5 Ways to Prevent Browning of Sweet Potatoes

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Have you ever peeled a sweet potato and left it on the cutting board for a few minutes, only to return to find it brown?

When most fruits and vegetables are chopped and left out in the open for a period of time, they develop skin discolouration. Sweet potatoes are no different.

If you despise how quickly your sweet potatoes turn brown after being peeled, this article is for you. Continue reading to find out how to keep your sweet potatoes fresh.

Why Do Sweet Potatoes Turn Brown?

The majority of fruits and vegetables become brown for two reasons. If they get discolored as soon as you chop them up, that is mold, and the vegetable or fruit you purchased has gone rotten.

If you chop them up and they gradually become dark or gray, this is due to oxidation. This occurs when an object’s chemical makeup changes when it combines with the surrounding oxygen.

When it comes to sweet potatoes, the major problem is an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase. The goal of this enzyme is to defend plants against parasites. It is contained inside the vegetable’s skin.

This enzyme is triggered when the rind of a fruit or vegetable is broken. It then interacts with oxygen, resulting in the brown-and-gray blotches we despise.

Sweet potatoes brown quickly due to their high concentration of it.

Because of these changes, the exposed skin of sweet potatoes loses not only their hard, brilliant look, but also their pleasant flavor.

5 Tips to Prevent Sweet Potatoes From Turning Brown

If you want to know how to preserve sweet potatoes, keep reading as we go through all of the possible methods.

1 – Place Them in a Bowl of Water

The easiest technique to delay the oxidation process is to put peeled or chopped sweet potato pieces in a dish of cold water. If necessary, place them in the refrigerator.

Water molecules will function as an insulator, preventing the skin from interacting with oxygen in the air. A pinch of salt may also be used as a preservative.

You may keep peeled sweet potatoes in this mixture for up to a day before cooking them. Use a glass or plastic bowl for best results.

2 – Use an Acid

or fresh lemon juice might also be incredibly beneficial. Acids aid in the inhibition of the enzyme polyphenol oxidase.By using a tiny bit of white vinegar and

These acidic components may be applied to sweet potatoes after they have been peeled or chopped. You may also throw them into the bowl of water they’ve been soaking in.

If you’re concerned about taste changes, here’s a helpful hint: To every half gallon of water, add one teaspoon. This ratio will take care of everything.

It is important to note that acids not only prevent browning but also make it brighter and hence more attractive.

3 – Parboil Them

Parboiling is the process of briefly boiling a vegetable or fruit without entirely cooking it.

It is generally understood that keeping enzymes at their optimal temperature is critical to their function.

However, boiling eliminates this element from consideration, rendering the enzyme inactive.

Parboiled sweet potatoes, like soaked sweet potatoes, may be kept for a day before going bad. They may also be frozen for extended storage.

4 – Use a Glass Cooking Dish

Because of its non-reactive qualities, glass is always favoured in the kitchen. So, for good measure, replace your cookware and baking dishes with reinforced glass ones.

Aluminum and metal containers have also been shown to react with sweet potatoes, causing them to brown fast.

5 – Wait Right Before Cooking

Waiting is the simplest move you can take. Don’t peel or chop the sweet potatoes until you’ve prepped everything else and are ready to cook them right away.

How to Tell If Your Sweet Potatoes Are Bad

Sweet potatoes, whether kept or purchased fresh, are the sort of vegetable that may quickly spoil.

Learning how to spot rotten sweet potatoes may save you a lot of time and work. Here are some indicators of a rotting sweet potato:

1 – Discoloration

When left out for an extended period of time, it becomes gray. However, this does not imply it is inedible right away.It’s hardly surprising that sweet potatoes brown.

Rotten sweet potatoes, on the other hand, often have a deeper blackish colour. This isn’t generally enough of a warning sign, but it’s the first one we see.

2 – Check the Texture

Sweet potatoes, like normal potatoes, have a smooth, solid skin. If that is not the case, you should refrain from consuming it.

