Muscat: The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has issued a clarification on the rumours that have been circulating over the dangers of green potatoes.
According to the ministry: "The greenness of potatoes is due to light and heat and may lead to the production of a toxic substance."
The circulated message warned against buying green potatoes by saying, "it contains toxic substances that cause stomach problems such as diarrhoea and colic and can lead to heart disorders."
The Ministry said in its statement: "Regarding what is being circulated over the presence of green potatoes in the market, the ministry wishes to clarify that this condition is called greenness in potatoes and is caused by the exposure of potato seeds to light in the field or while they are on display in shops and homes, leading to the production of green chlorophyll contained in the potato's skin."
"Chlorophyll is accompanied by the formation of solanine, a substance found naturally in the plant, but in case the concentration of solanine increased in the crust may cause a toxic effect, especially if the potato was taken in large quantities without removing the crust," added the ministry.
The ministry explained that the heat is a catalyst for the production of toxic material, so it is recommended to store potatoes in a dark place and at a temperature not exceeding five degrees Celsius.
Ministry added: "Greenness does not occur when the temperature is less than five degrees while it is fast when temperature is more than 20 degrees Celsius so it is recommended to store potatoes in dark places that are cold and dry to avoid the formation of this toxic substance and advised to remove the outer crust of potatoes before use for the purpose of cooking and eating, especially in case of observing greenness."
The Ministry confirmed that the potato shipments coming into Oman were checked at the borders to ensure they were free from agricultural pests and any other concerns before they were finally cleared.