MANGOSTEEN: Glossy, Delicious and Healthy

By: Sagrika Sanjay


mangosteenIn recent years, people’s food habits have undergone tremendous change as more and more options have emerged on to the market. The world over, people are willing to explore different cultures and traditions through the food they eat. Food offers a great way to build connections in the world; elements from the world over can be brought to the same place in the form of dishes and meals. In the last few years, fruits and vegetables have increasingly been incorporated into diets, primarily for health reasons. Fruits like kiwis and avocadoes have become popular in India and elsewhere. Mangosteen, known as Kokam in India, is another such fruit which is quickly gaining popularity across India. Mangosteen provides a rich colour and tangy flavour to dishes, and is regularly used in the south-west parts of the country.

India mostly experiences tropical weather conditions, but the climate varies across different parts of the Indian peninsula. The warm and tropical conditions found in southern India favour the growth of the mangosteen fruit. Thirty-five species of Mangosteen, or Garcinia, are found in India, used in a variety of ways – spice, fruit, medicine, cooling syrup, cooking butter, colouring agent, and as ingredients in polishing agents applied on metallic surfaces such as gold and silver.

The outer, purple-coloured pericarp found on the Mangosteen fruit, though inedible, is considered a rich source of antioxidants and phytochemicals. The latter are a natural source of colour. The fleshy segments of the fruit are sometimes canned but this may cause the segments to lose their delicate flavour, especially if pasteurized for as much as 10 minutes. Tests have shown that, in the process of canning the fruit, it is best to use 40 percent syrup and sterilize the segments for only 5 minutes. The more acidic a fruit, the better suited it is for being preserved.

Mangosteens can be kept for 20 to 25 days when stored in dry, warm and closed storage facilities. Longer periods of storage can cause the outer skin and flesh of the fruit to turn dry. Ripe mangosteens can be stored for 3-4 days at 40º to 55º F (4.44º-12.78º C). In India, optimum conditions for cold storage of ripe mangosteens are 39º to 42º F (3.89º-5.56º C) with relative humidity of 85 to 90 percent, wherein the fruit can be stored for a period of 49 days.

Juice Concentrate Preparation (Mangosteen Juice)

In the U.S., mangosteen juice concentrate is prepared using the following method – frozen mangosteens were thawed at 4°C and separated into pericarp, flesh, and juice. The flesh and juices were heated at 85°C for 2 minutes. The mangosteen juice was extracted using household extractor by hand pressing or domestic juice extractor. The juices can be centrifuged at 3000 x g for 25 min. The clear juice is stored at -18 °C until further concentrated.

Further, fresh mangosteen pericarp can be boiled in water for 2 minutes and then dried at 70°C for 8 hours. Hot water (5,600 L) is added to the dried mangosteen pericarp (600 kg), and the mixture is filtered. The filtrates were concentrated under reduced pressure, with addition of 33 percent dextrin for solid content of extract, and the mixture is then spray-dried (92.1 kg).

A juice powder is a product that can be used as a drink or flavour additive. Studies show that the development of mangosteen powder is a challenging process since mangosteen has a sweet and acidic taste. Therefore, in order to balance the taste, fruit juices such as grape juice and roselle are added to improve the flavour of mangosteen juice.
There are two different fruit drying methods, spray drying and vacuum drying. Fruit powder dried using a spray dryer contains higher total phenolic and anthocyanin content than that dried using a vacuum dryer. Compared to fresh mixed juice, a spray dryer can preserve total phenolic content and anthocyanin content at about 26 percent and 67 percent, respectively, while a vacuum dryer can preserve total phenolic content and anthocyanin content of about 25 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

Mangosteen Peel Extract Powder

Waste management is the biggest problem in the world. The food & agriculture sector produces gigantic amounts of waste. With the advent of modernization and numerous technical advancements, research is being done to study the many ways in which seeds, pulp, skin, stems,and other parts of fruits, which normally form part of the waste created during processing activities, can be used in the F&B sector to minimize waste. One implementation of waste management idea is seen in the Garcinia angustifolia. Mangosteen is used to extract raw materials and active ingredients, including xanthones, phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and polymer tannic acid. Since Garcinia has good antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy effects, the peel of the fruit is used to make a lot of products like tea, curries, food colour, medicines and cosmetics.

The traditional method of extracting the peel is done through the process of sun drying . However, in light of recent technological advancements, a food dehydrator can now be used to speed up the process of drying. After the fruit peel is dried, the outer rind gets pureed using a food processor. Studies show that fresh mangosteen peel was dried and pulverized and then extracted with 95 percent ethanol, 3 times for 2 hours, and the combined extract was concentrated under reduced pressure to obtain mangosteen peel extract.

Conclusion

This fruit opens room in the R&D sector to experiment with the fruit juice in more modern ways. For example, incorporating flavours like vanilla and chocolate can make mangosteen fruit juice more appealing to the public. There is a huge market for dairy-based fruit products like smoothies, and proteins like whey when added to these drinks will make it more nutritious. The widespread use of mangosteen fruit across India would serve to provide employment and a source of income to poorer farming populations in the coastal areas where the fruit is popularly found. Proper processing techniques and waste utilization would help the country grow economically and improve the living standards of the poor.

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