Why Do Potatoes Turn Green? What Are The Reasons?

Potatoes are generally eaten boiled, mashed, or fried.

But have you ever noticed that the potatoes you buy at the store are white and when you cook them they turn green?

This may be due to a chemical reaction occurring inside of the potato but it is also possible that if your potatoes aren’t stored properly then this can happen as well.

Either way, there are some very simple explanations for why this happens.

Why do potatoes turn green?

Potatoes turn green when they have a type of natural poison. This is because the potatoes are exposed to sunlight. They start to make chlorophyll, which is green. And if they are exposed for a long time, they will make solanine too.

Potatoes are green because they have been exposed to sunlight. They have become poisonous, due to poor storage or the potatoes being grown near the surface of the earth. Commercial potato crops are closely monitored and stored well so that this does not happen.

Is it safe to eat green potatoes?

I recommend that you don’t eat the green part of the potato because that is where the most amount of solanine is. Always peel your potatoes, because solanine is mostly concentrated in the outer layer. In the case of green potatoes, it depends on how much green there is.

If the potato has a long green end and is large, cut off the green part and another 1/2 inch. If it is smaller with a long green end, throw the whole potato away as all of it could have high solanine levels.

What is solanine then?

Solanine is a type of natural poison. It is found in potatoes, potato leaves, and the nightshade flower. Solanine is common in parts of potatoes that are exposed to direct sunlight.

Solanine is a natural defense that plants use to defend themselves against being eaten. But people do not eat the top part of the plant, we only eat the root. The root does not usually develop high levels of solanine and when it does, it is mostly found in the outer layer of potatoes.

Solanine can come from being exposed to direct sunlight for a long time, or by storing it for too long. However, cooking will not remove solanine. You must deep fry potatoes at 210 C/410 F for 10 minutes. This will probably make fries taste burnt.

How do you remove solanine from potatoes, then?

If you want to do so, you can try dipping the potato in vinegar of 30-60 degrees Celsius containing 0.3-1% acetic acid for 2-5 minutes.

But remember, it will never be 100% removed. Read on the find out why.

Can you fix green potatoes?

The only thing you can do with green potatoes is to cut off the green parts. It does not matter how big they are, because solanine development is not reversible.

Potatoes can create solanine if they are not stored properly. This is because potatoes need to be kept in a cool, dry place and they need to be away from any sunlight. Try not to buy more than 3-4 pounds at one time so that you will go through them by the time they spoil.

How much green potato is poisonous?

While solanine can be found in normal-looking potatoes, it would take 20 pounds of potatoes for a 200 pounds person to reach the toxic level.

Is solanine destroyed by cooking?

Does solanine disappear when you cook it? No, but it can be destroyed by frying. Solanine poisoning is uncommon because most chefs know about the problem and avoid green potatoes. You can eat up to 5 g of green potato per kg body weight per day without getting sick.

Can you get sick from eating green potatoes?

The answer is yes. You can get sick because they have a toxin in them. They can make you feel nauseous and give you headaches. To avoid getting the toxin, store the potatoes in cool, dark places and cut away any green areas before eating them.

Do Yukon potatoes turn green?

Yukon Gold potatoes have thin skin so they can turn green quickly.

How can I keep potatoes from going bad?

Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place. This is better than storing them in a plastic bag. You should never store potatoes in the refrigerator since it could make them go bad.

Potatoes also shouldn’t be stored near other produce like onions, bananas, or apples since this will make them go bad too.

Mariana Rouco

Mariana Rouco is the editor-in-chief of Elpasony.com. She loves traveling and writing about foods and cooking in general. She has a degree from the New England Culinary Institute and enjoys Mexican, Italian, and Chinese cuisines the most.

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