considered to be the gold standard and they’re marketed globally. McDonald’s is everywhere.”
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