History of Jerusalem artichoke
Originating in North America, the Jerusalem artichoke, also known as the sunchoke, is a type of sunflower with a tuber that is edible. The name is a misnomer; it has no relation to Jerusalem and is not an artichoke.
Historical records indicate that Native Americans cultivated and consumed this tuber long before European settlers arrived. The French explorer Samuel de Champlain brought the tuber to Europe in the early 17th century, describing its taste as similar to an artichoke.
This intriguing ingredient has since made its mark in various culinary and medicinal traditions worldwide.
Scientifically known as Helianthus tuberosus, the primary carbohydrate in Jerusalem artichoke is inulin. Unlike many other carbohydrates, inulin is a prebiotic fibre, which means it nourishes beneficial bacteria in the gut.
This unique carbohydrate composition sets it apart from other tubers like potatoes. Furthermore, Jerusalem artichokes are a good source of iron, potassium, and vitamin B1, making them a nutrient-rich ingredient.
Benefits of Ingredient
Jerusalem artichokes are acclaimed for their digestive health benefits. As mentioned, inulin acts as a prebiotic, fostering the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
This study found that inulin can increase the presence of bifidobacteria in the intestine, potentially improving gut health. Moreover, the tuber’s high potassium content supports cardiovascular health, while its iron content can aid in red blood cell production.
Forms of Consumption
Jerusalem artichokes can be consumed in various ways. Traditionally, they’re eaten raw in salads, roasted, or boiled. However, in the realm of supplements, they take on new forms:
- Powders: The tubers can be dried and ground to produce a fine powder.
- Teas: The dried tubers can be steeped to produce a mild, beneficial tea.
- Combinations: Often mixed with other beneficial ingredients in multivitamin formulations for enhanced effects.
Safety + Dosages
Jerusalem artichokes are generally safe for consumption. However, due to their high inulin content, overconsumption can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, such as gas or bloating. It’s recommended to introduce them into one’s diet gradually.
For supplements, following the manufacturer’s dosage guidelines is crucial.
Use and Legality in UK, EU, US and Globally
In the UK and EU, Jerusalem artichokes are considered a food item, and their supplements fall under general food regulations. There are no specific restrictions on their sale or consumption.
In the US, the FDA recognises Jerusalem artichokes as safe (GRAS). Supplements containing the ingredient are subject to general dietary supplement regulations.
Globally, the stance on Jerusalem artichokes varies. However, due to its long-standing culinary use, it’s widely accepted in many countries.
For those seeking to harness the power of this tuber in their product line, or to learn more about its potential, we are at the forefront of delivering unparalleled quality in supplement manufacturing. To explore how this ingredient can enhance your brand’s offerings, contact us.