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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 289285, 11 pages
Research Article

Grappling the High Altitude for Safe Edible Bamboo Shoots with Rich Nutritional Attributes and Escaping Cyanogenic Toxicity

1Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD), Takyelpat, Imphal, Manipur 795001, India
2Department of Biochemistry, University of Yaoundé I, BP 812, Yaoundé, Cameroon
3Department of Biotechnology, Burdwan University, Golapbag More, West Bengal 713104, India
4AJC Bose Indian Botanic Garden, Botanical Survey of India, Botanic Garden, Howrah 711103, India

Received 18 June 2013; Accepted 3 October 2013

Academic Editor: Kuo-Chen Chou

Copyright © 2013 Sayanika Devi Waikhom et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Consumption of bamboo species with high level of total cyanogenic content (TCC) in Asia by many ethnic groups is significantly associated with food poisoning and occasionally Konzo (a neurological disorder). Adequate characterization of edible bamboo species with low level of TCC and high nutritious attributes is required for consumer’s safety as well as for the conservation of the gene pool. Here, we employed morphological descriptors, atomic absorption spectrophotometer, RAPD, and trnL-F intergenic spacer to characterize 15 indigenous edible bamboo species of north-east India. The study indicates that morphologically and genetically evolved edible bamboo species having large and robust bamboo-shoot texture and growing at low altitude contain high level of TCC, low antioxidant properties, and low levels of beneficial macronutrients and micronutrients. Importantly, Dendrocalamus species are shown to be rich in TCC irrespective of the growing altitude while Bambusa species are found to have moderate level of TCC. The findings clearly demonstrated that Chimonobambusa callosa growing at high altitude represents safe edible bamboo species with nutritious attributes.