Are green crisps poisonous?

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Charlie Cottrell

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Are green crisps poisonous?
« on: 03/11/2008 22:37:10 »
Charlie Cottrell  asked the Naked Scientists:

Hi Dr Chris
 
Are green crisps poisonous?
 
I always wondered!
 
Thanks

Charlie Cottrell

What do you think?

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Offline Make it Lady

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Are green crisps poisonous?
« Reply #1 on: 03/11/2008 22:57:39 »
Green potatoes are supposed to be poisonous if eaten in quantity but green crisps? You would have to eat one heck of a lot. I have eaten some and I'm still here!
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

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Offline dentstudent

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Are green crisps poisonous?
« Reply #2 on: 04/11/2008 07:45:14 »
Wasn't there a "piece" in a recent TNS about spuds? Here:

Chris - Yes, they are. Potatoes actually entirely are poisonous. They are a member of a family called the solanaceae. They make a toxin which is a neurotoxin called solanine. If you eat 5 kilos of potatoes that's actually a fatal dose. Watch it Kat, next time you're feeling peckish...The solanine tends to concentrate in the areas that are exposed. Those areas give a sort of traffic light that they've been exposed. They go green because they've been exposed to light and that's chlorophyll. It's not the greenness that's bad for you. It's the fact that potatoes that are exposed to light make this because solanine was always poisonous to pests. It's the potato's way of protecting itself. It's just worse for them than it is for us. By making solanine they can stop themselves being eaten, especially if they're exposed to the sun. If you see a green potato it's got these glycoalkaloids (solanine) and it could poison you. Stay away from 5 kilos-worth and you'll probably be OK!
« Last Edit: 08/11/2008 11:21:40 by chris »

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Online Bored chemist

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Are green crisps poisonous?
« Reply #3 on: 04/11/2008 19:44:25 »
The toxin is heat stable so, if you are looking to destroy the toxin, making crisps out of them won't help.
Explaining to our American cousins that they think a chip is called a French fry and a crisp is called a chip might help.
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Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Are green crisps poisonous?
« Reply #4 on: 05/11/2008 09:58:25 »
What about deep frying? Would that perhaps dissolve the toxin?

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Are green crisps poisonous?
« Reply #5 on: 05/11/2008 18:47:25 »
IIRC it's fairly water soluble so I doubt the hot oil would wash much solanine out.
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Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Are green crisps poisonous?
« Reply #6 on: 08/11/2008 07:43:04 »
So you could concentrate the toxin by maybe boiling and mashing a heap of potatoes in water, then decanting it and evaporating out the water? (no, i'm not planning on poisoning anyone :P )

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Offline Make it Lady

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Are green crisps poisonous?
« Reply #7 on: 08/11/2008 15:00:42 »
I think that would do it! Rhubarb leaves are better if you are full of murderous intent.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

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Online Bored chemist

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Are green crisps poisonous?
« Reply #8 on: 08/11/2008 17:06:08 »
It would be better to leave the potato to sprout then extract the solanine from the stems and leaves.
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Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Are green crisps poisonous?
« Reply #9 on: 09/11/2008 12:32:45 »
I see. I'll remember that for the next time i need to macguyver myself a neurotoxin :P