Re: Amorphophall konjac

Dear Dr. Vuksan,

     In 1986 while I was in Yunnan, China working on Paris (Trilliaceae)
with  Prof. Li Heng, we dis cussed the question of their (the people of
Yunnan) growing and supplying Konjac root to some company in N.A. which
would process it into forms for sale.  Dr. Li is prepared to begin such a
cottage industry if the right group is interested.  I was unable to drum up
any interest at that time but it is much easier to drum up interest when
the buyer is already, like yourself greatly interested.  In 1995 during the
International Aroid Conference in Kunming, Dr. Li was still very much
interested in growing various Aroid for uses in food and medicine.
     I do not have Dr. Li's address at the Kunming Botanical Garden here in
front of me but have what I think is her current e-mail address.  Please
give her a call with my compliments at <>.  If this address
proves to be incorrect, givw me another call direct and I will check my

Vic SoukupAt 09:02 AM 3/3/98 -0600, you wrote:
>Below is a letter I received, and I thought I would post it for your
>comments.  With your permission, I will relay any comment  to Dr. Vuksan.
>Dear Prof.Resslar,
>I found your name on the Internet searching material related to Konjac
>glucomannan.  My understanding is that at the Greenhouse you operate in
>Virginia you also have perennial herb Amorphophallus konjac Koch.  We at
>the University of Toronto, Department of Nutritional Sciences are
>interested in this plant because of the root.  The root, which is
>cultivated mainly in Japan and China, is planted in spring and harvested
>after 3 years. Konjac flour is dried, pulverized, and winnowed tubers of
>this herb. The dried tuber of the konjac plant containes about 60-80%
>konjac flouer.  The flour containes a high molecular weight, highly viscous
>(soluble) dietary fiber, that effects sugar in the blood and cholesterol
>concentration.  We studied this material for number of years and determined
>its health properties.  One of the problems is that is grown mainly in
>Asia, not sufficiently to be exported in larger quantities to N.America.
>We would like to explore possibilities of growing Konjac in North America.
>If you know anything about this plant please let us know.
>Vlad Vuksan
>Associated Director, Clinical Trials
>Risk Factor modification Centre,
>St.Michael's Hospital
>Phone:(416)867-7450;  Fax: 867-7442
Victor G. Soukup
Assoc. Curator of the Herbarium
Department of Biological Sciences
P.O. Box 210006
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0006
Herbarium phone: 513-556-9761

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