Reducing Potato Tuber Bruising

Potato bruising is a serious problem in the potato industry and is a major cause of consumer complaint and an economic drain on the industry. Correct nutrition of the crop prior to harvest can minimize the risk of bruising. Potassium, calcium and boron have significant effects reducing tuber bruising.

Crop Nutrition and Potato Tuber Bruising


Potassium affects bruising as increased levels of potassium can reduce the level of tuber bruising. This trial from England shows the relationship between potassium content and the incidence of tuber bruising over a range of varieties.



High levels of calcium in the tuber reduce bruising risks at harvest and subsequent transportation. Varieties vary in their calcium uptake, however, using calcium nitrate rather than ammonium nitrate minimizes bruising damage, and in some varieties damage can be halved.

This trial from the USA shows that the use of calcium nitrate rather than ammonium nitrate resulted in higher levels of calcium in tubers over a range of different varieties. 



Boron helps stabilize calcium in the cell walls and also affects calcium absorption, so supplies are important to ensure  balanced nutrition and to maximizes the benefits of applied calcium. This trial shows how boron influences the calcium content of tubers and so also the incidence of tuber bruising.


Other Crop Management Practices Influencing Potato Tuber Bruising 

  • Selecting the right variety to meet dry matter production needs
  • Harvesting in good conditions to avoid physical damage
  • Taking care during harvest and grading to reduce physical damage and bruising
  • Scheduling irrigation to maximize quality characteristics
  • Controlling temperatures and humidity in storage