Investigate the use of solubility equilibria by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples when removing toxicity from foods

The seeds of cycad plants are a toxic food used by many Aboriginal groups in northern Australia. Acute symptoms produced after consumption of untreated Cycas seeds are due to cycasin. There are three traditional methods used to treat these seeds: brief leaching in water; prolonged leaching in water; and aging. Analyses of fresh seeds and seeds prepared at Donydji and in the laboratory indicate that cycasin is effectively removed by all the traditional preparation techniques.