In Ethiopia, potato sub-sector is expanding, with more value added products, such as potato chips, mainly due to increasing demands associated with growth of population and urbanization. Processing industry is very dependent on the quality parameters of tuber to satisfy the increasing demand of customers. Thus, this experiment was conducted with the objective to evaluate the quality of some improved potato varieties at Shebench district of Bench-Maji Zone. The study comprised of nine improved potato varieties laid out in randomized complete block design (RCBD) with three replications. The tuber size distribution and proximate quality data were collected and analyzed by using SAS Version 9.2 statistical software. The results of the study revealed that all of the variables considered were significantly (P<0.01) affected by varieties except pH. Accordingly, considering tuber size distribution, the highest percentage of medium tuber was observed for Gudanie (77.4) followed by Belete (72.18). Whereas the highest percentage of large tuber was observed for variety Belete (17.35) followed by Shenkola (14.03). On the other hand, the least percentage of small tuber size was observed for variety Belete (10.47) followed by Gudanie (13.59). With regard to physicochemical qualities, the highest value of dry mater content (21.67%), specific gravity (1.08) and starch content (14.69%) were observed for Gudanie variety whereas Degemegn (3.28%) and Gudanie (3.27%) varieties showed the highest protein contents. Therefore, considering majority of the tested marketable and processing quality attributes, variety Gudanie can be considered as superior and recommended for the study area. In addition to this, growers in the study area can also use variety Belete for its good marketable tubers and varieties Gera, Gorebela and Chala for their acceptable processing quality.
Key words: Potato, variety, quality, gudanie.
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