Konjac Amorphophallus Konjac K. Koch is a tuberous rhizome of the Araceae family native to southern China, which grows in the countries of Southeast Asia. We find it being mentioned in very old Chinese writings.
Konjac: an old plant with health benefits
Formerly grown and consumed in starch form during food shortages, it was particularly used in Chinese traditional medicine to reduce intestinal disorders, prevent tumours and sooths burns. It was also indicated as a cough medicine and in treatments used for asthma, hernias and haematological and skin diseases (1).
The konjac rhizome contains a large quantity of mannan which produces mannose sugar (2). A gelatinous paste which expands in contact with water is obtained from konjac flour. This acts as an appetite suppressant and can also be used to prepare pasta, snacks and tofu dishes of the Far East.
Exceptional slimming properties
On the agro-food market, konjac is a trendy food largely used as a thickener in the form of purified flour, called glucomannan extracted from the root of the plant (3). It can be found in desserts, puddings, cooked dishes and especially in the food supplement field.
Konjac is essentially made up of soluble fibre beneficial for the microorganism of the intestine. Once ingested, this forms a covering of the intestine and produces a feeling of being full. Glucomannan can absorb up to 100 times its weight in water!
As such, konjac is a good weight loss ally, especially for athletes’ diets, which the food supplement market has developed mainly based on its slimming properties and its low calorific value (3kcal/100g).
A unique food in its kind
There are numerous therapeutic benefits of konjac: it participates in lowering bad cholesterol, preventing cancer and diabetes, and absorbing fat and sugars limited by the rhizome’s active ingredients. Konjac fibres slow down the absorption of sugar, thus promoting good blood glucose concentration levels contributing also to improving metabolism with regard to insulin levels (4).
Konjac glucomannan is moreover beneficial for proper intestinal functioning (5) and preventing certain chronic diseases. Consumers endorse it for its slimming advantages: a healthy, low calorie and rich in fibre food. Over 30% of konjac based products claim having a "high fibre content" and are positioned around losing and controlling weight (6) .
Our konjac sourcing comes from China. In the Life Science & Nutrition product range, Natural Origins proposes 3 powder and extract konjac references, one of which is organic quality:
- Konjac Glucomannan Rhizome Powder 420µm
- Konjac Rhizome PE 90% Glucomannan
- Organic Konjac Glucomannan Rhizome Powder 420µm
Please feel free to contact us for any additional requests for this reference.
To see our entire product range, check out our online catalogue available 24 HOURS A DAY 7 DAYS A WEEK.
(1) Chua M, Baldwin TC, Hocking TJ, Chan K. Traditional uses and potential health benefits of Amorphophallus konjac K. Koch ex N.E.Br. J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Mar 24;128(2):268-78. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2010.01.021. Epub 2010 Jan 15. PMID: 20079822. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2010.01.021
(2) Wang P, Zheng Y, Li Y, Shen J, Dan M, Wang D. Recent advances in biotransformation, extraction and green production of D-mannose. Curr Res Food Sci. 2021 Dec 16;5:49-56. doi: 10.1016/j.crfs.2021.12.002. PMID: 35005631; PMCID: PMC8718577
(3) Devaraj RD, Reddy CK, Xu B. Health-promoting effects of konjac glucomannan and its practical applications: A critical review. Int J Biol Macromol. 2019 Apr 1;126:273-281. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2018.12.203. Epub 2018 Dec 23. PMID: 30586587.
4) Sood N, Baker WL, Coleman CI. Effect of glucomannan on plasma lipid and glucose concentrations, body weight, and blood pressure: systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Oct. 88(4):1167-75.
(5) Chen, H. L., Cheng, H. C., Liu, Y. J., Liu, S. Y., & Wu, W. T. (2006). Konjac acts as a natural laxative by increasing stool bulk and improving colonic ecology in healthy adults. Nutrition, 22(11-12), 1112–1119. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2006.08.009. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17027233/
(6) Mintel, Produits alimentaires, boissons et compléments alimentaires lancés dans le monde entre 2017-2022