Method of Food Preparation


Common name: Cassava , Manioc, manihot, yuca
Scientific name: Manihot esculenta Crantz
Family: Euphobiaceae (Spurge family)
Plant Part Used: Storage root, leaves
Where Grown: Throughout Tropics, Native to Tropics

Cooking and other methods of preparation of food plants before eating can have the effect of diminishing or destroying the natural toxins that exist in the plant food.

Cassava has high levels of cyanogenic glycosides, which are reduced by peeling, washing in running water, and then cooking and/or fermenting to inactivate the enzymes and to volatolize the cyanide.

Raw soybeans, which often can have high levels of trypsin inhibitors, are seldom eaten without being cooked or heated in some way. Heating destroys most of the trypsin inhibitors in the soybeans, otherwise the proteins in the soybeans would not be available for absorption by the body.

Goitrogens present in cabbage and other Brassica species are lost through leaching in the the cooking water.

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Prepared Summer 1997 by Bernadene Magnuson, Ph.D.
University of Idaho, Dept. of Food Science and Toxicology - EXTOXNET FAQ Team.