Cyanogenic glycosides are naturally occurring compounds and are classified as secondary plant metabolites have been produced by many plant species. Hydrogen cyanide remains a product of enzymatic hydrolysis and thus a matter of concern when consumed fresh or raw. Bamboo shoot is one such species which liberates cyanide upon hydrolysis of Taxiphyllin. Literature on the toxicity aspect of bamboo shoots is scattered and very few studies report its significance, determination of toxic levels and ways to eliminate the toxic content to make it safe for consumption. With this background, this paper tries to reflect light on the safety aspect of bamboo shoots which cannot be neglected when we say bamboo shoots are nutritious vegetables. Therefore compiled and comprehensive information has been provided on the cyanogenic content in different species of bamboo shoots, fate of metabolism of Taxiphyllin and its degradation, health implications of cyanide poisoning and ways to eliminate it from shoots.
Keywords: Bamboo shoot, taxiphyllin, food safety, detoxification.