Why People Hunt Porang Many, This is the Explanation of IPB University Experts
Lately the porang plant is on the rise. People hunt a lot of food on this one. Seeing this phenomenon, Prof. Edi Santosa, Professor of IPB University from the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture also gave comments.
Prof Edi explained that the porang plant is included in the Amorphophallus family. He explained, Indonesia has 24 types of Amorphophallus out of 200 species spread all over the world.
"There are about 24 types of Amorphophallus native to Indonesia and this plant only exists in the old world like Indonesia," said Prof Edi.
Botanically, said Prof Edi, the world is divided into two, namely the old world and the new world. The old world consisted of Indonesia, Africa and Asia while the new world consisted of America, Europe and Australia. Thus, Amorphophallus plants are not found in the new world.
He further explained, of the 200 species of Amorphophallus plants, there are only three types that have high economic value. These types are Amorphophallus konjac, A. paeoniifolius (suweg) and A. muelleri (porang or iles-iles). Prof. Edi emphasized that this porang is different from acung (A. variabilis).
"Of the three types of commercial plants, in Indonesia there are only two that have developed the most, namely A. paeoniifolius and A. muelleri," he said.
The Head of the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture of IPB University also explained that this porang plant was originally a forest plant. He further explained that the use of A. muelleri or porang plants began in the Japanese colonial period (1942). Previously, Japan had cultivated A. konjac. Then when they occupied Indonesia, the Japanese army used porang as war logistics.
"Most of the people that were brought were porang and acung. At that time Japan used this plant for war logistics, especially for food sources. Unfortunately our historical records are cut off, the existing records that our society used to consume porang but it has not been known since when,” added Prof Edi.
He explained that the porang plant was cultivated intensively since the 1980s. At that time, Perhutani introduced porang or iles-iles to Cepu. The porang plant is planted under teak stands.
Regarding the cultivation of porang plants, Prof Edi explained that these plants can be planted anywhere. Porang plants can be planted in the shade or open rice fields.
"This porang originally grew in the forest, so it can be planted under stands or in open rice fields. Living in the forest is good, especially if it is cultivated intensively and well," said Prof Edi.
Furthermore, Prof Edi assessed that porang plants have high economic value because of the compound content in them. Based on research, porang plants contain high glucomannan compounds.
This glucomannan compound is considered to be a source of healthy food ingredients, lower cholesterol levels, lower blood sugar levels, prevent cancer, lose weight, and treat constipation. On the other hand, this glucomannan compound can also be used for coating drugs in the medical field. (RA)
Published Date : 17-Apr-2021
Resource Person : Prof Edi Santosa
Keyword : porang, iles-iles, acung, suweg, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture