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Abstract

Modern Concepts & Developments in Agronomy

Sechium tacaco, an Underexploited and Endangered Food Crop: A Mini Review

  • Open or CloseJosé Eladio Monge-Pérez*

    Agricultural Engineer, Fabio Baudrit Moreno Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica

    *Corresponding author: José Eladio Monge-Pérez, Agricultural Engineer, Fabio Baudrit Moreno Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica

Submission: October 13, 2021;Published: November 10, 2021

DOI: 10.31031/MCDA.2021.09.000720

ISSN: 2637-7659
Volume9 Issue4

Abstract

Tacaco (Sechium tacaco) is a plant species of the Cucurbitaceae family, endemic to Costa Rica, and of nutritional interest. Its fruits, consumed both mature and immature, provide protein (1.9-2.1%), raw fiber (1.9-3.6%), starch (2.9-3.7%), as well as phosphorus, calcium, iron, vitamin A, ascorbic acid, riboflavin, and thiamine. Its leaves, stems and fruits contain saponins (called “tacacosides”) with inhibitory activity on the growth of cancer cells and probably also on microbial growth. This species is at risk of extinction due, among other factors, to deforestation and change in the consumption habits of the population, so actions must be taken to prevent its disappearance.

Keywords: Costa Rica; Saponins; Sechium pittieri; Sechium talamancense; Tacacosides

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