Will Sweet Potatoes Turn Brown After Cutting? Discover the Truth

Yes, sweet potatoes can turn brown after cutting due to enzymatic browning. Sweet potatoes are a nutritious and delicious root vegetable that are often used in various recipes.

However, when you cut them and leave them exposed to air, they may turn brown. This is due to a natural process called enzymatic browning, which occurs when enzymes containing phenolic compounds react with oxygen in the air. The browning may not affect the taste or quality of the sweet potato, but it can make it look less appetizing.

Fortunately, you can prevent sweet potatoes from turning brown by using various methods such as adding acid, keeping them in water, or storing them properly. In this article, we will explore the reasons why sweet potatoes turn brown after cutting and how to prevent it from happening.

Will Sweet Potatoes Brown? Discover the Truth Behind Cutting Them.

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Chemical Reactions Behind Discoloration

Sweet potatoes are known for their vibrant orange color, but have you ever wondered why they turn brown when cut or damaged? It all comes down to chemical reactions. Enzymes in the potato, primarily tyrosinase, break down amino acids and create melanin, which results in browning.

When these enzymes are exposed to air, their activity increases and browning occurs faster. Factors such as temperature and ph also affect the rate of discoloration. At lower temperatures, enzyme activity slows down, while higher temperatures can denature the enzymes.

In acidic environments, tyrosinase activity is inhibited, leading to less browning. By understanding the role of enzymes and how they react to different conditions, you can prevent browning by selecting optimal storage conditions and preparing sweet potatoes immediately before cooking.

Preventing Discoloration

Cutting sweet potatoes and seeing them turn brown can be disappointing. The good news is that discoloration can be prevented. One method is immersing them in water. However, this technique may change the texture of the potatoes. Another option is to blanch them by boiling prior to cutting.

While effective, this may cause them to lose some nutrients. Pre-soaking the sweet potatoes in cold water before cooking is also helpful in avoiding browning. However, it may not be necessary if you plan to cook them immediately after cutting.

Try out a few methods and see what works best for you.

Cooking Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a popular and healthy food, but how they are cooked affects their appearance and nutritional content. Cutting sweet potatoes before cooking them increases their surface area, which can cause discoloration. The color change is caused by an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase, which is activated by oxygen exposure.

However, cooking methods also play a role in how sweet potatoes brown. Boiling or microwaving sweet potatoes can cause them to lose some of their nutrients, while baking or roasting them tends to preserve more nutritional value. When cooking with sweet potatoes, it’s important to find a balance between nutrition and appearance.

Overall, sweet potatoes are a versatile and nutritious ingredient, whether they are browned or not.

Storing Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are known for their delicious taste and health benefits, but their propensity to turn brown quickly can be frustrating. To prevent discoloration and maintain freshness, it’s important to store sweet potatoes properly. This includes keeping them at the right temperature and humidity level.

Different storage methods, such as refrigeration and freezing, can also affect sweet potato quality. If you’re looking to keep your sweet potatoes fresh and tasty, consider storing them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. With the right storage techniques, you can enjoy perfectly crisp and colorful sweet potatoes every time.

Whether you’re using them for fries or baking, these versatile tubers will always be at their best.

Frequently Asked Questions On Will Sweet Potatoes Turn Brown After Cutting

Why Do Sweet Potatoes Turn Brown After Cutting?

Sweet potatoes turn brown after cutting due to oxidation. Once exposed to air, the natural enzymes in sweet potatoes react with oxygen to create a brown pigment called melanin.

Can You Prevent Sweet Potatoes From Turning Brown?

Yes, you can prevent sweet potatoes from turning brown by soaking them in water or lemon juice. This will slow down the oxidation process and prevent the enzymes from reacting with air.

Is It Safe To Eat Sweet Potatoes If They Turn Brown?

It is safe to eat sweet potatoes that have turned brown, but they may not be as palatable. The texture and taste may have changed, so it is recommended to use fresh sweet potatoes for best results.

How Long Can You Store Sweet Potatoes After Cutting?

Cut sweet potatoes should be stored in the fridge and consumed within 4-5 days to ensure maximum freshness and taste. Beyond this time frame, they may start to spoil and develop an off flavor and smell.

Can You Freeze Sweet Potatoes After Cutting?

Yes, you can freeze sweet potatoes after cutting. Make sure to blanch them for several minutes before freezing to inactivate enzymes that cause browning. Stored properly, they can be frozen for up to 6 months.


After conducting thorough research and experimentation, we can confidently conclude that sweet potatoes will indeed turn brown after being cut. However, there are ways to slow down the process and maintain their fresh appearance for longer. One effective method is to soak the cut sweet potatoes in cold water, which helps to prevent oxidation.

Additionally, adding a bit of lemon juice or vinegar to the soaking water can further delay browning. Another important factor to consider is proper storage. Keeping cut sweet potatoes in an airtight container in the refrigerator can also slow down the browning process.

While sweet potatoes may turn brown after being cut, simple techniques like soaking and proper storage can help maintain their fresh appearance and delicious taste for longer periods of time. So go ahead and enjoy the many benefits of this versatile and nutritious root vegetable without worry!

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