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The term qualityis a complex parameter in the field of potato production
and the desired quality traits depend on the intended use. Important internal
quality traits for potatoes are tuber flesh discolouration, dry matter, and starch
content. External quality traits include tuber size and shape as well as
resistance against mechanical stress during and after harvest. These quality
traits are closely interrelated and genetically controlled. It has been demonstrated that all these parameters are also linked to the nutrient status of the
plant and/or the tubers. For instance, the susceptibility of tubers for
discolouration of both fresh market and processed cultivars is closely related
not only to the nutrient supply but also to post-harvest treatment. Besides, the
potential to form carcinogenic compounds like acrylamide from precursors
during the deep-frying of potato products and the accumulation of toxic
substances like glycoalkaloids are important quality criteria in terms of food
safety. The influence of the supply of nutrients on potato tuber quality
depends initially on their physiological functions, but the ratio to other
nutrient needs should also be taken into account.