Cassava and bamboo shoots

Naturally occurring cyanogenic glycosides in raw or unprocessed cassava and bamboo shoots can lead to exposure to the toxin hydrogen cyanide.

Cassava is also known as yuca, tapioca (a processed product of cassava), gaplek or manioc. Bamboo shoots, a traditional ingredient of Asian cuisine, are sourced from the underground stems of the bamboo plant.

To avoid exposure to these toxins, sweet cassava should be properly prepared before eating. Peel and slice the cassava and then cook it thoroughly, either by baking, boiling or roasting. Frozen cassava, and frozen peeled cassava should also be prepared in this way.

Fresh bamboo shoots should be sliced in half lengthwise, the outer leaves peeled away and any fibrous tissue at the base trimmed off. The remaining fresh shoots should then be thinly sliced into strips and boiled in lightly salted water for eight to ten minutes.

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