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what is konjac flour
Risun Bio-Tech Inc  Sep 05, 2016

 what is konjac flour?


    Konjac flour is extracted from the tubers of various species of Amorphophallus.It is a soluble 

dietary fiber that is similar to pectin in structure and function.


    konjac flour consists mainly of a hydrocolloidal polysaccharide, glucomannan. Glucomannan is 

composed of glucose and mannose subunits. Acetyl groups along the glucomannan backbone contribute 

to solubility properties and are located, on average. every 9 to 19 sugar units. In general, the 

konjac tuber is ground and milled, and its impurities are separated by either mechanical 

separation, water Wash, or aqueous ethanol wash to produce konjac flour. All processes are similar 

and result in a flour that is enriched in glucomannan and meets the specification listed in the 

Food Chemicals Codex.                                                                 



    konjac flour has a long history of safe use. The first documented use of konjac tuber as a 

source of food In China and Japan was In the ancient Japanese written work entitled, 

"Man-you-shuu." which was edited In the sixth century AD. A comprehensive collection of historical 

materials, which reference konjac in novels, essays and poems, was published by the Japanese 

Konjac Society in April 1985. The collection of materials document that its use as food is deeply 

rooted in the lives and customs of the people in Japan and China for centuries, Historical

[y, konnyaku, the alkali•treated konjac flour, was used to cleanse one's digestive tract of 

irritating and poisonous substances and keep one's internal organs clean. The konjac tuber was 

introduced into Hawaii in 1858 and konnyaku was commonly eaten as food once or twice a week by 

Japanese in Hawaii. Assuming a worse-case estimate of consumption for konnyaku once a week for 

eaters only, the estimated consumption of konnyaku as a food is 20 g/day.


    The Food Chemicals Codex lists the current uses of konjac flour in the United States as a 

gelling agent, thickener, film former, emulsifier. and stabilizer. Assuming that konjac flour 

would replace all uses of pectin, modified pectin, and gelatin. a worse case estimate for konjac 

flour consumption as a food ingredient In finished foods would be I .2 g/person/day. However, 

because use of konjac flour is self limiting and would not substitute for all uses of pectin and 

gelatin,a more reasonable estimate would be that konjac flour would substitute for one third of 

the uses and, thus. would be consumed at a level of about 0.4 g/person/day.


    The major component of konjac flour. Feeding studies with rats and dogs indicate that the 

no-observed effect level for glucomannan was 2.5%of the diet. There are several studies which 

deal with the effects of glucomannan on aspects of the biochemical dynamics of cholesterol, 

triglyceride, phospholipid, bile acid, glucose and insulin in the,e.experimental animals, While 

none of these studies can be called a safety study, they provide, some information on the safety 

of glucomannan in that they do not mention any adverse toxicological effects associated with the 

administration or glucomannan. These studies, in total, demonstrate that glucomannan has the 

ability to lower serum cholesterol levels and to delay glucose absorption.


    Studies using glucomannan have been tested on humans, principally to study its influence on 

cholesterol and glucose absorption from the gastrointestinal tract. These studies indicate that 

glucomannan has the ability to lower serum cholesterol and may lower serum triglyceride and bile 

acid level as well. Glucomannan may also have an influence on glucose tolerance and glucose 

absorption. These findings have also been seen in the animal studies, mentioned above. While these 

studies cannot be deemed to be human safety studies they do indicate that no adverse toxicological 

effects were associated with the administration of glucomannan.


    In addition, the results from several in vitro iron absorption studies demonstrate that 

glucomannan, the major component of konjac flour, does not bind iron.