Yes, some red potatoes can be dyed to make them look fresher, but not all are dyed.
In most cases, red potatoes are naturally red. But, in some cases, they have been dyed to boost their color and make them look fresh.
In this article, we’ll talk about everything related to red potatoes. Learn how to determine if they’ve been dyed and the nutritional impact they may (or may not) have.
Why Would You Dye A Potato?
So, you might be wondering why someone would dye a potato.
Red potatoes are naturally red. But, as time passes, their color tends to fade, making them look pinkish or light red.
For some people, this can mean that the potato is “not fresh” or has lost some nutrients. However, this is just a perception. No matter the color of the skin in the potato, they are a highly nutritious food.
Due to that effect, farmers realized that people tend to shop for potatoes with a more intense red flavor rather than a fading color.
As a consequence, they started dyeing the potatoes to make them look fresher and increase their sales.
How Do Red Potatoes Get Their Color?
Red potatoes are high in a component called anthocyanins, in fact, it’s what gives them their color. These red components give fruits and vegetables red and vibrant pigment. Not only can you find them in potatoes but also in strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
When the potato gets exposed to sunlight, it activates these pigments. That is when the potatoes start going from white to red or even purple.
But, when they are exposed to too much sunlight, it can make the intense color fade away.
For those potatoes that are dyed, they are typically sprayed with a red color to make them have a more intense color.
What Do Dyed Potatoes Taste Like?
For those who have tried coloring, you know they have a somewhat bitter taste. So, it may put up in your mind that the same thing may happens when you eat red potatoes.
However, that is not the case with dyed red potatoes. Since they don’t have a lot of coloring, you probably won’t notice that they are even dyed. The texture and flavor should be the same as any other regular potato.
Are Red Potatoes Healthy?
Yes, red potatoes can be part of a healthy and balanced diet. They contain nutrients such as vitamin C, thiamin, vitamin K, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese.
As you can see, they are a powerhouse of essential vitamins and minerals the body needs.
Also, as we mentioned before, the component that allows red potatoes to have that beautiful color (anthocyanins) are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation in the body and boost the immune system.
Differences Between Red Potatoes and White Potatoes
Overall, red and white potatoes have similar nutritional value.
The following table shows the nutritional differences between raw white and red potatoes for one large potato.
|Nutritional Information||White potato (one large, 369g)||Red potato(one large, 369g)|
|Vitamin C (DRV)||121%||53%|
|Vitamin B6 (DRV)||37%||31%|
As you can see, there are similarities between white and red potatoes.
While red potatoes might have a higher antioxidant content, white potatoes have more vitamin C, vitamin B6, and fiber than red potatoes.
In the end, they are both great options. Remember that a healthy diet is when you have different foods throughout the week to get different nutrients.
Can You Avoid Dyed Potatoes?
There are a couple of ways in which you can avoid consuming unwanted dyes in your potatoes.
Buying organic products guarantees that no dyes or pesticides are used, meaning you get a more natural option.
Another way to avoid consuming dyed red potatoes is to choose non-GMO options with the right certification.
Finally, if the potato looks too good to be true, it probably is. Those potatoes that have a very intense color are probably dyed, so buying a faded color is the best option (and don’t worry, they are equally nutritious).
Red potatoes are in fact red thanks to their anthocyanin content. These powerful antioxidants give potatoes their color and help reduce inflammation and boost the immune system.
However, there might be some cases where potatoes are dyed to make them have a more intense color and look fresher.
So, to avoid consuming dyes in your potatoes, look for non-GMO or organic certifications or those that don’t have a very intense and fake-looking color.
Yes, red potatoes are naturally red. However, there might be occasions when farmers dye potatoes to make them have a more intense color.
The type of dye might vary depending on each farmer, but the most traditional option is using a low-volatile 2,4-D ester to enhance the coloring in the potatoes.
Potatoes are found in the Dirty Dozen list, which lists foods with the highest pesticide content. Since potatoes grow in the soil, they may absorb a high amount of pesticides. So, buy organic potatoes whenever possible to reduce your pesticide exposure.
There are other fruits and vegetables that might be dyed to enhance their color. Apples, pears, and carrots might be on the list of other dyed fruits to enhance their color.