Sunday, June 28, 2015

So is cassava bad for you

from w
I always knew that raw cassava has poison in it but I thought cooking it took all of that out but from this recent report it indicates that there is still some cyanide it it, so is cassava bad for you. They do not say conclusively that we should not eat it at all, so I wonder.

Toxic cassava

Luke Rawalai
Monday, June 29, 2015
AN academic report claims cassava contains a lethal chemical known as hydrogen cyanide.
The study by the University of the South Pacific titled A study on cyanide levels in cassava and some of its products in some South Pacific Island Countries said cassava contained naturally occurring but potentially toxic compounds called cyanogenic glycosides.
According to the study, the cyanogenic glycosides release hydrogen cyanide (HCN) as a result of enzymatic hydrolysis following maceration of the plant tissue.
As part of the study, cassava samples from three countries — Fiji, Tonga and Vanuatu — were analysed.
The study found that prolonged soaking and fermentation can effectively detoxify cassava of cyanide.
"Out of 10 samples of various cassava chips produced in Fiji by a single manufacturer and bought from Fijian super markets produced around 20 milligrams of HCN per kilogram of cassava chips," the report said.
"A Fijian cassava chips manufacturer provided raw cassava, raw cassava chips blanched and un-blanched and finished products with results indicating that cyanide content decreased by 45 per cent.
"In an attempt to study the effects of agronomic conditions such as drought, a single variety of cassava from drier parts of Fiji's Viti Levu were studied."
The report stated that results from the research seemed to show that for the same variety, the cyanide content of cassava from the drier side of Viti Levu was more than that of the wetter side.
"Overall, the levels of hydrogen cyanide found in raw cassava in countries being studied were between 10 and 160mg per kg raw cassava," the report said.
"Existing studies suggests only about 50 per cent of cyanide is removed when cassava is boiled."
When contacted for a comment, Ministry of Health spokesman Sunil Chandra said in a statement they needed to study the report before commenting, adding that they had received a report.
Meanwhile, principal agricultural officer North John Cox said cyanide in cassava was a known fact but that different varieties of cassava had different cyanide content.

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