Effect of preheating on potato texture

Anders Andersson, Vassilis Gekas*, Irene Lind, Fernanda Oliveira, Rickard Öste

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

181 Citations (Scopus)


Preheating potatoes at 50 to 80°C has a firming effect on the cooked potato tissue. This effect is particularly pronounced at a preheating temperature of 60 to 70°C followed by cooling. Several theories have been presented in the literature to explain this firming effect: retrogradation of starch, leaching of amylose, stabilization of the middle lamellae and cell walls by the activation of the pectin methylesterase (PME) enzyme, and by the release of calcium from gelatinized starch and the formation of calcium bridges between pectin molecules. Most probably, none of these theories alone can explain the phenomenon and more than one mechanism seems to be involved. Some of these mechanisms seem to be interdependent. As an example, calcium could be considered as a link all the way through release after starch gelatinization to cross‐linking pectin substances in the cell wall and the middle lamellae, which has been demethylated by the PME enzyme. More research and “clear cut” experiments are needed in order to elucidate the role of each mechanism, especially which of them is the main contributor to the process of firming. Most probably, the calcium‐pectin‐PME mechanism plays a secondary role, that is, it only retards the collapse of the tissue structure that would otherwise occur during the final heating without preheating, and it is not the main factor of firmness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-251
Number of pages23
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • Potato
  • Texture
  • Pectin methylesterase
  • Mineral ions
  • Blanching
  • Calcium
  • Preheating


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