Thursday, July 9, 2015


 MANGOSTEEN (Garcinia mangostana) it is the fruit belonging to the family of Clusiaceae and native to Malaysia and Indonesia.This tree are  in the genus of Garcinia. There are about 7,450 CHE hectare of mangosteen grown in  2014 reported by DOA Malaysia especially in state of Johore, Perak, Selangor and Pahang respectively. The unique for its appearance and flavour of mangosteen is often revered as 'queen of the tropical fruits' especially in the oriental regions. This fruit are considered as the companion of the durian fruit so called 'king of the fruits'. This exotic, purple color fruit is quite popular for its snow-white, juicy, delicious arils all over the Asian countries, and in recent years by the European and American fruit lovers as well.  Mangosteen plant is an evergreen, erect tree reaching about 20- 60 ft in height. It commonly found in tropical rainforests of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines as well as in some cultivated orchards in Sri Lanka and India, where annual precipitation and relative humidity are favourable for its growth. Fresh purple fruits are available in the markets from June until October. This article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" the readers able to read information about the magnificent nutrition value for mangosteen.

Each tree bears several deep purple colored round shaped fruits, capped with light green calyx at the stem end. Completely matured fruit measures about 3-7 cm in diameter (See figure ). Its outer tough rind is about 7-12 mm thick, contains bitter yellow latex that stains clothes black. The mature fruits internally the fruit features 4 to 10 compartment and juicy, snow-white color, soft, fleshy, triangular segments as in oranges. Each segment may contain 1 - 4 off-white colored seeds. Seeds are inedible and bitter in taste. The flavor of the fruit can be described as sweet, fragrant and delicious.  Different species of Garcinia genus are grown all around the Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America all along the tropical belt. Cherapu or Button mangosteen (Garcinia prainiana) is native to Malaysia. It features somewhat flat, mandarin orange-like shape with thin rind that can be peeled very easily by hand, again as in oranges. Mesta are another varieties normally grown in Pahang State referred as better quality from local varieties. Lemon drop mangosteens (Garcinia madruno) are small size (2-4 cm diameter) fruits, native to Malayan peninsula. African mangosteen or Imbe (Garcinia livingstonei) is native to West Africa. They are slightly larger than lemon drop type.

Health benefits of mangosteen are rare discussed as this fruit are limited production due to their short perishability.  Delicious and juicy, mangosteen is one of the popular tropical fruits. It comprises an impressive list of essential nutrients, which are required for normal growth and development and overall nutritional well-being. This fruit is very low in calories (63 calories per 100 g) and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Nonetheless, it is rich in dietary fiber (100 g provides about 13% of RDA), which can be very important for individuals who are concerned about putting on excess body weight. Mangosteen is good in vitamin C and provides about 12% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin-C is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against flu-like infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
Fresh fruit is a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, niacin and folates. These vitamins are acting as cofactors the help body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Further, it also contains a very good amount of minerals like copper, manganese and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and helps control heart rate, and blood pressure; thus, it offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.
Mangosteens are available fresh during summer months. Completely matured, deep purple color fruits are picked up either by hand or hook-and-basket method as in mangoes, without damaging them. Injury to outer skin results in percolation of bitter-latex into the edible flesh, which makes the whole fruit bitter and inedible. Mangosteen is now readily available in the supermarkets across the United States. While buying, look for fresh fruits that feel heavy in hand with firm green calyx at the stem end, and bright purple color skin as they indicate fresh arrivals from East Asian orchards. Avoid those appearing dry and blotched skins as they may indicate an old stock. At home, ripe fruits should be placed in cool well-ventilated place where they keep well for up to two weeks. For extended keeping quality store them inside the refrigerator.

Preparation and Serving tips by washing the fruit in water to remove surface dust. Fresh fruit has a thick soft rind, quite like in pomegranate but thicker in size. In general, the fruit is scored through the rind around an equatorial circumferential fashion using paring knife, and its upper half pulled up gently using the thumb to expose delicious arils inside. Prolonged exposure to hot conditions may cause its outer skin dry, brittle and may pose problems while peeling. The serving tips for fresh mangosteens are wonderfully delicious. Enjoy this exotic juicy fruit all alone without any additions. The fruit segments complement well with other fruit sections like papaya,watermelon, pineapple, grapes, etc. Mangosteen juice is very tasty thirst quenching cool drink to beat summer heat. Mangosteen clafouti prepared using corn flour and coconut milk is a delicious dessert. Thanks.

M Anem,
Senior Agronomists,
Precint 11, Putrajaya,
WP, MAlaysia.
(9 Rejab 1436H)

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