The health risks from glycoalkaloids, which are found in potatoes and potato products, can be reduced by peeling, boiling and frying potatoes, a study from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), says.
The EFSA assessed the risks to human and animal health related to the presence of glycoalkaloids in food and feed. Glycoalkaloids are a naturally occurring compounds found in the Solanaceae family of plants, which includes potatoes, tomatoes and aubergines.
Researchers identified a health concern for infants and toddlers, considering both mean and high consumers, the release notes. Among adults, there is a health concern for high consumers only. Glycoalkaloids poisoning can cause acute gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
Based on the findings the EFSA derived a lowest observed adverse effect level of 1 milligram per kilogram of body weight per day, the release says. This equates to the lowest dose at which undesired effects are observed.
Peeling, boiling and frying can reduce the content of glycoalkaloids in food. For example, peeling potatoes can reduce their content by between 25 and 75 per cent, boiling in water between 5 and 65 per cent, and frying in oil between 20 and 90 per cent.