Why is storing potatoes in the fridge carcinogenic?

Verified on 09/19/2022 by PasseportSanté
Pourquoi conserver les pommes de terre au frigo est-il cancérigène ?

Not all foods can be kept fresh. While some fresh products lose their flavor, others are even ultra-dangerous for your health when stored in the refrigerator.

This is true of potatoes. We explain why keeping potatoes in the fridge is such a bad idea!

Why is storing potatoes in the fridge a bad idea?

Storing potatoes in the refrigerator crisper may seem harmless, but it’s not without consequences…

To begin with, it’s important to know that potatoes tend to rot more quickly when they’re in an environment that’s too cool. This can affect their taste and texture when cooked.

But if storing potatoes in the fridge is a bad idea, it’s mainly because of the chemical reaction that takes place between the starch and the cold, which can have serious health consequences.

Why can potatoes be carcinogenic when stored in the fridge?

It’s a well-known fact that potatoes are starch-rich foods. But starch is a slow sugar that transforms into fast sugars (fructose and glucose) when exposed to cold.

This reaction is known as « cold sweetening ». This change in the state of the starch leads to a chemical reaction when the potatoes are cooked.

Indeed, when potatoes that have been stored in a cool place are cooked and subjected to high temperatures in excess of 250°C, the fast-moving sugars mix with the amino acid asparagine to produce a chemical called « acrylamide ».

Furthermore, cooking potatoes stored in a cool place will increaseacrylamide levels.

The bad news? Acrylamide is classified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

That’s why you should never store potatoes in the refrigerator.

To store potatoes without risk to your health, choose a cool, dry place like a pantry.