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Solanin in potatoes

BfR recalls the usual recommendations for storage and preparation of potatoes


On the occasion of a case of poisoning by a potato court, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) recalls the proper handling of potatoes. Glycoalkaloids, including solanine as an important representative, are natural ingredients in potatoes. The intake of a certain amount of glycoalkaloids can lead to poisoning in humans.

Based on the current state of knowledge, the BfR derives a preliminary NOAEL (No Observed Adverse Effect Level) of 0.5 milligrams (mg) of glycoalkaloids per kilogram (kg) body weight per day. This is the highest dose at which no adverse health effects have been observed. To avoid exceeding the NOAEL, the glycoalkaloid content in table potatoes should be less than 100 mg per kg fresh weight. Up to now, potatoes with a glycoalkaloid content of up to 200 mg per kg have generally been classified as harmless.


Storage and preparation of potatoes:


  • Potatoes should be stored cool, dark and dry
  • Old, dried, green or strongly germinating potatoes, as well as potato peels as snacks, which consist mainly of potato peels, are not suitable for consumption
  • Green areas and so-called “eyes” in potatoes should be generously removed
  • If consumers want to eat the peel, only intact, fresh potatoes are suitable for this purpose
  • Potato dishes should not be eaten if they have a bitter taste
  • Especially small children should not eat unpeeled potatoes
  • Consumers should not reuse the cooking water from potatoes
  • Frying fat for potato products should be changed regularly


Link to the statement: BfR 

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