Why are my mashed potatoes like glue?

basket filled with different potato types, some purple, red, yellow
Photo credit: EESC slide collection
Q:

I'm a certified, occupational chef, been making mashed potatoes for 30 yrs. I've noticed in the last couple of years, that red or golden Yukon, also boiler potatoes, are turning to glue, while whipping! Potatoes are being made the same way, no changes. What's up? Btw, I am Not using russet or baker potatoes, only boiler potatoes. Not allowing to stand in water, Not overcooking either and they start to look like glue almost immediately, upon whipping. Draining properly as well. No reason, on earth, I can see for this happening! Wrecked Thanksgiving dinner, 2 yrs in a row from this same problem. When I normally get Rave reviews on my mashed potatoes. Are these genetically modified potatoes? These potatoes are also being stored in 40 degree temps, cool n dry.

- Umatilla County, Oregon
A:

This is NOT my area of expertise but I asked our breeder. This is what he said "It is very tough to answer what the reasons are... but for sure these are not GM potatoes as there are no GMs from Yukons or Reds that are currently available. The glue nature of potatoes are due to their altered starch ratios and lower the gravities of potatoes, the higher chances of being gluey. For the past two years there is a general decline in the gravities of potatoes due to extreme weather conditions during growing season. In addition slow cooling of potatoes can result in the gluey starch. May be they can try by cooling the boiled potatoes fast by dropping them in cold water which can reduce the starch conversion. If we can know where the potatoes are from, we can suggest what's happening interns of growing conditions" .....sagar.sathuvali@oregonstate.edu

Silvia Rondon/Sagar Sathuvali
Entomologist/Potato Breeder
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