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Ahipa is one of the least known, but most interesting, of the plant kingdom's edible roots. Its tubers are usually eaten raw and make a crunchy, delectable snack. The plants shown here were grown in Denmark, an indication that ahipa probably can be produced as a food crop in many places outside the Andes. (F. Sarup)

for water chestnuts. It absorbs sauces quickly and without softening. Even paper-thin slices seem to keep their characteristic freshness.


The nutritional content of ahipa is unknown, but is probably similar to that of jicama. If so, it is low in sodium and calories (containing approximately 50 calories per cup raw) and is a good source of potassium and vitamin C. The starch of jicama is easily digestible.6

The protein content on a dry matter basis is higher than that of other root crops, but fresh tubers have a low protein content because their moisture content is extremely high.

6 Approximately 80 percent of the starch particles are below 5 microns in diameter, and after a period of 16 hours in the digestive tract, 75 percent of the starch has been metabolized by glucoamylase as against 40 percent of the starch from sweet potato. K. Tadera, T. Tanguchi, M. Teramoto, M. Arima, F. Yagi, A. Kobayashi, T. Nagahama, and K. Ishihata. 1984. Protein and starch in tubers of winged bean, Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (L.) DC., and yam bean, Pachyrrhizus erosus (L.) Urban. Memoirs of the Faculty of Agriculture (Kagoshima University) 20:73-81.

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