Application of a picrate semi-quantitative screening assay for the cyanogenic potential of cassava roots at a remote field site

WM Wilson, Gerard O'Brien, DL Dufour

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    Abstract

    The purpose of this research was to test the accuracy of the picrate screening assay (PSA) in the evaluation of the cyanogenic potential of cassava roots at a remote held site under conditions of unusual difficulty. To do this, a PSA was conducted in the field and compared to data collect-ed previously on five of the same cassava varieties using the Cooke colorimetric enzymic assay. PSA data were collected for 10 different cassava varieties in the Tukanoan Indian village of Vapu Tn the Colombian Amazon region. The PSA results agree with Tukanoan classifications of cassava; that Is, those classified as `sweet' by the Tukanoans generally had low-to-moderate parenchymal cyanogenic potential (0-50 mg kg(-1) fwb of HCN), while those that they classify as `bitter' had high parenchymal cyanogenic potential (greater than or equal to 100 mg kg(-1) fwb of HCN). The PSA results also agree with the data collect-ed using the Cooke colorimetric enzymic assay. The data suggest that the PSA is an appropriate test of the cyanogenic potential of cassava roots in remote field sites. (C) 2000 Society of Chemical Industry.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)590-594
    JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
    Volume80
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000

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