BANDUNG, unpas.ac.id – Porang or iles-iles is often not notices by the public because its roots/tubers can cause itching if eaten. However, now porang is starting to attract farmers and become the leading export of agricultural commodities.
Porang roots has high-contained glucomannan and does not cause diabetes, since it has low glycemic index. This glucomannan is used by various food industries, one of which is as a raw material for rice and shirataki noodles.
Before porang roots reaches its popularity, Unpas Department of Food Technology Faculty of Engineering has already done a research on making flour from porang roots as a substitute for flour. For the next plan, the research will be focused more on making porang roots as an alternative food
“We have once had a research on porang flour, but it was still not focused. We will later make it as an alternative food substitute, like analog rice. This is important, because we still depend on the rice itself and flour, even though there are a lot natural resources from porang roots,” explained the Dean of Faculty of Engineering, Dr. Ir. Yusman Taufik, M.P, at Unpas Campus IV, Jalan Dr. Setiabudhi, Bandung, on Thursday (April 22nd, 2021).
The Dean also added that porang contains cyanide that it could cause itch when it is eaten/ consumed. Therefore, porang roots should be processed properly.
“To reduce the cyanide content in porang roots, Prof. Dr. Ir. Rindit Pambayun, M.P. had once used the term KISS (Kupas Iris secara Simultan), or by using the method of Circulation Mixing System initiated by Dr. Tantan Widiantara, S.T., M.T.,” he added.
Currently in West Java, farmers mostly focus more on the breeding of porang plants/seeds, because its price tends to be more expensive than the roots. The roots itself is commonly found in East Java; even most of factories are located in East Java, such as in Surabaya, Madiun, Pasuruan, Gresik, Kediri, Jombang, and Banyuwangi.
In the future, if the farmers in West Java have massively planted porang and produced roots raw materials, the Department of Food Technology will focus on developing its research, especially during post-harvest. This is because porang roots is commodities that has potential commodity to be processed into alternative food to replace rice.
“By using carbohydrate source from roots in Indonesia, it can be an alternative to substitute rice as the main food. Moreover, the public still depend on the rice and its consumption level still reaches 95%,” he stated.
Porang roots flour can be made as diversified food product. Some of them are analog rice or shirataki, noodles, snacks and others. The popularity of shirataki is now increasing because it is trusted to be one of diet menu list and healthy lifestyle. (Reta Amaliyah S)*