BEIJING, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists have developed a nanomaterial to control potato sprouts and reduce the poisonous substance in potatoes, providing a new method for potato storage.
Stored potatoes usually sprout rapidly, at the same time producing a significant amount of solanine, a toxic substance which endangers human health.
Potato sprouts can be controlled using various techniques such as temperature control, irradiation and use of chemical inhibitors.
Scientists from Hefei Institute of Physical Science under Chinese Academy of Sciences developed a new nanomaterial called hydrophobic nano silica that can be used to inhibit the growth of potato sprouts.
When potatoes are immersed in the solution of the material, a hydrophobic coating is created on the surface of the potatoes, effectively inhibiting potato sprouts and decreasing solanine.
The material does not pass through the potato skin and can be washed off before cooking, greatly ensuring food safety.
The research provides a cost-effective and environmentally friendly approach for storing potatoes, according to the research team.
The research was published in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering.