In this brief blog, we are going to answer the question,”Can you eat potatoes without curing?” We will explain the importance of curing potatoes and some benefits of curing potatoes. We will also briefly discuss how to properly store potatoes after curing.
Can you eat potatoes without curing?
Yes, you can eat potatoes without curing. You can dig out your potatoes and consume them fresh out of the ground with no curing just be sure to clean them first. Curing is usually necessary if you plan to store them for some period of time.
Why is the curing of potatoes important?
Potatoes curing is an important step after harvesting because it helps prevent post-harvest losses by increasing the storage life of potatoes. This should be done immediately after harvesting and before storage. Many farmers usually cause a lot of postharvest losses through their harvesting techniques.
Use of sharp tools during potato tubers harvesting causes cuts to the tubers. Injuries to the tissues then occur and can affect the ability to heal. The cuts also provide an open space for pathogenic bacteria to harbor and grow leading to infections as well as an increased production of ethylene gas which promotes rotting.
Potato tubers, like other types of veggies, continue with physiological processes such as respiration and transpiration even after harvesting. This results in reduction of energy levels and water loss which is seen in the form of shrinking of the tubers and their eventual deaths. This results in post- harvest losses.
Curing potatoes after harvesting goes a long way in preventing post-harvest losses. Potato curing involves cleaning the tubers after harvesting to remove excess dirt and storing them in well aerated and dry conditions at a temperature range of about 9 degrees celsius to 11 degrees celsius. The humidity should also be high, preferably above 90% for about 14 days.
The curing should as well be done in an enclosed environment that has good circulation of air and also has a pest control mechanism to prevent aphids and rodents which can eat and cause damage to the tubers.
What are some benefits of curing potatoes?
Some of the benefits of curing potatoes are:
- Well cured potatoes have a less buildup of ethylene gas and therefore are less likely to spoil during spoilage.
- Curing of tubers also helps in the drying and quick healing of wounds on tubers that were caused during the harvesting processes.
- During curing the skin of the potatoes hardens which is important because it minimizes physical injuries and possible pest attack.
- Curing is also useful in lowering the dormancy period of potatoes meant for use as seed potatoes.
- Curing also helps control the browning effect caused by cuts from extending to the rest of the tuber therefore assisting in keeping its tasty quality.
How do you store potatoes after curing?
After curing, it is important to slowly drop the storage temperature to about 40 to 45 degrees for table use. Potato tubers are about 80 percent water, so it is important to store them at high humidity to prevent shriveling.
If you store them at temperatures below 45 degrees, it can lead to sugar buildup or sweetening. Fried products from such tubers tend to be darker and oiler than those from tubers which have been stored at elevated temperatures.
Low temperatures are usually ideal because they tend to sweeten tubers, high temperatures on the other hand often result in excessive decay, shriveling and sprouting.
You should as well sort out and cull injured and diseased spuds before storing them long-term. Only store healthy potatoes in well aerated and ventilated containers.
It is wise to consume any potatoes with injuries or bad spots first after harvest because they are more prone to rot. They can result in spoilage or spread out disease microorganisms to other potatoes.
Ensure that the storage area is dark as light and warmth will turn tubers green and make them inedible. Chlorophyll is harmless but high amounts of it can indicate signs of a toxic alkaloid known as solanine.
Too much of solanine can result in solanine poisoning but small quantities are harmless. Make sure to therefore throw away any potatoes which have excessive greening in the skin.
Other FAQs about Potatoes that you may be interested in.
In this brief blog, we have answered the question. “Can you eat potatoes without curing?” We have also discussed the importance of curing potatoes and some benefits of curing potatoes. We have also briefly discussed how to properly store potatoes after curing.
We hope you enjoyed this blog and found it to be informative. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to leave them down below.