Potatoes are a pesky foodstuff – when you put the oven on and open the cupboard, they’ll have gone green or grown eyes seemingly overnight.
One thing you shouldn’t do to keep them fresh, however, is leave them in the fridge.
An article in the New Scientist looking into the health risks of eating potatoes examined acrylamide, a chemical used in lots of industrial processes and found in potatoes when they’re cooked at high temperatures.
When in the body, the substance is converted into glycidamide, which can bind to DNA and cause mutations – and while studies using animals show that it can cause cancer, this doesn’t necessarily affect us in that way.
Either way, the article concludes that it’s a good idea to keep our acrylamide down to a minimum just to be safe.
This can be done by eating a healthy mix of foods, including cutting down on acrylamide-high foods such as biscuits and crisps, but also storing foods in the right way – potatoes in particular.
By keeping potatoes in the fridge, an enzyme named invertase breaks down the sugar sucrose into fructose and glucose.
Which means that when you cook the potatoes, acrylamide can form.
And cooking those potatoes super-thoroughly – as we often do – can also result in higher levels of it, so the UK Food Standards Agency recommends aiming for a golden rather than brown colour on your spuds before eating.
For potato lovers, the presence of the chemical is sad news – but in the future, better potatoes could become available as the food industry is coming under pressure to use potatoes that naturally produce less of the stuff.
How do you keep your potatoes fresh? Tweet us at @YahooStyleUK.