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Mangosteen

Information on Mangosteen: the queen of fruit

Latin Name and family: (Garcinia Mangostana)

Other names: The queen of fruit

Characteristics:

The whole fruit is about the size of a small apple and the edible portion inside is about 1.5 to 2.5 inches diameter. The rind is about 1/4″ or 4 to 6 mm thick and soft when first harvested. Inside the rind there are about 4-8 segments. Some may be larger than others and contain a seed, but the smaller ones have no seeds or small underdeveloped seeds. The flesh of the mangosteen is the segments, which are pale, white and very soft. The segments, are similar to a clementine size and constitution.

mangosteen

Taste and Culinary Uses:

The taste may be compared to lychee, but it is sweeter and almost melts in the mouth. Mangosteen is being commercially produced into MANY MANY products, powders, vitamins, juice, etc. The mangosteen is best on its own. When they are freshly picked, they are easy to squeeze open, past the rind to the segments. Once they have sat a few days the rind starts to harden and to peel fruit it is best to use a small sharp knife should be used to cut past the rind showing off the pretty, luscious pieces.

Harvest and Storage:

The the developing fruit is white or very pale green and gradually turns red, then purple or a dark brown. Once picked, the mangosteen can be left at room temperature for several days. Storing it in the fridge can make the fruit last from 1-2 weeks. If you see white spots, bruises, or ruptures on on the dark purple/brown surface, the fruit has been compromised.

Health benefits:

Mangosteen is gaining A LOT of popularity lately for being a superfood with many health benefits. WebMD even has an entry for it! “Mangosteen is used for many conditions, but so far, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether or not it is effective for any of them.” Although there is scientific evidence growing as it gains popularity. In many health claims, not only the fruit but also the fruit juice, rind and bark are used. In Southeast Asia, the rind is traditionally used as a remedy for diarrhoea, dysentery and controlling fever (Fisheries, 2008).

It is also used for urinary tract infections, tuberculosis, menstrual disorders, cancer, osteoarthritis, gonorrhea, and dysentery. Additionally, as a preventative measure, it is used for stimulating the immune system and even improving mental health. WebMD also reports that some people apply mangosteen for eczema and there is evidence for mangosteen extract helping in the treatment of skin cancer (Wang, Shi, Zhang, & Sanderson, 2012).

Growth patterns:

No true varieties exist, although the fruit varies significantly depending on its environment. It is a fruit of the humid tropics, but it loves shade and is susceptible to sunburn on the leave and fruits. To some extent, the trees are considered “alternate bearing” meaning that a year of heavy fruiting is often followed by a much lighter harvest the following year. Seedling trees bear in 5-6 years, from flower to fruit it takes 5 months. The fruiting seasons changes with growing location but usually last about 4 to 10 weeks.

mangosteen katies tropical kitchen

Resources:

  1. Permacopia Book II. D. Hunter Beyer Dr. Franklin Martin.
  2. Hawaiian Organic growing Guide, Shunyam Nirav. (1992)Oasis Maui /inc
  3. http://www.mangosteen.com/Enjoyingthemangosteen.htm
  4. http://www.benefitsofmangosteen.net
  5. Wang, J. J., Shi, Q. H., Zhang, W., & Sanderson, B. J. (2012). Anti-skin cancer properties of phenolic-rich extract from the pericarp of mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana Linn.). Food Chem Toxicol, 50(9), 3004-3013. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.06.003
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