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**History and Cultivation**:
– Wild forms of konjac grow naturally in China and Southeast Asia.
Konjac has been used in Japan since the 6th century as a medicinal food.
– It is cultivated in East and Southeast Asia for its large starchy corms.
– Over 90% of domestically produced konjac in Japan comes from Gunma Prefecture.

**Culinary Uses**:
– In Japanese cuisine, konjac is used in dishes like oden.
– Japanese konjac is valued for its texture rather than flavor.
Konjac is consumed in parts of China’s Sichuan province and grown in An Giang province in Vietnam.
– Ito konnyaku is konjac cut into noodle-like strips.

**Health and Traditional Medicine**:
– The dried corm of the konjac plant contains around 40% glucomannan gum.
Konjac jelly is used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Konjac corm powder is used in vegan seafood products for its fishy smell.

**Safety and Regulatory Issues**:
– Choking risks associated with konjac fruit jelly have led to product warnings.
– The European Union and Australia have banned konjac fruit jelly due to choking hazards.
– Warning labels advise parents to ensure children chew the jelly thoroughly.

**Other Uses and Applications**:
Konjac is used for facial massage accessories like konjac sponges.
– It is used in drug delivery systems for colon-targeting drug delivery.
– In traditional hand papermaking in Japan, konnyaku imparts strength to paper.
– Shirataki noodles are popular in the US for their low carbohydrate content.

Konjac (Wikipedia)

Konjac (or konjak, English: /ˈkɒnjæk, ˈkɒnæk/ KON-yak, KON-jak) and konnyaku are common names of Amorphophallus konjac, a vegetable species native to Yunnan in southwest China which has an edible corm. It is also known as konjaku, konnyaku potato, devil's tongue, voodoo lily, snake palm, or elephant yam (though this name is also used for A. paeoniifolius).

Amorphophallus konjac
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Genus: Amorphophallus
A. konjac
Binomial name
Amorphophallus konjac
  • Amorphophallus mairei H.Lév.
  • Amorphophallus nanus H.Li & C.L.Long
  • Amorphophallus rivierei Durand ex Carrière
  • Brachyspatha konjac (K.Koch) K.Koch
  • Conophallus konjak Schott
  • Conophallus konniaku Schott ex Fesca
  • Hydrosme rivierei (Durand ex Carrière) Engl.
  • Proteinophallus rivierei (Durand ex Carrière) Hook.f.
  • Tapeinophallus rivierei (Durand ex Carrière) Baill.

It is cultivated in warm subtropical to tropical areas of East and Southeast Asia, from China and Japan south to Indonesia and Vietnam (USDA hardiness zone 6–11). It is a perennial plant, growing from a large corm up to 25 cm (10 in) in diameter. The single leaf is up to 1.3 m (4 ft) across, bipinnate, and divided into numerous leaflets. The flowers are produced on a spathe enclosed by a dark purple spadix up to 55 cm (22 in) long.

The food made from the corm of this plant is also widely known in English by its Japanese name konnyaku, it is cooked and consumed primarily in China, Japan and Korea. The two basic types of cake are white and black. Noodles made from konnyaku are called shirataki. The corm of the konjac is often colloquially referred to as a yam, though it is not related to tubers of the family Dioscoreaceae.

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