MSU and partners create limited-edition purple potato chips


AP Images Potato Chips

Classic potato chips are being revamped with a new color: purple.

That’s due to a new collaboration between Michigan State University researchers and Great Lakes Potato Chip Company.

The purple color comes from the Blackberry potato and more than 30 varieties have been developed by Dave Douches, the director for the MSU potato Breeding and Genetics Program. He said it took 20 years to breed the Blackberry potato.

“I always saw that there was a need in the specialty market for a good purple-pigmented flesh variety of potato,” Douches said. “There were some old varieties around in the past that I felt didn’t really serve the market well, so we made an effort to try to improve on that.

Great Lakes Potato Chip Co. grows and harvests the purple potato called the Blackberry potato, which is grown on Lott Farms in Kalkaska, Michigan.

“Since we’re a small producer, it’s a little easier for us to do something like this,” Chris Girrbach, president of Great Lakes Potato Chips said.

The chips are being sold for a limited time at select Michigan retailers in November to celebrate a business milestone.

“We wanted to do something unique to celebrate our tenth anniversary,” said Girrbach. “We thought purple potato chips would be a good way to highlight all the work MSU does and the growers that helped us get started.”

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