Poonam Singhal, Santosh Satya, Puttugunta Sudhakar:
Effect of Drying on Toxic Content of Bamboo Shoots


Indian Institute of Technology, Centre for Rural Development and Technology, India

Bamboo, a group of large woody grasses belonging to the family Poaceae and subfamily Bambusoideae are much talked about for their contribution to the environment. Various edible species and exotic food recipes of bamboo shoots are consumed worldwide. Occurrence of Taxiphyllin, a cyanogenic glycoside in different species of bamboo shoots like Dendrocalamus latiflorus, D. giganteus, D. hamiltonii, Bambusa vulagris and B. guadua had been identified. The concentration of cyanide in the immature shoot tip of bamboo has been reported to be 8000mgkg-1 of hydrogen cyanide. Taxiphyllin releases hydrogen cyanide upon enzymatic hydrolysis which if consumed in excess may lead to some reproductive & behavioural defects. Processing techniques like slicing, soaking, boiling, drying etc eliminates the toxic compound to a great extent. The present study determines the toxic content in four species of dried bamboo shoots viz. Bambusa vulagris, B. tulda, B. balcoa and Dendrocalamus strictus. Fresh bamboo shoots were harvested, washed, peeled off, sliced, oven dried, powdered and stored in refrigerator at 4°C for analysis. The toxic content was analysed by Picrate method and it ranged from 45.3 to 58.6 ppm in the four species. The results revealed that drying caused reduction in the cyanide content as compared to the fresh bamboo shoots (386 ppm in D. strictus and 200 ppm in B. vulgaris). With growing global consumption of bamboo shoots and occurrence of taxiphyllin with its side effect on human health, it calls for the demand to innovate processing ways using scientific input to eliminate the toxic compound without disturbing the nutrient reserve.

Keywords: Bamboo shoots, drying, taxiphyllin


Contact Address: Poonam Singhal, Indian Institute of Technology, Centre for Rural Development and TechnologyER-27 Inderpuri, 110012 New Delhi, India, e-mail: singhalpoonam6@gmail.com
Andreas Deininger, October 2010