TechnologyCrop Production R & DGreen potatoes safe for consumers to eat, researcher says

Green potatoes safe for consumers to eat, researcher says

-

Sabine Tanios is a PhD candidate in Tasmania working on research into why and how potatoes develop green colouring.

Her work at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture looks at the wide range of factors that cause undesirable greening in potatoes, and at ways of reducing it.

She said consumers’ reluctance to eat green potatoes had an easy solution.

“We’ve all heard that green potatoes are toxic,” she said. “However, this is not true. When potatoes are exposed to light, they accumulate glycoalkaloids, which are known to be toxic compounds if they are consumed at high concentrations.”

But Tanios said this was not usually the case with green potatoes that were sometimes offered for sale.

Tanios’s research is looking into what causes the greening in potatoes in the field, as well as what affects the greening in retail stores. It also looks at the effects of nitrogen, the role of genetics and the impact of harvesting times on the greening of potatoes.

All about the light

“Light is the main factor affecting greening,” Tanios said. “Keeping potatoes in the dark is the key factor towards avoiding greening, but in the supermarket you cannot keep your potatoes in a black box.”

Research has revealed the colour or wavelength of light is a key factor.

“When you use blue light, greening can occur very quickly, while if you use green light, greening is much less,” Tanios said.

Greening occurs over a wide range of potato varieties, with more than 100 different types being screened as part of the research project, with some more susceptible than others.

Tanios said her research results would have a wide application.

“Potatoes are the fourth-most important food crop worldwide,” she said. “Greening is one of the major factors contributing to millions of dollars of losses every year in each country.”

Source: abc.net.au

Trending This Week

Bar 9 Farms cover crop

Stopping Disappearing Soil on Bar 9 Farms in Alberta

0
Reducing soil erosion is the goal for Neil and James Bareman on their potato farm, Bar 9 Farms, in southern Alberta. Farming in southern Alberta...
Colorado Potato Beetle

Colorado Potato Beetles Break Down, Regrow Muscle to Survive Winter

0
New research from Western University has discovered hibernating Colorado potato beetles (CPBs) break down muscles to survive winters and then regrow them on demand...
Yellow potatoes

Mid-season Crop Nutrition: How’s Your Boron?

Want more from your potato crop? Better quality and yield may come from boron. I sat down with University of Manitoba Plant Scientist Mark...
Ontario potato crop

Ontario Potato Research Open House Happening Aug. 17

0
The Ontario Potato Research Open House is happening on Aug. 17 at the Elora Research Station, a July 26 emailed announcement said. The open...
Colomba potatoes

Manitoba Tuber Set Numbers Looking Good

0
With temperatures having hit the upper 20 C range and the low teens overnight, it has been good for tuberization of Manitoba potato crops, the...