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[aroid-l] Cleaning seeds with pectinase

  • Subject: [aroid-l] Cleaning seeds with pectinase
  • From: "Leo A. Martin" <leo1010@attglobal.net>
  • Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2004 02:04:18 -0400

A trick I learned from cycad growers is to use pectinase. This is an enzyme that can be bought at shops that sell beer brewing supplies. It is not expensive and is stored in the refrigerator. I haven't used it on aroid seed, but I don't see why it wouldn't work, since pectinase is a non-specific breaker of alpha carbohydrate linkages.

For cycads, rupture the outer skin of the flesh surrounding the seed, and then place in water to cover. Add several drops of pectinase solution. Place where the water will be kept around 32C / 90F. In a few days the seeds will be free of the pulp, which will have been reduced to liquid or perhaps to very soft mush.

This is very nice for cycad seeds. The pulp usually contains extremely neurotoxic chemicals. After a few days the pulp just slips off when rinsed.

Leo A. Martin
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

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