- Botanical: Manihot utilissima
- Family: Euphorbiaceae
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Known asManihot esculenta, Tapioca, Cassava, manioc, yuca, balinghoy, mogo, mandioca, kamoteng kahoy, tapioca-root, maniok,
Old Usemedical, culinary
The cassava root is long and tapered, with a firm, homogeneous flesh encased in a detachable rind, about 1 mm thick, rough and brown on the outside. Commercial varieties can be 5 to 10 cm (2.0 to 3.9 in) in diameter at the top, and around 15 to 30 cm (5.9 to 11.8 in) long. A woody cordon runs along the root's axis. The flesh can be chalk-white or yellowish.
Properties & Uses
Cassava root has been promoted as a treatment for bladder and prostate cancer.
A nutritious diet for invalids; is baked into bread by the natives of Central America; it is used to adulterate arrowroot.
Improper preparation of cassava can leave enough residual cyanide to cause acute cyanide intoxication and goiters, and may even cause ataxia or partial paralysis. The more toxic varieties of cassava are a fall-back resource (a "food security crop") in times of famine in some places.
Brazil and tropical America.
Cassava roots are very rich in starch and contain significant amounts of calcium (50 mg/100g), phosphorus (40 mg/100g) and vitamin C (25 mg/100g). However, they are poor in protein and other nutrients. In contrast, cassava leaves are a good source of protein (rich in lysine) but deficient in the amino acid methionine and possibly tryptophan