The potato is one of the planet’s most important foods. It’s also a major animal feed and raw material for the food processing industry. We enjoy eating potatoes in a whole host of ways: as chips, fries and fritters; boiled, roasted or simply baked. Can you imagine that somewhere in the region of 376 million tonnes of potatoes are harvested worldwide each year? Incredible! A vast amount of people throughout the world must be wondering: ‘Should I store potatoes in my fridge?’
Ideal temperature for storing potatoes: 45°F to 50°F
New potatoes are best eaten within a few days of harvest. The lowest suitable storage temperature for main crop is 39°F. Why is that? Below this temperature, although the physiological ageing process slows down so they do not shrivel as quickly, many potato varieties readily accumulate sugars, turning them sweet. The special varieties of potatoes that are destined for processing into specific products in the food industry (e.g. fries and chips) are always stored between 45°F to 50°F, which protects them from “sweetening” due to the excessive formation of fructose and glucose.
These sugars play a significant role in the formation of Maillard reaction products- coloring pigments and aroma compounds- in foods cooked at high temperatures. Acrylamide, which can be harmful to your health, can also form,. If you are not sure which potato variety you have, do not store them at less than 45°F. Since many fridges are colder than this, it would be preferable to store them in a cool cellar or pantry.
If you enjoyed this post, why not subscribe to our newsletter for regular refrigeration-focused updates and news? Or, if you have any questions, please contact us! Use the comment function below this post or join in a discussion with us on Facebook.
• Store potatoes somewhere cool (below 59°F), dry and dark.
• Cover them with paper or store them in paper bags. This minimizes evaporation and prevents premature shrinkage. It also prevents greening due to light exposure.
• Potatoes should not be stored in foil packaging. Moisture quickly forms and they can turn moldy.
• Buy smaller quantities. Many modern homes do not have a cool storeroom. Potatoes may be safely stored in the fridge for a short time, at a temperature of no lower than 39°F.
If you are not sure which potato variety you have, do not store them at less than 45°F. Since many fridges are colder than this, it would be preferable to store them in a cool cellar or pantry.