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Sometimes, a couple of days after its cooked, the carrot bits inside a carrot pineapple bread turn green.

Normally, I'd assume that a food that doesn't start green and winds up that way is moldy, but, A) it's only happening to the carrots, and B) it's happening inside the loaf, not on the outside, and it doesn't look like mold- more like the carrots themselves are changing color.

What's causing this, and is it still ok to eat?

In case it matters, the other ingredients are vegetable oil, cinnamon, salt, eggs, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, flour, and vanilla.

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Did you peel the carrots first? I just saw someone claim it won't happen if you peel them, but no supporting evidence. –  Michael at Herbivoracious Sep 2 '10 at 2:29
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3 Answers 3

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Here is a super in-depth analysis of what may cause the carrot to turn green:

http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/turngreen.html

Unfortunately, it doesn't come to any hard conclusions. It does make it clear that it's not simply pH though, as a carrot will remain green even in a 0.1 M solution of sodium hydroxide.

It does provide an anecdote about a baker that had a similar issue, and how they solved it:

[they overcame] it with a change in formula of baking powder and a good clean out of equipment.

Perhaps this could apply in your case? It might be a reaction from your cookware in combination with other factors? What if you remove the pineapple? Does it still happen? Perhaps trying a different brand of baking powder may work.

One thing is for sure, it's definitely not mold, and I'm very confident that it's harmless.

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I agree that it is harmless. –  Michael at Herbivoracious Sep 2 '10 at 2:35
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This can commonly happen with carrots, blueberries and sunflower seeds. It's due to having a batter that's too alkaline or not having the baking soda evenly mixed throughout the batter. Anthocyanin and other food color pigments are sensitive to pH level. When they are in contact with more alkaline surroundings they will change color. While maybe a bit unappetizing in color, it's still safe to eat.

Either make sure your baking soda is completely mixed with the dry ingredients and evenly moistened, or try decreasing the soda slightly.

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That's what I would have guessed too, but aren't (orange) carrots mainly colored with carotene, which isn't pH sensitive? –  Michael at Herbivoracious Sep 2 '10 at 2:07
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@Michael: You are correct. This article at the Carrot Museum (wtf?) indicates that it is not the pH at all. However, it also doesn't know why either. carrotmuseum.co.uk/turngreen.html –  hobodave Sep 2 '10 at 2:13
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I made scones two days in a row with the exact same ingredients minus the lemon juice on day 2. The carrots turned green. Also, the first day, I mixed ingredients with the kitchen aid mixer and on the second day I hand mixed. I'm thinking lemon juice.

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