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J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Aug 9;54(16):5847-54.

Glycoalkaloid development during greening of fresh market potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.).

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Postharvest Physiology and Biochemistry Lab, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Washington State University, Pullman, 99164-6414, USA.


Chlorophyll and glycoalkaloid synthesis in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tubers occur in direct response to light. The two processes are concurrent, but independent. Color photographic indices to subjectively grade fresh market potatoes for the extent of greening were developed under lighting conditions consistent with those of retail markets. Total glycoalkaloid (TGA) and chlorophyll accumulation for four cultivars were determined over the respective greening scales, thus calibrating the scales for TGA content. On average, TGA concentrations in complete longitudinal sections of tubers (flesh samples) were highest in Dark Red Norland followed by Russet Norkotah, Yukon Gold, and White Rose. TGA concentrations of flesh samples of White Rose and Yukon Gold tubers were somewhat variable and did not increase in direct proportion to greening level and chlorophyll content, particularly at higher levels of greening. TGA concentrations in Dark Red Norland and Russet Norkotah tubers were highly correlated (P < or = 0.001) with greening level and chlorophyll concentrations. When averaged over greening levels, skin samples contained 3.4- to 6.8-fold higher concentrations of TGAs than flesh samples, depending on the cultivar. The TGA concentration in periderm samples ranged from 37 to 160 mg/100 g of dry wt. Regardless of greening level, concentrations of TGAs in the flesh samples (including attached periderm) remained within limits presumed safe for human consumption. Discrimination of greened tubers on the basis of perceived glycoalkaloid toxicity is likely unfounded for the cultivars and greening levels studied.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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