Cyanide test for cassava

Hamish Crawford writes about an Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry article for Chemistry World

A new sensing system that changes colour to indicate if a cassava-based foodstuff is safe to eat by checking for hydrogen cyanide has been devised by researchers in Switzerland and Mozambique.

Cassava, an edible root that grows well in poor conditions, is the third largest source of calories for people in the tropics. However, as a self-defence mechanism against attack from pests and predators, cassava releases hydrogen cyanide upon damage to its cells. Sun-drying, fermentation and other traditional processing techniques can successfully eliminate the hydrogen cyanide but it may remain and cause a variety of illnesses, including tropical ataxic neuropathy and epidemic spastic paraparesis, if pre-consumption treatment is substandard…..

Read the full article in Chemistry World»

Read the original journal article in Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry – it’s free to access until 4 December:
Corrin-based chemosensors for the ASSURED detection of endogenous cyanide
Felix Zelder and Lucas Tivana
DOI: 10.1039/C4OB01889C

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