Why do rotten potatoes smell so bad?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “why do rotten potatoes smell so bad?” Also we will discuss why it is not good to eat potatoes that have spoiled. Moreover, we will discuss how you can store potatoes to last longer.

why do rotten potatoes smell so bad?

Rotten potatoes smell because they are decomposing and releasing sulfur-containing gases. These gases are foul-smelling and can be toxic. When potatoes start to rot, they produce a gas called ethyl mercaptan. 

This gas is also produced by decaying corpses, and it smells like rotting flesh. Ethyl mercaptan is just one of the many foul-smelling gases produced by decomposing potatoes. 

These gases are not only foul-smelling, but they can also be toxic. Inhaling large amounts of these gases can cause nausea, vomiting, and headaches. In extreme cases, it can even be fatal.

When potatoes decompose, they release foul-smelling gases like methane and carbon dioxide. Rotten potatoes can produce methane gas in a number of ways. One way is through the process of decomposition. 

As the potatoes rot, they release methane gas into the air. Another way is through the process of fermentation. When the potatoes are fermented, they produce methane gas as a by-product.

Why you should not eat rotten potatoes?

Rotten potatoes can contain harmful toxins that can make you sick. When potatoes rot, they release a toxin called solanine. Solanine is a bitter substance that can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can lead to paralysis and death. 

Solanine is found in the skin and flesh of potatoes. It is more concentrated in green potatoes and potato skins. It is important to wash and peel potatoes before eating them. 

Rotten potatoes can also be a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause stomach pain and diarrhea.

How can you tell if a potato is spoiled?

Wrinkled skin

Wrinkles on potatoes mean that the potato is old and not good to eat. Wrinkles can also be caused by storage conditions, such as too much humidity. In general, potatoes with wrinkles are still safe to eat, although they may not be as tasty as fresher potatoes.


If a potato is spoiled, it will likely have a strong, unpleasant smell that will be difficult to ignore. The potatoes can also have a moldy smell. Moldy potatoes usually have a soft, spongy texture and a greenish, blackish, or brownish color. They may also have a musty or mildewy smell.

Green spots

The green spots on a potato are caused by exposure to light. When potatoes are exposed to light, they produce a chemical called solanine. Solanine is a natural toxin that can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. While most green potatoes are safe to eat, it is important to remove the green spots before cooking.

How do you store potatoes to last longer?

The best way to store potatoes so that they don’t spoil is to keep them in a cool, dark place with plenty of ventilation. potatoes should not be stored in the fridge, as this can cause them to spoil faster.

 If you have a lot of potatoes, you can store them in a cool, dark basement or cellar. If you only have a few potatoes, you can store them in a dark cupboard or pantry. Another way to help keep potatoes from spoiling is to keep them away from other fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables give off ethylene gas, which can cause potatoes to spoil faster. So, if you’re storing potatoes in a kitchen cabinet, make sure to keep them away from any other fruits or vegetables.

If you’re storing potatoes long-term, you can also place them in a mesh bag and hang them in a cool, dark place. This will allow them to get the ventilation they need while also keeping them away from other fruits and vegetables.

Can you freeze potatoes?

Yes, you can freeze potatoes for them to last longer. You can freeze potatoes by peeling and slicing them, then blanching them in boiling water for two minutes. After blanching, drain the potatoes and place them on a baking sheet. Freeze the potatoes for two hours, then transfer them to a freezer bag.

To cook frozen potatoes, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. Place the thawed potatoes in a pot of boiling water and cook them for three to five minutes, or until they are tender.

You can find more potatoes recipes here

Other FAQs about Potatoes that you may be interested in.

Where do potatoes grow?

Can you cook roast potatoes at 140 degrees?

Will sliced raw potatoes keep in the fridge?


In this article, we have answered the question, “why do rotten potatoes smell so bad?” Also, we have discussed how you can tell that a potato has spoiled and how to store them to last longer.



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