Eating Sprouted Potatoes: Is It Toxic?

Can you still eat sprouted potatoes or are they poisonous? Many consumers are unsure when sprouts grow out of the potatoes. What is to be considered?

Anyone who doesn’t have a cool, dark cellar knows the problem: the potatoes have hardly been bought before they germinate. They become soft, the skin turns green and the proportion of toxic solanine increases as a result of germination. Can you still eat the sprouted potatoes?

Is a germinating potato poisonous?

Potatoes are considered healthy, they contain many vitamins, minerals, and fiber. However, like tomatoes, they belong to the nightshade family, which is rich in the toxic alkaloid solanine. This natural toxin is found just under the skin and builds up in the sprouts.

According to the Bavarian consumer advice center, potatoes should be eaten quickly because the solanine content in potatoes that have been stored incorrectly can rise to a level that is harmful to health. If they are stored at more than 12 degrees Celsius, the germs will sprout prematurely. A dark storage location is also crucial. Because the green areas rich in solanine are caused by exposure to light.

Potatoes should be peeled before eating to reduce the levels of toxic solanine. The tuber is inedible raw and must always be boiled or fried. The cooking water from potatoes should also not be reused, as part of the solanine gets into the water.

Are potatoes still edible? That’s how you know it!

Potatoes start to sprout in the supermarket. However, it takes a while for the shoots to break through the shell. If the shoots are still very small and only visible in a few places, the potato is still edible if you follow a few tips.

If the potatoes have many sprouts and are already soft and shriveled, then you should keep your hands off the tubers. Even if the potato is already green on or under the skin, this is an indication of an increased solanine content.

Avoid sprouting potatoes: the best tips!

In order not to be faced with the question of whether sprouting potatoes are still edible, you should heed these tips:

  • Buy potatoes in opaque packaging (paper bags)
  • Store potatoes in a cool, dark place (cellar, pantry)
  • Only buy small quantities
  • Generously cut away green areas and small shoots
  • Discontinue the use of germinating tubers that are soft
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Written by Dave Parker

I am a food photographer and recipe writer with more than 5 years of experience. As a home cook, I have published three cookbooks and had many collaborations with international and domestic brands. Thanks to my experience in cooking, writing and photographing unique recipes for my blog you will get great recipes for lifestyle magazines, blogs, and cookbooks. I have extensive knowledge of cooking savory and sweet recipes that will tickle your taste buds and will please even the pickiest crowd.

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