The quality factors influenced by stress conditions are: total dry matter or starch content and distribution of starch, sugar content, types of sugars and distribution, texture, mealiness, flesh color, tuber size and shape, and tuber defects such as growth cracks, and hollow heart.
Early stress during growth can cause tubers to become pointed on the stem-end with low starch content and high reducing sugars. Uneven growth due to stress results in growth cracks, or hollow heart and malformed tubers. Varieties differ considerably as to susceptibility. Stress generally causes lower starch content in tubers which results in greater sugar accumulation in storage. Relative maturity is also influenced by stress during growth. Immature and over-mature tubers (from prematurely dead plants) accumulate greater amounts of sugar in storage than tubers properly matured.
Stress can also cause poor texture of processed products, such as tough texture of French fries as well as lack of mealiness. Flavor and color of processed products can also be detrimentally influenced by stress.