Is it Safe to Eat Sprouted Potatoes? How to Prevent Toxicity and Store Them

People often wonder if sprouting potatoes are toxic or edible. In this regard, XANH Electronics is here to provide you with clarification on this matter and also guide you on how to properly store and prevent potato sprouting.


1. Can you eat sprouted potatoes?

When a potato sprouts, the starches in the potato are converted into sugars, which then transform into harmful substances called alkaloids, specifically solanine and chaconine-alpha.

When potatoes sprout, the starches are converted into solanine and chaconine-alpha, two substances that can be toxic to humans.

Alkaloids are typically concentrated in the skin, leaves, sprouts, and greenish parts of the potato.

Can sprouted potatoes be dangerous

Poisoning can occur if you consume the green skin on the potato or the sprouts. In small amounts, solanine and alpha-chaconine in potatoes can cause mild digestive issues such as stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea.

In more severe cases, the symptoms can be more intense and painful. You may experience serious neurological issues along with gastrointestinal disturbances such as delirium, diarrhea, dilated pupils, fever, hallucinations, headache, shock, hypothermia, numbness, slow breathing, stomach pain, blurred vision, vomiting, and more.

The recovery time from potato poisoning depends on the amount of alkaloids involved, as well as the level of treatment and medical support. The symptoms of potato poisoning can last for 1-3 days, with some individuals requiring hospitalization. So it’s best to avoid eating sprouted potatoes!

Poisoning from eating sprouted potatoes

2. How to prevent sprouted potato poisoning

Preventing potato poisoning can be easily done through proper storage, eating them soon after purchase, peeling the skin and removing the sprouts. It’s best to avoid eating sprouted potatoes.

The cooking method also affects the concentration of solanine and chaconine-alpha. You can fry, boil, stir-fry, etc. at a high temperature (around 170 degrees C) to break down the harmful substances in sprouted potatoes.

3. How to store potatoes

After purchasing or harvesting potatoes, take a few minutes to inspect them. Remove any potatoes with damaged or signs of spoilage. These potatoes should be used promptly as they will spoil faster and can potentially spoil other healthy potatoes.

Store potatoes in a dry, cool, and dark place (e.g., basement, under the kitchen cabinet) away from light and moisture, as these conditions can lead to sprouting or rotting of the potatoes.

Store potatoes to prevent sprouting

If the potatoes you purchased are not in mesh bags, you can place them in a breathable container and place a newspaper between the layers of potatoes. Then cover the container with another newspaper.

During storage, regularly check the potatoes every week for any signs of spoilage, as a rotten potato can infect other potatoes. So it’s best to remove it early.

Store potatoes in a cool place

Hope this article will be helpful for housewives in using and storing potatoes correctly!

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