Organisation Internationale pour le Bambou et le Rotin

Organisation Internationale pour le Bambou et le Rotin

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Nutritional properties of the largest bamboo fruit Melocanna baccifera and its ecological significance

Articles

Revue/Conférence:

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS

Language:

English

Auteur:

Govindan Balaji; Johnson Anil John; Nair Sadasivan Nair Ajikumaran; Gopakumar Bhaskaran; Mallampalli Karuna Sri Lakshmi; Venkataraman Ramaswamy; Koshy Konnath Chacko

Experts:

Baby Sabulal

Année:

2016

Volume:

6

Pages:

26135

Melocanna baccifera is a unique bamboo which produces the largest fruits in the grass family. Its gregarious flowering once in 45-50 years in north east India and adjacent regions is a botanical enigma, resulting in a glut of fruits. Proper utilization of M. baccifera fruits is not extant, and huge quantities of fruits are left underexploited due to lack of scientific information on their chemical composition and nutritional potential. Here we report the nutritional properties of M. baccifera fruits, and the ecological significance of its fruiting. This pear-shaped, fleshy bamboo fruit is rich in amino acids (lysine, glutamic acid), sugars (sucrose, glucose, fructose) and phenolics (ferulic acid). Protein content (free, bound) in M. baccifera fruits is very low. Fruits are rich in saturated fatty acids (palmitic acid), minerals (potassium), and only B series vitamins (B3) are detected in them. Rat feeding experiments showed that M. baccifera fruit alone is not a complete food, but with other protein supplements, it is a valuable food additive. This study could lead to better utilization of M. baccifera fruits during future flowering/fruiting events. These results could also help in the successful management of rodent outbreaks and other ecological problems associated with M. baccifera fruiting.