Are potato eyes poisonous?

In this article, we will answer the question “Are potato eyes poisonous? and discuss how to stop potatoes from sprouting? 

Are potato eyes poisonous?

Yes. Potato eyes are poisonous. Potato eyes are toxic to humans because they contain a toxic compound known as solanine so you should avoid sprouts even in a small quantity. Solanine is concentrated in the skin and sprouts and it can cause headaches, digestive disorders and vomiting. You should remove sprouts before cooking.

Potatoes also contain chaconine, a type of glycoalkaloids, it presents in stem, sprouts and leaves. Green potatoes have more solanine compounds as compared to non-green potatoes. It can cause problems in the digestive system, nervous system and kidney.  

Can you destroy solanine by cooking?

You can’t remove solanine by boiling. If you fry a potato, it can destroy the solanine in the potato. You should avoid solanine but if someone consumes solanine up 5g per day per body weight it won’t kill him.

How to plant sprouted potatoes?

You should wait until potato sprouts then you can plant sprouted potato into the soil for further growth. The process in which potato sprout is known as “Chitting”.

You can plant a potato or a portion of potato with one or two eyes. The portion of potato or the whole potato is necessary for the sprout until they develop root. When roots are established the sprout turns green and makes food by the process of photosynthesis.

Can you eat potato sprouts?

No, you can’t eat potato sprout as it is not edible because it contains toxic compounds so it is not a good choice for you. Don’t discard potatoes if they sprouted instead remove sprouts and use potatoes for cooking. It won’t hurt you.

When sprouts grow the starch in the potato converts into sugar and the nutritional value of potatoes depleted and most potato parts become inedible. Avoid eating when sprouts get stronger.

Other FAQs about Potatoes which you may be interested in.

Are potato leaves poisonous?

Are potato skins poisonous?

How to stop potatoes from sprouting?

You should store potatoes in a cool place to avoid sprouting in the potato.  Store potato at a lower temperature.  The ideal temperature to store potatoes is 45 °F  to 50 °F. You can also store potatoes at 38 to 42 °F. 

Make sure that the temperature remains constant during the storage period. Sudden rise or fall in temperature can cause sprouting or spoilage in the potato. If you store potatoes below 40 °F you can use them within 6 to 8 months. But if the storage temperature is greater than 40 °F you should use potatoes within three to four months.

Store potatoes in a dry place and avoid washing before storage. If you wash potatoes before it increases the moisture and moisture can cause spoilage in the potatoes. If you store potatoes in the too dry area it will cause shrivel in potatoes. 

If it happens, transfer the potato to the humid area. Make sure there is proper aeration in the storage area to avoid spoilage.

Store them in baskets or cotton bags.  Avoid plastic bags for storage as they can cause spoilage and sprout in your product. Plastic can trap moisture and spoil your commodity. Instead, use other perforated material in which air can pass easily. The most suitable material for potato storage is a cotton boxes basket, cotton bags and wooden crates.

Store potatoes in a dark place away from the light. You can store them in basements, cabinets, garages. Light can start sprouting and damage your commodity. It is also responsible for solanine production which is toxic for consumption. If you notice green skin avoid eating them as it is highly toxic.

Don’t store them next to appliances such as the refrigerator and stove, avoid storing them in the cabinet below the sink. If you store potatoes here it can cause spoilage.

Store potatoes away from the onions, apples, pears, bananas and other fruits. These fruits can start sprouting in the potatoes. Apple releases ethylene gas on ripening which can start sprouting in the potato. Potatoes can cause softening in apples.

You can keep some herbs such as rosemary, lavender and sage. These herbs keep potatoes away from rot and sprouting.

Use spearmint or peppermint essential oils to inhibit sprouting in the potatoes. Soak bottler paper and tuck it into the potato container. It can prevent potatoes from sprouting. Don’t use it in a metal container. You can use it for 2 to 3 weeks. Don’t use clove oil at home because it requires a thermal or aerosol application.


In this article, we answered the question “Are potato eyes poisonous? and discussed how to stop potatoes from sprouting? 

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.