Stored too long and incorrectly, potatoes begin to sprout. This natural process also gives rise to several debates on their condition and, more concretely, whether they are suitable for consumption. According to some sources, they present no danger to health (provided you kill germs), but others mention that they are toxic and can lead to food poisoning. So, can we eat sprouted potatoes? What does scientific research say? We take stock of it.
Can you eat sprouted potatoes?
So when does eating a potato become dangerous? As a general rule, it is not advisable to eat potatoes on a daily basis, but the real danger comes when they have already sprouted. What exactly is the problem and the risk? First, this popular food is a natural source of solanine and chaconine. These are glycoalkaloid compounds naturally present in many other foodstuffs including eggplants and tomatoes. When ingested in small amounts, these compounds may have antibiotic, hypoglycemic and cholesterol-lowering properties. On the other hand, excessive consumption becomes toxic.
When the potato begins to sprout, its glycoalkaloid content also increases. Therefore, eating sprouted potatoes means ingesting excessive amounts of these compounds, which is likely to lead to poisoning. Symptoms usually appear 2 to 20 hours later. Depending on the amount consumed, these include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, low blood pressure, high heart rate, fever, headache, etc. In the most severe cases – even death.
Can I eat sprouted potatoes when pregnant?
A few small scientific studies have shown that eating sprouted potatoes during pregnancy could increase the risk of birth defects. It is therefore better to avoid their consumption when you are pregnant.
Is it possible to remove toxic compounds from sprouted potatoes?
Toxic compounds (glycoalkaloids) are particularly concentrated in the leaves, flowers, eyes and sprouts of potatoes. In addition to sprouts, there are three other signs that they are high: greening, bitter taste, and bruised parts. Removing all of these parts could help reduce the risk of toxicity. As for the cooking method, frying might decrease glycoalkaloid levels while boiling, baking and microwaving seem to have almost no effect.
Attention : Currently, it is not known with certainty whether the above practices are sufficient to provide adequate protection against the toxicity of the compounds in question. For this reason, the experts and the editorial staff of Deavita.fr advise you to throw away potatoes that have sprouted or turned green.
What to do to prevent potatoes from sprouting? Here, a few clever tricks are available to you, but the most effective relates in particular to the quantity you buy. According to experts, the best way to reduce sprouting is to buy potatoes only when you intend to use them within 2-3 days. In addition to preventing them from sprouting, this trick will also save you money at the supermarket – a very useful practice to adopt in view of inflation which will continue to worsen. When you buy them, store them in a cool, dry, dark place.
It is important to note that it is not recommended to keep potatoes in the fridge at the risk of losing their nutritional properties. The ideal would be to store them in a cellar or cellar. Alternatively, open wooden or plastic crates are another good option to consider. Remember to slip in an apple which naturally plays the role of an anti-germ potato. This popular fruit tends to release ethylene, a gas that stagnates the development of sprouts. Know that this trick is not able to permanently stop germination, but you will have time to cook the potatoes.
However, it is possible to keep potatoes all year round, but only if you apply the right advice and care. Please click on the pink link to learn more.
*Source used: Healthline