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Potato Greening

Will consuming potatoes with green patches make you sick?

No. Green spots or patches on potatoes (known as “greening”) are a natural result of chlorophyll production in the tuber from being exposed to light.1 Chlorophyll is not toxic; however, its presence indicates an increase in the production of solanine. Solanine is a glycoalkaloid that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting and diarrhea), but only if consumed in very large amounts.1-3



Download PDF: Potatoes & Greening→



  1. Woolfe JA. The Potato in the Human Diet. Cambridge University Press, Great Brittan. 1987. pp 162-181.
  2. University of Nebraska Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Greening potatoes: The problem; the solution. Cropwhtch. https://cropwatch.unl.edu/ potato/greening. Accessed October 10, 2017.
  3. Friedman M. Potato glycoalkoloids and metabolites: roles in the plant and in the diet. J Agric Food Chem. 2006; 54:8655-8681.
  4. Dolan LC, Matulka RA, Burdock GA. Naturally occurring food toxins. Toxins. 2010; 2:2289-2332.

Rev. 03/20