Potatoes are one of the most versatile food crops in the kitchen. They can be baked, fried, mashed or boiled. Also, they can be eaten as a main dish or added as part of the main dish. Consequently, their multipurpose nature may tempt you to buy a large quantity at home, which is why it is necessary to know how to tell if potatoes are bad.
Do potatoes go bad? Yes, they do, even though they can last a relatively long time before showing signs of spoilage. For instance, sweet potatoes are best eaten between a month and three months. Nevertheless, this can increase if kept in a freezer or canned. On how to tell if sweet potatoes are bad, they show dark brown or black colour. You will also notice moulds and sprouts.
How to tell if potatoes are bad
Although certain signs that appear on your potatoes do not mean you must trash them, you should not consider eating them for the sake of your health under certain circumstances. So, when should you consider throwing them away? Below are detailed explanations of how to tell if they are bad:
Wrinkled skin and softness
Like the human skin, how long potatoes have been can be determined by the wrinkles on the outer part. At first, the wrinkles do not change the taste, which means you should quickly use them. However, once it starts getting soft, throw it away because it can also spoil other tubers around it.
Moulds become a threat to their consumption when it spreads widely on the surface. They appear when the potatoes are stored under inappropriate temperature and humidity levels. While this is one of the ways on how to tell if red potatoes are bad, you may still consume them if the mould spots are tiny after scraping the spots out.
Potatoes contain two major glycoalkaloids: solanine and chaconine. They serve as a sort of pesticide to prevent insect and fungi attacks. However, exposure to excessive light can increase solanine, which can be observed in the green colouration. The green colour is part of how to tell if russet potatoes are bad.
Potatoes are still alive even after harvest, although the metabolism is reduced. Then, at some point, they begin to sprout. So, are potatoes safe to eat when they sprout? Yes, they are safe if you do not consume in excess.
So, can you eat sprouted potatoes? Yes, you can, once you remove the sprouts. However, it may be best for you to plant them if the shoots are very long.
The outer layer may look fresh, while the inside is rotten. You may not notice this until you slice them. However, to avoid buying rotten potatoes, fresh ones smell like the earth and starch. So, when should you throw out potatoes? The moment they have a mouldy and bitter smell.
How long are potatoes good for?
Their shelf life depends on different factors, including the following:
- Its type
The different types of potatoes in the market have various time frames for spoilage.
- Storage conditions
To get the best quality, you must store them under suitable conditions. Most of them last longer when stored in a cool and dry place. Note that potatoes have 80 per cent moisture. Therefore, they do not need to be stored under high temperatures. 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit is most appropriate.
- Preparation method
Can you eat raw potatoes? You can eat them raw, cooked, fried, baked, or mashed. If you have leftovers, the shelf life depends on how you prepared and stored them.
How do you keep potatoes fresh?
Potatoes quickly get spoilt because they have a high moisture content, low acidity and some protein. These factors make them easy targets for microorganisms like bacteria and fungi. Nevertheless, after harvesting or buying them from the supermarket, you are responsible for keeping them in good condition. Below are some ways on how to keep potatoes fresh.
- Do not wash until you are ready to cook them. The best thing to do is brush away excessive dirt.
- Keep them in an aerated container. You can store baskets or paper bags with holes, but not in plastic containers.
- Keep away from light. Excessive light causes increased solanine, which leads to green spots on potatoes. Temperatures between six to 10 degrees Celsius are good for them.
- Do not store the raw ones in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Store in a cool, dark, and dry place like a cupboard, pantry, and cellar.
- Separate any rotten one from the rest, so it does not infect them.
What happens if you eat bad potatoes?
Potatoes contain fibres that help in weight reduction and the prevention of heart diseases. Its antioxidants and vitamin content also help the body function properly.
Excessive solanine makes the potato bitter. Therefore, if you consume it in large amounts, it could lead to headache, fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, and death on rare occasions. It can also lead to congenital disabilities if pregnant women consume it.
Knowing how to tell if potatoes are bad is crucial if you want to eat healthy meals and prevent food wastage. Similarly, knowing how long it takes for a potato to go bad will help you create the proper storage condition. We hope the information shared above helps you stay healthy.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
Source: Briefly News