Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is a tropical fruiting tree in the family Clusiaceae, native to the Sunda Islands and the Moluccas of Indonesia. It is known as manggis in Malaysia and Singapore. Mangosteen is one of the most tasty tropical fruits and rightfully deserves the title “Queen of Fruits”.
Mangosteen tree is a slow-growing, erect, with a pyramidal crown tree, growing 7-25 m tall. It has scaly, dark-brown or nearly black bark, with inner bark that produce yellow, gummy and bitter latex. The leaves are evergreen, dark green, opposite, ovate or elliptic, thick with leathery texture, 9-25 cm long and 4.5-10 cm wide, with conspicuous midrib. New leaves appear rosy. The flowers, may be male or hermaphrodite on the same tree. They are 4-5 cm wide and fleshy. Male flowers, 4 sepals and 4 ovate, thick and fleshy petals, appear in clusters of 3-9 at the branch tips, are green with red spots on the outside and yellowish-red on the inside, with many stamens. The hermaphrodite flowers, with petals that are yellowish-green edged with red or mostly red, are borne singly or in pairs at the tip of young branchlets, and are quickly shed. The juvenile mangosteen fruit, which does not require fertilisation to form is initially pale green or almost white, ripening to a deep, purplish burgundy in 2-3 months time.
Mangosteen fruit is round, dark purple to red purple and smooth externally, 3-8 cm in diameter. It is capped by the prominent calyx at the stem end, and with 4 to 8 triangular, flat remnants of the stigma in a rosette at the apex, corresponding to the numbers of aril segments inside the fruit. The best fruit has the most numbers of stigma lobes at the apex, for these have the highest number of fleshy segments and accordingly the fewest seeds. The rind, 6-10 mm thick, contains purple, staining juice and bitter yellow latex. The purple juice may stain skin or fabric. The flattened seeds are ovoid-oblong, 2.5 cm long and 1.6 cm wide, and cling to the arils. The white arils is sweet, tangy, fibrous with slightly acidic taste.
Mangosteen is delicious and usually eaten fresh as dessert , rich in xanthones and tannin and is commonly used as an astringent, which are known to help your body function healthily. It is also made into jam.
Mangosteen is delicious and usually eaten fresh as dessert. It is also made into jam. The rind of the mangosteen is rich in xanthones and tannin and is commonly used as an astringent, which are known to help your body function healthily. In addition to this, each serving of this fruit can contain up to five grams of fibre.
Xanthones are the name given to a group of polyphenolic compounds, which are similar in structure to bioflavanoids and are biologically active. They are very rarely found occurring in nature, and the majority of them are found in just two different families of plants. So far, there have been two hundred xanthones that occur naturally which have been identified, and of those two hundred, forty were discovered in the Mangosteen fruit.
Xanthones, along with their derivatives, have been scientifically proven to have many benefits. Some of these are anti-inflammatory properties, anti convulsion abilities and anti-allergic properties. Other components that are found in Mangosteen also have some medicinal qualities, and examples of a few of these components would be catechins, sterols, polysaccharides and proanthocyanidins. While these compounds are not as nutritionally important or as biologically active as xanthones, they still go a long way in providing the Mangosteen with the medicinal benefits that it is treasured for, because many of these components are antioxidants.