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mike_r

butternut squash residue

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Mr. McGee, thank you greatly for taking the time to answer our questions, and please allow me to pull another thread of knowledge from the skein of your brain...

I was cutting up raw, peeled butternut squash today and noticed again the tight, dry, residue it leaves on my hands...repeated washings in hot water with lots of soap didn't alleviate the problem very much. what IS this residue and what reaction is occurring between it, the air and my skin? any info you can relate would be greatly appreciated; as for me, i will wear gloves from now on :rolleyes:

thanks again!

--mike

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You've stumped me! I can't find any information about this. I know the sensation you mean, and it reminds me of the effect of the latex that comes out of figs and lettuce. Might be a similar mixture of defensive compounds. But I really don't know.

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I can't tell you what it is, however I can tell you that it is even stronger in immature green fruit.

It is the same as the mucus type stuff that is just under the skin of a chayote squash that acts as a very strong glue - many times I have had my knife handle glued to my hand before I began wearing gloves all the time.

The only thing that I have successfully used to remove it is to dampen my hands and use salt to scrub.

I keep an open bowl of salt and one of baking soda next to the sink for this purpose.

I think the Univ. of Illinois web site has an explanation of the material. - I know one of the univ sites does and I consult that one quite often.


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