Thursday, March 10, 2016


Manihot esculenta, with common names cassava (/kəˈsɑːvə/), Brazilian arrowroot, ... Like other roots and tubers, both bitter and sweet varieties of cassava ...

It must be properly prepared before consumption. Improper preparation of cassava can leave enough residual cyanide to cause acute cyanide intoxication and goiters, and may even cause ataxia or partial paralysis.[8]  wiki 

My father told me there is a folklore that it is very important to grow them the right way up, or the tapioca would be poisonous. It would be better not to eat them.
Tapioca is a dietary staple in Africa, Asia and South America, and you'll also find it in beverages and puddings in the United States. Although commercially packaged tapioca is generally safe, the plant can be highly toxic if not prepared properly.
Tapioca naturally produces cyanide, which is poisonous to humans; however, the cyanide may be removed during processing. By eating poorly prepared tapioca, you may risk cyanide poisoning according to the American Cancer Society. Symptoms include headache and dizziness; in severe cases, you may experience convulsions or coma. It is suggested that if a person is allergic to latex, it is best not to eat tapioca.

I used this story in my World War II, about a family dying after eating the up side down tapioca.


  1. Reb Lee Yes, we call food poisoning in Malaysia, not in detail. Many times students in canteen ate the Tapioca kuih, all had vomiting . My ex helper from Philippines told me that she stopped taking Tapioca for 20 years as 1/2 of her Kampong folks died after eaten the Tapioca -- they eat that daily instead of rice for the poor families. A dietitian said in the newspaper that we have to soak the Tapioca after peeling it. thanks goodness that I thought it was like the potato or sweet potato would become brownish. So, no troubles for me at all. Reb

  2. Rose Kalang FitzGerald Peel the skin... Make a slit & run your thumb down to remove the skin. Should be easy & leave you a very smooth white ubi kayu. Cut up, soak in water. Then boil until tender. There is a variety that is poisonous. Yes, a family made chips & their Dad experienced stomaches & tingling in the tongue & dizziness.
    Since you got it from the store, I think it is safe.

  3. - Tapioca is very toxic plant by nature ( so is the Changko Nanis ) -- The leaves could be taken as a veg. """ But """ , must be cooked or fermented . The juices from the leaves is toxic, no insect want to chew the leaves. Like wise, the roots ( tapioca ) when still attach to the plant, also produce toxin. No rats, wild boar would ever eat the tapioca twice. When cooking the tapioca, the skin must be REMOVED to avoid food poisoning. When fungus developed on the tapioca, do not take that - very toxic -----------
    Like · Reply · 5 hrs · Edited
    Joseph Kong
    Joseph Kong ------ I studied poisonous plants and flowers and seeds and roots.
    Like · Reply · 5 hrs
    Ann Chin
    Ann Chin thanks, Joseph. much appreciated.
    Like · Reply · 2 mins
    Ann Chin
    Write a reply...

    Joseph Kong
    Joseph Kong ------------- Some years back, Sabah exported young Chango Manis shoots to Taiwan. Taiwanese didn't know how to cook the plant. Instead it was blended and taken raw as a weight loss food. The result, a few deaths and many seriously ill. It had since been banned in Taiwan.

  4. Tapioca is harmless if boiled enuf. As cynanide will get evaporated. However, many poor countries in Africa take tapioca has ZERO percentage in cancer rates!!!

    As God created nature, never eat too much in a time.. fully cooked food.

    For kuih made from Tapioca, I believe due to bacteria on hot weather. Even other food will cause food poisoning on hot days!

    1. My dear Drew,

      Sorry for not replying your comments. This blog is my book blog and I did not go to it. I am pleasantly surprised at your comments and is from someone in Sibu. I went to your site, but google says it doesn't exist. Have you stopped blogging. I do a lot of facebook.

  5. My other comment is about the Changku manis exported to Taiwan years back. I still believe was a type of poisonous tree called "Zhi Zchar" very very exact like changku manis leaves. I never believe changku manis will cause ppl to die!!!!

    My late mum if living today, she was 100 to be exact, she knew such news.. She even told me, why her whole life eating the cangkut manis, and her so many friends lived through .. nothing happened.. She told me the real plants and even showed me in the rubber gardens a lot of those :Zhi Char trees or plants... really I saw them vvv exact..!