Are potato eyes poisonous?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question” Are potato eyes poisonous” with an in-depth analysis of the sprouting of potatoes. Moreover, we are going to highlight the tips to avoid sprouting.

Are potato eyes poisonous?

Yes, potato eyes are poisonous. Potato eyes (sometimes, they are called sprouts) contain glycoalkaloids, compounds that turn potatoes green and are potentially toxic. You can’t use them for salad purposes.

Potato eyes don’t ruin the rest of the potato. So, you can just cut them out with the help of your vegetable peeler you may have looked over until now.

The eyes or sprouts are mildly toxic and these toxins can affect the nervous system of the body only if eaten in large amounts so you should eat firm potatoes only after removing its eyes or sprouts.

Are green spots on potatoes poisonous or not?

Green spots present on potatoes are also toxic. They occur with extended exposure to sunlight. You should not eat them. 

If a potato has an eye, you can still bake and eat it. Before putting the potato in the oven you should cut out the eyes. To remove the potato eye, first, scrub the potato under running water. After scrubbing, dry it with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel.

When tubers are formed, and if they are exposed to direct sunlight, they can sunburn or turn green and bitter and can be poisonous. If the plants are about four months old, they will flower and start turning yellow and die. This is when tubers are harvested.

Sprouting of potatoes:

As a potato sprout, it converts starch to sugar to feed the new potato plant that will grow from the erupting sprouts. At the start of this process, you may notice the presence of soft spots around what used to be the eyes and are now the sprouts. You should remove the sprouts and any soft spots.

Toxins:

Solanine and chaconine are the two types of natural toxins. They are known as glycoalkaloids. Which are present in potato plants. They’re mostly present in the eyes, sprouts, and skin of potatoes. But they are not present in the rest of the potato.

These compounds are highly toxic to humans and can cause problems of a headache, vomiting, and become the reason for other digestive symptoms. As you remove the eyes, sprouts, and skin from potatoes, then eating them won’t make you ill. In addition, if your potato has green skin, then peel it before eating them or using them in cooking.

What to Avoid during sprouting?

During the process of sprouting, the potato begins to shrivel. Due to this, starch is converted into sugar. It is used in growing sprouts. A wrinkled, shriveled, sprouted potato does not have many nutrients, and it won’t be very palatable. Avoid eating shriveled or wrinkled potatoes.

How to Prevent Sprouting?

If you’re going to store them for a long time, then always try to keep your potatoes in a cool, dry, and dark place. Keep them away from onions. Because onions will cause them to sprout faster.

Commercial potato growers take the most possible steps and often treat their potatoes in various ways to keep them from sprouting. If you buy organic potatoes from markets or grow your own potatoes, then there are a few simple storage suggestions that can extend the storage life of your potatoes by weeks or even months:

  • If you are going to buy potatoes in bulk or harvest your own each fall, then you should be selective about the potato variety. Some potatoes can be stored better.
  • As a general rule, dryer, late-harvest potatoes can be best to keep. Look for heirloom varieties. They have a long-proven reputation as good keepers.
  • Homegrown potatoes should be dried out (or cured) outdoors before storing them for a long time. If you are skipping this simple and important step, they won’t last as long as you have thought about their storage time.
  • While it may seem obvious, damaged potatoes won’t keep well, either. Store good-quality potatoes properly. If you store them correctly, they won’t go bad and sprout prematurely.

Can you remove toxic compounds from sprouted potatoes?

Glycoalkaloids are mostly present in a potato’s leaves, flowers, eyes, and sprouts. In addition to sprouting, there are three signs to know if the potato’s glycoalkaloid content may have risen dramatically or not. These signs are physical damage, greening, and a bitter taste.

Just discard the sprouts, eyes, green skin of potatoes, and remove the bruised parts. It can help to reduce your risk of toxicity. Furthermore, if you peel and fry them. It can help reduce glycoalkaloid levels. Although boiling, baking, and microwaving are also known as the best methods, they appear to have little effect .

Here, you can find out if sweet potato vines are edible or not.

Conclusion:

In this brief guide, we answered the question” Are potato eyes poisonous?” with an in-depth analysis of toxins present in them. Moreover, we discussed the tips to prevent sprouting.

Citations:

https://www.thespruceeats.com/is-it-safe-to-eat-a-sprouted-potato-1389272#:~:text=They’re%20most%20concentrated%20into%20 feel%20any%20ill%20effects.

https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/best-way-use-vegetable-peeler-article
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sprouted-potato#removing-toxic-compounds
https://www.foodnewsnews.com/news/are-the-eyes-on-a-potato-poisonous/

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