Hefei Institutes of Physical Science
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Research News
Wow! A "Raincoat" Makes Potatoes Remain Fresh Much Longer
Date: 2018/07/12 Author: ZHANG Lihong

Chinese scientists developed an eco-friendly and low-cost method to help potatoes remain fresh longer for inhibiting it sprouting, according to a recent study by Prof. WU Zhengyan and his team in Institute of Technical Biology and Agriculture Engineering, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science.

The study was published in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.

Potato, a major food material, plays an essential part in daily life all over the world. However, it tends to sprout during its not very long storage.

Even worse, with its sprouting, a large quantity of α-Solanine, a kind of toxin for human beings, generates in potato eyes, making it harmful to take a certain amount of sprouted potatoes.

To realize much longer storage of potatoes, WU and his team clothed potatoes a "raincoat" to keep the surface away from moisture and then inhibit the sprouting. This "raincoat" named hydrophobic nano silica (H-SiO2) was modified by nano silica with amino silicon oil (ASO).

And the new method is awesome because there is no need worrying about the residue of H-SiO2 for it does not pass through the potato skin at all and could be easily washed off before cooking, which greatly ensures the food safety.

Although, this technology is suitable for the storage of potatoes, it shows slightly negative effect on the germination of potatoes when the plant used as seeds in soil.

This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Science and Technology Service Programs of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Science and Technology Major Project of Anhui Province.

Link to the paper: Inhibiting Sprouting and Decreasing α-Solanine Amount of Stored Potato Using Hydrophobic Nano Silica

Schematic illustration of mechanism.(Image by ZHANG Lihong)



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