KONJAC: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings
The konjac ( Amorphophallus konjac ) is a plant of the family Araceae . It is a perennial plant , growing from a rhizome tuberous ball which can weigh 3-4 kg up to 25 cm in diameter (the largest specimen attested reaching 46cm in diameter and weighing 24 kg 1 ). The single sheet can reach 1.3 meters; it is bipinnate , and divided into numerous leaflets . The flowers grow on a spadix , which can reach 55 cm long, surrounded by a spathe dark purple. Native to tropical and subtropical forests of Southeast Asia , it grows naturally in Vietnam , in China , in Indonesia , South Korea or in Japan .
The plant is best known for its food products from bulb, mainly pasty jelly, can be black or white, and known in the West by its Japanese name konnyaku , being cooked and consumed primarily in Japan.
Summary [ hide ]
1 Names usual
3 Cultivation and production
4 Food Uses
5 Medical use
6 Choking Hazard
7 Notes and references
8 See also
8.1 Related Items
Customary descriptions [ edit | edit the code ]
Scientific Name: Amorphophallus konjac Amorphophallus rivieri .
Vernacular names: Konjac, Konnyaku, Tongue Devil (due to its special form)
History [ edit | edit the code ]
In Asian medicine, the konjac has long been used as a medicinal food and as a medical food, against cough, cancer, burns or intestinal disorders 2 .
If the earliest known traces of culture konjac Chinese text dating from 2000 years 3 , the konjac is known in Japan since the vi th century. The publication in 1846 of the book Konnyaku Hyakusen ( 100 recipes Konnyaku , a traditional title for the works of Japanese cuisine from the end of xviii th and early xix e , originating the Tofu Hyakuchin ) denotes consumption at that time.
Nowadays, the konjac is best known in the West as diet product, because of its low calorie content.
Cultivation and production [ modify | modify the code ]
The plant is cultivated in China , in Japan or in Indonesia , such as vegetable , whose main purpose is the production of flour from rhizomes and dough from this flour for food use. The total annual volume of flour product is 25 000 tonnes, mainly in China (60%) and Japan (28%), more than half of China's production is exported 4 , Japan maintaining its production for domestic use, and protecting the import of konjac abroad by a dual system of quotas and taxes up to 990% of the value of the product on the market 5 .
Food uses [ edit | edit the code ]
The konnyaku ( 蒟蒻? ) , the main form of consumption, a characteristic low-calorie (5-10 calories per 100 g) and fiber (2-3 g per 100 g) by a popular diet product , whether in the form of noodles or frozen. Its taste is very close to neutral, it is mainly used in cooking for its mouthfeel (more crunchy than fondant) and appearance.
In Japan, revenues are primarily based on the konnyaku . It is obtained by mixing flour konjac with the lime water ( Kalkwasser or Limewater , the mixture of calcium hydroxide and water ). The seaweed hijiki ( Hizikia fusiformis ) is often added to the mixture as a dye. The resulting mixture was then boiled and then allowed to solidify. We then obtain the konnyaku . The konnyaku is a traditional ingredient of oden ; it is also eaten as pancakes, in cookies or vermicelli konnyaku called shirataki ( 白滝? , litt. "white waterfall" ) .
In China, it is used in some parts of the province of Sichuan ; the bulb is called moyu ("taro devil" / 魔芋 ), and jelly is called "konjac tofu" ( 魔芋豆腐 Moyu doufu ) or "snow konjac" ( 雪魔芋 Xue Moyu ).
In South Korea , the bulbs are eaten like potatoes.
Its flour, can be extracted glucomannan , a polysaccharide used as a thickener in the food industry ( E 425 6 ).
Medical [ modify | modify the code ]
Konjac was used in Japan in the eighteenth century to fight against cancer. Today it is not recognized as an anti-cancer, however some studies have demonstrated that it is effective against cholesterol 7 . Some also consider the konjac as a phytomedicine to fight against obesity while having no active ingredient itself.
Choking hazard [ edit | edit the code ]
The konnyaku is also used in Japan for wholesale candy in frozen fruit flavored baptized konnyaku jelly ( コンニャクゼリー , konnyaku zeli ? ) . However, this candy several inches wide have already been the cause of several deaths by suffocation in Japan (17 between 1995 and 2008), it is prohibited in the European Union and South Korea 8 .