Jerusalem artichoke - flatulence 
Author Message
 Jerusalem artichoke - flatulence

This year, for the first time, I have grown Jerusalem artichokes (a root
vegetable not to be confused with Globe artichoke).  I have achieved a good
yield and my wife and I had been looking forward to using these in a variety
of recipes.  Unfortunately, eating this item both raw and cooked has given us
severe flatulence (similar to that from eating canned baked beans in tomato
ketchup - but much more severe).

Can anyone please advise me - is this a well known problem with this type of
vegetable?  Is it related to certain varieties of the vegetable (I believe the
variety I sowed is called `Fuseau' - less knobbly than the common variety).  Is
there any cookery technique that can be employed to alleviate the problem?

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Reg
--
R J Osborne



Sat, 31 May 1997 06:25:59 GMT
 Jerusalem artichoke - flatulence
: This year, for the first time, I have grown Jerusalem artichokes (a
: root  vegetable not to be confused with Globe artichoke).
[snip]
: Can anyone please advise me - is this a well known problem with this
: type of  vegetable?

Unfortunately, it is. The starch is indigestible for some people. You might
try adding some cardamon to your recipes, but if your reaction is acute to
cooked sunchokes, you probably won't have much success eating them.




Sun, 01 Jun 1997 18:36:24 GMT
 Jerusalem artichoke - flatulence
There's a product called Beano which might help.  It's an enzyme
made by bacteria, which is supplied in liquid form.  A few drops
in your cooking.net">food is supposed to digest the sugars which cause gas.
I've never used it myself, but I use the veterinary version (CurTail)
for my cat, which saves her from considerable discomfort.

Jerusalem artichokes give me gas like nothing else (though radishes
produce a strong second-place showing).  I don't feel particularly
deprived not eating them.  In fact, if some clever geneticist
developed a gas-free Jerusalem artichoke, I seriously doubt
I would ever eat one.



Tue, 03 Jun 1997 00:29:29 GMT
 Jerusalem artichoke - flatulence


Quote:
>This year, for the first time, I have grown Jerusalem artichokes (a root
>vegetable not to be confused with Globe artichoke).  I have achieved a good
>yield and my wife and I had been looking forward to using these in a variety
>of recipes.  Unfortunately, eating this item both raw and cooked has given us
>severe flatulence (similar to that from eating canned baked beans in tomato
>ketchup - but much more severe).

>Can anyone please advise me - is this a well known problem with this type of
>vegetable?  Is it related to certain varieties of the vegetable (I believe the
>variety I sowed is called `Fuseau' - less knobbly than the common variety).  Is
>there any cookery technique that can be employed to alleviate the problem?

Reg,

In Harold McGee's wonderful (ok, perhaps "really good") book,
_The Curious Cook_, there is a whole chapter on the Jerusalem Artichoke,
often a.k.a. "sunchokes", but a.k.a. "windchokes" as well.  :-)

I believe the culprit is a polysaccharide called "inulin", of which
Jerusalem Artichokes have gobs, and this is a type of starch that humans
don't usually digest very well.  I believe there was some discussion in
Mr. McGee's book on "taking the wind out of windchokes" by either a
cooking process or by long-term cold storage (the latter more likely).

Hope this helps.

--
Jim Ward            | A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships

SAS Institute Inc.  |
SAS Campus Drive    |             - Adm. Grace Hopper, Inventor
Cary, NC 27513      |
(919) 677-8000      |



Sun, 08 Jun 1997 03:31:00 GMT
 Jerusalem artichoke - flatulence

: This year, for the first time, I have grown Jerusalem artichokes (a root
: vegetable not to be confused with Globe artichoke).  I have achieved a good
: yield and my wife and I had been looking forward to using these in a variety
: of recipes.  Unfortunately, eating this item both raw and cooked has given us
: severe flatulence (similar to that from eating canned baked beans in tomato
: ketchup - but much more severe).

: Can anyone please advise me - is this a well known problem with this type of
: vegetable?  Is it related to certain varieties of the vegetable (I believe the
: variety I sowed is called `Fuseau' - less knobbly than the common variety).  Is
: there any cookery technique that can be employed to alleviate the problem?

The storage carbohydrate in Jerusalem artichokes (and in onions) is
fructan, also known as fructosan.  This is a polymer (large chain
molecule) made up from fructose units, whereas starch, the storage
material in most plants, is made up from glucose units.  Fructose and
glucose are both equally digestible when taken in as simple sugars (as
in honey or invert sugar).  But we don't have digestive enzymes that can
split up the long-chain fructosans.  This means that the fructosan
reaches the large intestine pretty much intact.  For the bacteria of our
large intestine, the incoming fructosan is like Xmas in July.  They chew
it up, with copious formation of gas.

I don't see how any dietary supplement is going to prevent this
happening, unless it happens to change the type of bacteria in your gut
to non-gas-formers.  Or if you could find some other raw cooking.net">food to co-eat
that contains a fructosan-cleaving enzymes (fructosanase); I can't think
of any such foods. Perhaps raw onions might work; onion bulbs both make
and degrade their own fructosans at a reasonably good clip.  Try the
poor-storing red onions rather than the hard, sharp good-storing onions,
for technical reasons too complex to explain now.


Christchurch, New Zealand



Sun, 08 Jun 1997 16:32:49 GMT
 
 [ 5 post ] 

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