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Green potato water !!!


 
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Sive
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Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:49 pm    Post subject: Green potato water !!! Reply with quote

Has anyone seen such a thing ? : I steamed our first few new potatoes for last night's supper, and then forgot to empty and wash the saucepan.
This morning I was amazed to see the water in the pot was a vivid green ( almost bluey-green )....remember the potatoes were steamed and had not been in the water at all.
Any gardening chemists out there to explain this ? I have no idea if the water was that colour last night or turned green overnight. Quite honestly it looked quite poisonous ! But the potatoes were delicious ( and NOT green ! )
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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a similar experience and your question prompted me to think back many years ago when I heard this very topic being discussed and the conclusion then was that potato tubers are modified stems and therefore contain chlorophyll (green colouring material in leaves) but this has not fully developed because the potatoes were not exposed to sunlight. I would like a simple reason myself also.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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Sive
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was such a strange colour Michael...not even a "sappy" green that looks "natural".....but an almost artificial-looking colour, very like the artist's colour of Viridian, if you know it....an intense slightly bluey-green. It will be interesting to see if there are any scientists on the forum who might have an explanation.
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Lius
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The water is green after I boil my first earlies too - WIERD!!! - but they taste great.
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PeterEnglish
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm presuming you didn't steam the potatoes with mint!

I'm an astronomer, not a biochemist, but Michael's right about the chlorophyll - it's what makes potatoes turn green if you don't earth them up properly. I found an interesting report on some potato experiments at the University of Maryland:

"The transformation of amyloplasts into chloroplasts in potato tuber tissue can be induced by light. Excised potato tuber discs illuminated with white light of 3000 lux began to synthesise chlorophyll after a lag period of one day and continued to synthesise chlorophyll for three weeks."

Etc etc - you don't want to read the whole report do you? Most of it concerns how they measured and analysed the chlorophyll content, and that's way beyond me! Anyway, it's here:

http://www.plantphysiol.org/cgi/reprint/75/1/142.pdf

So, they dug up and sliced some potatoes, exposed the slices to light, and the slices turned green - and they turned green more quickly under the blue tones of fluorescent light that other forms of light. I'm presuming that even though your spuds weren't in the water, the steam would have condensed and dripped back in, carrying with it these chloroplasty things which then turned the water green on exposure to light. If you have fluorescent lights in your kitchen, this might have speeded things up.
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Sive
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to all for the interesting comments. The water wasn't actually exposed to light as the saucepan lid was on ( and we don't have fluorescent lighting ! )
But I suppose my point was that most of the time when we cook potatoes, the water stays clear........these potatoes were our first earlies ( home-grown )....I wonder did they simply have a higher chlorophyll content than normal......?
( wouldn't you know that science was not exactly my favourite subject at school......)
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Sive
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

P.S. ( to Peter )
No, there was no mint ! Just potatoes.....
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PeterEnglish
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I admit I wasn't too hot on school chemistry either, but I can't think of any reaction between magnesium-based chlorophyll, potato starch, pans and steamers in assorted metals, washing-up liquids, sodium chloride, chlorine, fluorides or other trace elements and additives in the tap water, that would turn your potato water viridian.

Not if it's happened just the once, and only the once.

You must be right - you've steamed a plantful of first earlies with more chlorophyll potential than usual. First earlies (being small and immature) can be prone to higher chlorophyll levels, but when I tried to find you a list of worst offenders, every link I've clicked tells me I have to purchase the document!

I feel another conspiracy-theory coming on. I must lie down till GM goes away!
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