Glycoalkaloids, bitter tasting toxicants in potatoes: A review
Deepthi Inoka Uluwaduge
Potatoes make popular dishes among humans. Currently the fresh potato consumption is decreasing and most of the potatoes are converted to value added products to meet consumer demand. Glycoalkaloids are natural bitter tasting, heat stable toxicants present in potatoes. In the edible tuber, majority of these compounds are confined to the peel. High content of glycoalkaloids impart an off flavour to the potatoes and shown to be toxic to humans and animals. There have been food safety concerns linked with the potatoes and potato based products owing to the unacceptable glycoalkaloid content in the past. Thus the glycoalkaloid content is the major determinant of the quality and safety of edible potatoes. This review highlights major areas relevant to glycoalkaloids in potatoes such as distribution and accumulation in edible tubers, factors enhancing formation, effect of various cooking methods, toxic effects and measures to minimize the content to ensure consumer safety.