Are oxidised potatoes safe to eat?

In this short article, we will answer the question “Are oxidised potatoes safe to eat?” and will examine whether oxidised potatoes have a distinct flavour as well as how to prevent them from oxidising.

Are oxidised potatoes safe to eat?

Yes, we can consume oxidised potatoes without worrying about becoming sick, yes. It’s okay to consume oxidised potatoes. The colour is the only distinction between an oxidised potato and a regular potato.

Otherwise, both of them have the same texture and nutritious content. Despite becoming unsightly, oxidised potatoes have the same flavour as regular potatoes.

Does the flavour of oxidised potatoes differ from the of normal potatoes?

Potatoes with oxides will indeed taste slightly different. Its nutritional content won’t be the same, and the flavour might be a little worse. Potatoes that have been oxidised by polyphenols have a brownish tint, but they can still be eaten normally.

The PFO enzyme can be avoided by covering the chopped and peeled potatoes with clean water and a little lemon juice before cooking them. You can remove the browned portions, which will be the more superficial part in touch with oxygen in the air.

To prevent burns and fires caused by too much water if the goal is to cook the potatoes, dry them thoroughly before dropping them into the hot oil.

What is the cause of potato oxidation?

When potatoes are chopped or peeled, an enzyme known as polyphenol oxidase (PFO) is produced, which can oxidise polyphenols and set off a chain of events that results in the formation of dark chemicals (melanoidins).

When exposed to low oxygen levels, such as those found underwater, or when a material that can oxidise before potatoes do so is present, the PFO enzyme’s ability to do its job is hampered (one example is the ascorbic acid, present in lemon juice).

Because copper is carried by the PFO as a catalytic subunit, its function is hampered if it is out of balance (for instance, with citric acid). In acidic settings, it also performs badly. 

All of this explains why keeping the potatoes’ colour by peeling them and soaking them in water containing a little lemon juice.

How can potatoes be kept from oxidising?

When oxygen plus light penetrates a food’s protective covering and interact with the nutrients, oxidation takes place. 

While not all foods oxidise as quickly, the temperature does have an impact on the process. Foods kept in the cold oxidise more quickly than those kept at room temperature.

Foods like potatoes benefit from being submerged in cold water since it decreases the rate of the oxidation process.

Potatoes can be frozen to prevent oxidation, but only while they are frozen; once they are thawed, the enzymes are reactivated. Because of this, the refrigerator’s low temperatures play a part in reducing the deterioration process.

Some fruits and vegetables can be successfully preserved through the process of dehydration. Hydration increases the danger of oxidation since water is required for the activity of the enzymes that oxidise fruits and vegetables.

Although there are other procedures for protecting food from oxidation, they cannot be used in housewives’ kitchens due to their complexity.


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