In late winter and early spring, it is the season to eat sugar cane. Many people can’t resist buying sugar cane when they see it attracting people’s attention. Eating the sweet sugar cane makes you feel good. However, when eating sugar cane, you must be careful not to eat moldy sugar cane.
But every year, there are several cases of sugar cane poisoning and even death. …… just ate a sugar cane, how can it be poisoned? In fact, it is not an overstatement at all. The folk often say that there is a kind of sugar cane that is more poisonous than snakes and must not be eaten, that is “moldy sugar cane”!
I. Appearance and toxicity of moldy sugarcane
After a period of storage, sugar cane is easily infected with “arthrosporum” and becomes moldy due to the effects of temperature and humidity. The red-hearted sugarcane that we sometimes see on the market is the external appearance of sugarcane after it has become moldy.
After the sugar cane is contaminated by arthrosporum, the toxin 3-nitropropionic acid will be produced, and only 0.5 grams of this substance will cause a toxic reaction, and the deeper the sugar cane is molded, the more the content of 3-nitropropionic acid will double. 3-nitropropionic acid is resistant to high temperatures and is very difficult to remove, so we can not remove the toxicity by normal cleaning and heating, nor will it reduce its toxicity.
Symptoms of moldy sugarcane poisoning
In general, if you eat moldy sugar cane, mild 3-nitropropionic acid poisoning is the same as ordinary food poisoning, with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and blurred vision. Severe poisoning can cause convulsions, brain edema, pulmonary edema, and even respiratory failure and death.
- How to identify moldy sugarcane
Moldy sugarcane usually has a “red heart” or even a “black heart”, loose flesh tissue, and flocculent white material at the end of the sugarcane. It smells musty, irritating or leesy, and the unpleasant odor is easy to distinguish.
Fresh sugar cane has normal color, smooth texture, white frost, no worm holes and hard texture. It has a sweet and clear aroma. Don’t buy sugarcane that is discolored, soft and smells like alcohol when you buy it.
Prevent the use of moldy sugarcane for juicing
After the moldy sugar cane affects the sales, some unscrupulous merchants will adopt the method of juicing in order not to affect the sales. The average person cannot tell the difference after juicing. However, the toxin content of sugar cane juice made from “moldy sugar cane” will be higher and the risk of poisoning will be higher. Therefore, if you are not sure, do not buy sugar cane juice. If you want to drink sugar cane juice, it is best to buy sugar cane and make it yourself.
- How to eat sugar cane
Don’t eat too much sugar cane. The sugar content of sugar cane is high (18%-20%), so consumption must be limited. The Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents recommends a single day fruit intake of 200-350 grams, and it is best to have a balanced distribution of these fruits in more than 3 types of fruits.
Some people are not recommended to eat or eat as little as possible. People who are allergic to sugar cane, or who suffer from diabetes, stomach ulcers and other digestive diseases, should not eat it.
Cane with mold removed should not be eaten
Many people think that if you remove the moldy part, you can eat it without worry. After the sugar cane is attacked by mold, the mycelium has been extended to every part of the sugar cane, except for the moldy part, the intact part also contains toxins, but these toxins are not red, the sugar cane is not discolored, so the naked eye can not see.
What to do in case of sugar cane poisoning
There is no effective treatment for 3-nitropropionic acid. If you get poisoned by eating moldy sugarcane, you should first induce vomiting, gastric lavage or diarrhea to get rid of the poison as soon as possible, and go to the hospital immediately.