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Buying and storing potatoes

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Buying potatoes

  • Ask your supplier what varieties are available and in season. Look for the New Zealand Gap logo.
  • Order the right variety for the cooking purpose.
  • Order the amount required and in good time to ensure good stock rotation.
  • Rotate stock every few days.

Storing and handling potatoes

  • Always keep potatoes in a dry, frost-free place with good ventilation.
  • Store potatoes between 5-10°C. Use a thermometer to ensure storage area is at the right temperature.
  • Keep potatoes away from strong smelling foodstuffs or chemicals.
  • Clean store areas regularly.
  • Avoid storing potatoes in strong light – natural or artificial – as they will turn green.
  • Keep potato stacks low (no more than 6 bags high) to avoid squashing.
  • Do not handle potatoes more often than is absolutely necessary as they bruise easily.
  • Do not use potatoes if they feel damp in the bag.

What causes greening?

  • When potatoes are exposed to light they can develop a green colour resulting in chlorophyll formation in the surface layers. Associated with this is the formation of a toxic alkaloid, solanine.
  • The amount of green pigment depends on the intensity of the light, length of exposure and age of potato.
  • New potatoes are particularly susceptible to greening.
  • If potatoes are purchased with a lot of greening return them to the supplier.
  • If there are small amounts of greening cut the green off and use the potato normally.
  • Some varieties have quite a yellow flesh so don’t confuse this with greening.