What’s The Black Powder On Onion Skins?

Is it still safe to prepare and eat? We have answers.

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Has this ever happened to you? You're gathering ingredients for the dish you're about to cook. You grabbed an onion from the basket that contains the garlic and onions, and you peel back the first layer of onion skin. You see it: a black powder on the onion skin.

You might think that this is mold, and you're right. It is, and it's black. Black is a color in the natural world that serves as a warning. It's common to see this coloring on animals that are poisonous or can poison the unfortunate creature that might eat it.

The good news is that the black powder or black mold on your onions is not quite as dangerous. There are many kinds of black mold, and the black mold on your onions is Aspergillus niger, a mold that is commonly found in soil. This means that it's natural to find this mold on onions and other soil-grown produce as well such as garlic. It can develop on onions before and after it's been harvested.


Can you still use onions that have developed black mold?

Yes, you can! 

You just need to remove the mold from the onion layers by either rinsing it off under running water or by cutting off the affected areas. Anyone with allergies to mold however should be cautious and throw out the infected onion instead for food safety reasons. 

Worried about other kitchen and food safety issues? Read more here: 

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