Why Do Sweet Potatoes Have White Spots Inside: Causes and Solutions



Why does my sweet potato have white spots inside? This is a question that many people ask themselves when they cut open their sweet potatoes and see strange-looking spots. It's a common occurrence, but it can be quite alarming if you don't know what's causing it. In this article, we'll explore the possible reasons why your sweet potato has white spots inside.

Sweet potatoes are root vegetables that come in various shapes and sizes. They're packed with nutrients like vitamin A, fiber, potassium, and more. However, despite their nutritional value and delicious taste when cooked properly, many people may find themselves wondering why their sweet potato looks different on the inside than expected.

There could be several reasons for these white spots in your sweet potato- some of which are harmless while others might indicate spoilage or disease. We will delve into all of these possibilities so you can learn how to identify them to help ensure you're consuming safe produce every time! So let's dive deeper into "why does my sweet potato have white spots" below!

Why Does My Sweet Potato Have White Spots Inside?

As a plant expert, I have come across this question from many gardeners. Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutritious and delicious root vegetables you can grow in your garden. However, it can be disconcerting to cut into a sweet potato and find white spots on the inside. In this article, we will delve into the reasons why sweet potatoes have white spots inside and what they mean.

What Are White Spots Inside Sweet Potatoes?

White spots inside sweet potatoes may look like mold or fungus at first glance; however, they are not harmful nor poisonous to humans. These white spots are entirely normal for sweet potatoes and appear as small circular patches with a light coloration that contrasts against the orange flesh of the tuber.

The technical term for these white spots is "hardcore." Hardcore is an accumulation of calcium oxalate crystals that form in response to stress or injury during growth.

The Causes Of Hardcore In Sweet Potatoes

Now that you know what hardcore is let's take a closer look at some causes:

  1. Insecure Storage: If left out in storage for too long, storing them near apples (which release ethylene gas), exposing them to light or temperatures above 60°F after curing may cause them to develop hard cores.
  2. Pests And Diseases: Pests like wireworms bore holes into roots which then could trigger hard core formation while diseases like Fusarium wilt also contribute.
  3. Growing Conditions: Growing your crop under stressful conditions such as drought could lead plants’ response being generating more calcium oxalate hence leading up to hard core formation.
  4. Varietal Differences: Some varietals tend towards producing harder cores than others based on their genetics
    5 .Harvesting methods: Rough handling during harvesting by digging forks might inflict injuries on crops leading up towards generating more reaction by the crop in response to that.

How To Prevent Sweet Potatoes From Developing White Spots Inside

There are some measures you can take to prevent sweet potatoes from developing white spots inside:

  1. Harvest Carefully: When harvesting, avoid using digging forks as they could cause injury to the tubers.
  2. Properly Cure The Sweet Potatoes: Before storage, cure your sweet potatoes for two weeks at a temperature of around 85°F or higher with high humidity.
  3. Store Properly: Store your cured sweet potatoes in a cool and dark place between 55°F and 60°F with good ventilation; this ensures that there is no exposure to light or ethylene gas.

Are Sweet Potatoes With White Spots Safe To Eat?

Yes, they are safe to eat! Hardcore has no adverse effects on the taste nor nutritional value of the potato's flesh. In fact, hardcore adds extra crunchiness when baked or roasted while also adding an interesting texture variation when eaten mashed.


In conclusion, hard cores in sweet potatoes are not harmful nor poisonous but just an accumulation of calcium oxalate crystals triggered by stress factors resulting from growing conditions such as droughts or rough handling during harvesting process among others . By taking steps like properly curing and storing your crops after harvest – you can minimize these occurrences so their taste remains unaffected despite their appearance being compromised somewhat visually due hard core formation- which more often than not gets cut out anyways before cooking them.

Related Keywords:

  • What causes hard core in sweet potato?
  • Hard core formation causes
  • How do I keep my harvested sweet potato free from white spots?
  • Is it safe to eat a raw/cured/hardcored/juvenile/unripe/treated-with-fungicide/powdered/rotten/dry/moldy/freeze-dried/cooked/microwaved/steamed sweet potato?
  • What are the benefits of eating sweet potatoes?
  • How to store harvested sweet potatoes in the right way?


What are white spots inside sweet potatoes?

White spots inside sweet potatoes are a common occurrence that can be caused by different factors. These spots might vary in size and number, and they can be found both on the flesh of the potato or under its skin.

In most cases, these white spots are simply areas that have been damaged during growth or storage. However, if you cut open a sweet potato to find it is mostly covered with many small white lines or starburst-like patterns instead of normal flesh color, this could indicate rotten damage from bacteria or mold. You should avoid eating any part of the potato that shows signs of spoilage.

Another reason for finding white streaks in your potato is due to exposure to extreme temperatures while growing underground – either really hot or cold temps at various points during growth could cause damage which may result in strange markings on your tubers.

Are Sweet Potatoes with White Spots Safe to Eat?

For Sweet Potatoes with just a few minor white patches here and there – yes! They are safe-to-eat as long as you trim off any affected area before using them. If you notice anything more extensive like darkening around those patches when cutting into one after buying it though; then don't risk consuming them since this indicates rot has begun spreading throughout the tuber making it unsafe for human consumption.

It's always important to ensure proper food safety measures when handling fresh produce- wash thoroughly before use and inspect closely for signs of decay before consuming if unsure about their safety status!

How do I prevent my Sweet Potato from having White Spots Inside?

There isn’t much you can do once they've formed but preventing conditions favorable for rotting will go a long way toward stopping future instances:

  • Keep your vegetables cool dry place; away from direct sunlight.
  • Avoid washing until ready-to-use
  • Store at room temperature
    Tuberous roots like these require optimal conditions for growth, so it's essential to keep them in a stable environment and avoid fluctuations in temperature or moisture levels that could lead to damage while they develop.

Can I still cook my Sweet Potatoes with White Spots Inside?

Yes! You can still cook sweet potatoes with white spots inside once you’ve trimmed off any affected areas. In fact, these small areas won’t affect the taste or nutritional value of your sweet potato dish.

If you find more extensive signs of rotting like moldiness or darkening around those patches when cutting into one after buying it though; then don't risk consuming them since this indicates rot has begun spreading throughout the tuber making it unsafe for human consumption.

What are some common causes of White Spots inside Sweet Potatoes?

There are several reasons why white spots may appear on your sweet potatoes:

  • Physical Damage: These marks can occur during growth if there was any harm from pests digging into the soil and nibbling away at their roots.
  • Bacterial Rottenness: If you notice a foul odor coming from your sweet potato's interior accompanied by greyish-black coloring then bacterial rottenness most likely has set up shop within its flesh.
  • Mold Development: A powdery substance might form on top of damaged sections which would be indicative that molds have taken hold
    Once again prevention is key here – make sure to store in an appropriate environment right after harvesting (or purchasing) and use quickly before conditions deteriorate!

Read More

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here