Why Do My Potatoes Turn Pink When I Cut Them?

Is it OK to eat a pink potato? Here's what we know.

Potatoes are an essential part of our diets, and that’s probably because there are so many different ways to prepare them. Baked potatoes, french fries, potato chips—you name it, there’s a recipe! But have you ever found that, while chopping up your spuds, they begin to take on a slightly pink hue? Don’t worry, we’re here to tell you why.

Why Do Potatoes Turn Pink?

There’s a simple explanation for your pink potato. It’s a chemical reaction that happens when enzymes in the potato are exposed to air. This kind of reaction should be familiar to most home cooks, because it often happens with fruit, like when apples turn brown after they’re cut.

Are Pink Potatoes Safe to Eat?

Your pink-tinged potato is “perfectly safe to eat,” according to the Idaho Potato Commission. Unlike green potatoes and occasionally sprouted potatoes, which can be bitter and unsafe to eat, there’s nothing wrong with pink potatoes. Once you roast the spuds, the pink hue will be replaced by a crispy golden exterior.

Here’s how to tell if your gray ground beef is safe to eat.

How Do I Stop This from Happening?

There are a handful of ways to prevent potatoes from turning pink. First, use a sharp knife or potato peeler. This helps to reduce damage to the potato and scale back the chemical reaction. Next, use your potatoes right after you cut them. If you know your potatoes will be sit around for a while before they hit the pan, stick them in some cold water. It creates a barrier between the spuds and the air. You may never need to worry about pink potatoes again!

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Melany Love
Having always wanted a career in writing, Melany couldn't have found a better place than Taste of Home to begin. When she's not scribbling in her notebook or working at her computer, she can be found experimenting with new recipes or relaxing with a book and her cats.