10 Most Popular Food Plants That Contain Poison/Toxin
By: nobert bermosa
Most fruits and vegetables provide us the needed nutrients and vitamins to keep us healthy and strong but not all food plants are good to our health. There are food plants that can cause us harm or damage. Some food plants or part/s of food plants contain toxin. Here’s a list of poisonous food plants. Who would ever think that these plants are poisonous?
1. Potato (Solanum tuberosum)
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop vegetable. Potato foliage, fruits and green-tinged tubers contain glycoalkaloids, toxic compounds, of which the most prevalent are solanine and chaconine. Cooking at high temperatures (over 170 °C or 340 °F) partly destroys these. The concentration of glycoalkaloid in wild potatoes suffices to produce toxic effects in humans. Glycoalkaloids occur in the greatest concentrations just underneath the skin of the tuber, and they increase with age and exposure to light. Glycoalkaloids may cause headache, diarrhea, and cramps and in severe cases coma and death; however, poisoning from potatoes occurs very rarely.
2. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)
The tomato is a herbaceous, usually sprawling plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family, as are its close cousins tobacco, chili peppers, potato, and eggplant. Foliage and vines contain alkaloid poisons which cause digestive upset and nervous excitement.
3. Rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum)
Rhubarb leaves contain poisonous substances, including oxalic acid which is a nephrotoxic and corrosive acid that is present in many plants. The median lethal dose for pure oxalic acid is about 25 g for a 65 kg (140 lb) human. Cooking the leaves with soda can make them more poisonous by producing soluble oxalates causing kidney disorders, convulsions, and coma but rarely fatal. However, the leaves are believed to also contain an additional, unidentified toxin, which might be an Anthraquinone glycoside (also known as Senna glycoside).
4. Cherry (Prunus cerasus)
Cherry refers to a fleshy fruit that contains a single stony seed. The cherry belongs to the family Rosaceae, genus Prunus. Cherries contain anthocyanins, the red pigment in berries. Cherry anthocyanins have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in rats but the leaves and seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides.
5. Peach (Prunus persica)
The peach is a species of Prunus native to China that bears an edible juicy fruit also called a peach. The leaves and seeds of peach also contain cyanogenic glycosides.
6. Plum (Prunus domestica)
A plum or gage is a stone fruit tree in the genus Prunus, subgenus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera (peaches, cherries, bird cherries, etc) in the shoots having a terminal bud and the side buds solitary (not clustered), the flowers being grouped 1-5 together on short stems, and the fruit having a groove running down one side, and a smooth stone. Like plum, peach and cherry, the leaves and seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides.
7. Bitter Almond (Prunus dulcis)
The bitter almond is rather broader and shorter than the sweet almond, and contains about 50% of the fixed oil which also occurs in sweet almonds. It also contains the enzyme emulsin which, in the presence of water, acts on a soluble glycoside, amygdalin, yielding glucose, cyanide and the essential oil of bitter almonds, which is nearly pure benzaldehyde. Bitter almonds may yield from 4-9 mg of hydrogen cyanide per almond. Extract of bitter almond was once used medicinally, but even in small doses effects are severe and in larger doses can be deadly; the cyanide must be removed before consumption.
Since September, 2007, raw almonds have technically not been available in the United States. Controversially, almonds labeled as “raw” are required to be steam pasteurized or chemically treated with propylene oxide. This does not apply to imported almonds.
8. Apricot (Prunus armeniaca )
The Apricot is a species of Prunus, classified with the plum in the subgenus Prunus. The native range is somewhat uncertain due to its extensive prehistoric cultivation, but most likely in northern and western China and Central Asia, possibly also Korea and Japan. Although the fruit provides lots of vitamins and various health benefits, the leaves, bark and seeds of apricot contain cyanogenic glycosides.
9. Apple (Malus domestica)
The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree in the rose family Rosaceae. It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. The seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides; in most species, the amount found in a single fruit won’t kill a person; but it is possible to ingest enough seeds to provide a fatal dose.
10. Eggplant (Solanum melongena)
The eggplant, aubergine, or brinjal is a plant of the family Solanoceae (also known as the nightshades) and genus Solanum. It bears a fruit of the same name, commonly used as a vegetable in cooking and is native to India and Sri Lanka. Eggplant is richer in nicotine than any other edible plant, with a concentration of 100 ng/g (or 0.01mg/100g). However, the amount of nicotine from eggplant or any other food is negligible compared to passive smoking. On average, 20lbs of eggplant contains about the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette.
Raspberries and crabapples also contain glycosides. Cassava, an important food plant in Africa and South America, also contains cyanogenic glycosides and therefore has to be washed and ground under running water prior to consumption.
Well, to avoid food poisoning, do not eat the part or parts of any of these food plants that contain the poison or toxin or do the necessary things to get rid of its poison.