How to Prevent Potatoes From Sprouting

How to Prevent Potatoes From Sprouting

Don’t you hate when Potatoes grow sprouts before you can use them? Keep your potatoes fresh and sprout free with this simple trick.

Potatoes grow sprouts. Good in the ground, not so great in your kitchen. To provide protection to the tender young sprouts, they contain natural defensive toxins called glycoalkaloids.

Can I Eat a Sprouted Potato?

While a sprouting spud hasn’t gone bad, the overall texture begins to degrade. Tiny sprouts can just be scraped away, larger sprouts require more cutting away of the underlying potato itself.

If the sprouts are as large as seen in the picture above, then prepare for a sub-optimal texture potato. It is still technically edible however if said spud is not moldy or green.

The sprouts themselves aren’t dangerous to consume unless in large quantity. But they aren’t good for you like other kinds of sprouts.

How to Stop Potatoes from Sprouting

A simple trick to keep your potatoes fresh and sprout-free are to store them in a brown paper bag with … drumroll please.. an apple.

Yep, an apple emits ethylene gas [1] that prevents the potato from forming sprouts in the first place. No sprouts, decay, or texture changes for five to fifteen weeks! [2] While ethylene gas hastens ripening of green tomatoes, certain roots or fruits such as bananas, it actually inhibits potatoes from sprouting. And when they do sprout, it produces far less in the way of texture changes.

Quite a Kitchen cooking hack: Apples stop potatoes from sprouting
Apples stop potatoes from sprouting

Find more cooking tricks and tips here on Quite A Kitchen!


  1. Prange, Robert K. et al. “Using Ethylene as a Sprout Control Agent in Stored ‘Russet Burbank’ Potatoes.” Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science 123.3 (1998): 463-69. Web. 27 July 2016.
  2. Yahia, Elhadi M. Modified and Controlled Atmospheres for the Storage, Transportation, and Packaging of Horticultural Commodities. Boca Raton: CRC/Taylor & Francis, 2009.

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