Lotus stem is an indigenous vegetable confined to selective cuisines of South East Asia. It is a nutritionally balanced food. Lotus stem is low in fat, low in sugar and high in protein, minerals and vitamins. Exploration of the nutritional and therapeutic profile of lotus stem is a popular topic of scientific research. Lotus stem has been proven to exhibit anti-microbial, antipyretic, anti-viral and anti-fungal activity.
The consumption of lotus stem is recommended in to enhance the physiology and biochemistry of the individual. The benefits of lotus stem are unexplored by majority of the culinary populations of the world. Lotus stem in addition to its nutritional benefits is an extremely versatile ingredient. Its mild sweet flavor renders it suitable to be incorporated in various recipes.
An edible product using lotus stem was developed. The product is a traditional, jaggery-based dessert using lotus stem as the main ingredient. The product thus developed was organoleptically assessed in comparison with conventional rice flakes payasam. This was achieved by a thorough sensory evaluation procedure involving 49 semi-trained panelists. The panelists also answered a detailed questionnaire based on several non-invasive and invasive sensory parameters. The non-invasive section of the questionnaire ascertained the awareness of the nutritional benefits of lotus stem among panelists. The invasive section of the questionnaire focused on determining product acceptability, product VFM and its commercial marketability.Future prospects include developing more innovative recipes from lotus stem for commercial marketing and also assessing the role of lotus stem in the therapeutic management of various lifestyle diseases.