A spongy and squishy feel is frequently one of the first symptoms that a sweet potato has gone rotten.

3 – Non-Uniform Surface

Look for any unusual extrusions on the surface of the sweet potato. These growths, which might be rot or mold, should be discarded right away.

Mold consumption might be harmful to your digestive system.

But watch careful for sprouts. They may seem to be strange protrusions, although their existence is as normal as it can be.

Final Thoughts

Sweet potatoes do not store as well as normal potatoes, and there is a reason for this. Sweet potatoes are loaded with extremely reactive oxidizing enzymes.

However, there are several methods to keep them from oxidizing and becoming brown. When done correctly, they may be simply stored, with or without refrigeration.

Soaking them in chilly water is one option. For maximum preservation, add salt or acids. For further protection, sprinkle acids like vinegar or lemon juice on them before storing.

Acids improve the skin’s look by brightening it and inhibiting the oxidative enzymes that are present. They may also be deactivated by parboiling.

All of this, however, might be for nothing if the cooking container reacts with the cut sweet potato pieces. As a result, it is advised to use a glass cooking dish for accurate measurement.

This technique is sufficient to prevent browning, rot, or mold, and will keep your sweet potatoes from going bad for as long as possible.


How do I keep sweet potatoes from turning brown?

Soak them in water for a few minutes.

The best (and most common) approach to prevent sliced potatoes from browning is to immerse them thoroughly in a basin of water. Refrigerate the water-covered potatoes in a basin until ready to use, up to one day ahead of time.

Will olive oil keep potatoes from turning brown?

Place the sliced potatoes in water with a little acidity to protect them from turning gray. A modest bit of white wine vinegar and lemon juice would suffice. Then rinse the potatoes and wrap them in foil with your seasonings and some olive or vegetable oil. Wrap tightly and chill before grilling.

How do you keep sweet potatoes fresh longer?

Refrigerating sweet potatoes will result in a hard core and an unpleasant flavor. Instead, keep your sweet potatoes in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place. Store them in a basement or root cellar away from powerful heat sources for the greatest effects.

Will lemon juice keep sweet potatoes from turning brown?

Add lemon juice or vinegar to taste.

Just like a spritz of lime juice prevents guacamole from browning, a splash of lemon juice or white vinegar in the dish with the potatoes will prevent gray tints. To achieve the full anti-browning effect with no perceptible taste changes, add one teaspoon to a half gallon of water.

Does salt keep potatoes from turning brown?

Place the potatoes in a saucepan of salted water.

Try dipping your potato slices in salted water; the mix of water and salt prevents oxidation. To a large dish or stockpot, add roughly one teaspoon of salt for every gallon of water.

How do you keep cut sweet potatoes fresh overnight?

Drain in a strainer and let aside to cool fully before peeling and slicing. Place the slices in an equal layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover, and freeze overnight. Place the frozen slices in a freezer bag labeled with the date and freeze.

How much vinegar do you put in potatoes to keep them from turning brown?

Add some white vinegar (1 tablespoon per 2 cups water) before immersing the potatoes to protect them from turning brown or getting mushy when cooked.

Do sweet potatoes turn brown after cutting?

Yes, if you chop up your sweet potatoes ahead of time, they will become brown. This is due to the presence of an enzyme known as polyphenol oxidase, which causes them to become brown when exposed to oxygen. The simplest way to avoid this is to chop them up immediately before you want to cook them.

Can I cut up potatoes ahead of time?

If you’ve arrived, you’ll be relieved to learn that, yes, you can peel and chop potatoes the day before you want to serve them – and that it’s a breeze! Simply immerse the naked potato chunks in water and chill (more on that later).

Where is the best place to store sweet potatoes?

Where Should Sweet Potatoes Be Stored? For maximum results, keep your raw sweet potatoes in a dry and cold location, such as a garage, basement, or cellar. If your location does not satisfy these requirements, your sweet potatoes may sprout or begin to decay.

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