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What are the dark spots inside of a white potato?

Answered on April 29, 2015
Created June 17, 2012 at 2:54 PM

What are the dark spots inside of a white potato? I.e., after peeling, there are dark spots that I usually cut out or keep peeling until they go away. What causes them? Are organic potatoes more or less likely to have them? Any tips for selecting potatoes that are less likely to have them? Are they safe to eat or is it better to cut them out? It is a pain in the butt to cut them out when you get a potato that has a lot of them.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 29, 2012
at 11:00 AM

Thank you. Why is important to cut them away? Not safe to eat or unpalatable?

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on June 17, 2012
at 03:19 PM

I have the same question. After a little research, it seems there are probably a lot of different types of potato defects. That said, I've not seen a good discussion characterizing the common ones and discussing whether it is safe/healthy to eat (or even to eat around all types of defects).

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3 Answers

best answer

3
7b7ed6ac9bfdaaba822b991ffd0178ab

on June 17, 2012
at 05:38 PM

Those are the spots from where roots will start to grow. You should cut them away.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 29, 2012
at 11:00 AM

Thank you. Why is important to cut them away? Not safe to eat or unpalatable?

1
7f8bc7ce5c34aae50408d31812c839b0

(2698)

on June 17, 2012
at 03:05 PM

They could be spots where rotting is starting. I don't see them often in freshly bought potatoes. I'd not eat those areas to be safe.

0
72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on April 29, 2015
at 04:38 AM

This very thorough guide from Cornell University has some excellent images of different kinds of lesions. The spots I find in my russet potatoes most closely resemble #17, mechanical damage. This is caused by physical trauma to the potato. It doesn't explicitly say that the spots are safe to eat, but they don't indicate any kind of rot or infection.

A number of other images on that page look similar in cross-section, but the text says that the discoloration runs along the vasculature of the potato. If you're seeing isolated spots then only the damage is a good match.

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