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Tag Archives: Tropical Fruit

Mencepu, Cerapu, Kecupu [Garcinia Praniana]

Mencepu Garcinia Prainiana [1]

Mencepu, Cerapu, Kecupu [Garcinia praniana] is small tropical fruit tree with glossy leaves and very fragrant reddish-pink flowers. Easily found in deep within the verdant rainforests of South Thailand, Malaysia and Borneo. Menchepu (Garcinia prainiana) plants begin a most ancient of rituals. Menchepu is little known by the present generation may be due to the sour taste of the fruit is causing isolated from other local tropical fruits.

Mencepu Garcinia Prainiana [2]

The fruit is round in shape like a tomato and size also vary according to the fertility of the plant. Normal size of this fruit as the same size of tomato; when its ripe the size is between 30mm – 50mm only.

The ripe fruit is orange in colour, while young fruit is green colour. Its skin is very thin, soft, and stick with its contents. Its contents always in orange colour and rubbery flesh. The skin can be peeled by hand and its contents have small flats like mangosteen. This fruit has seeds about (5mm-8mm). The fruit is somewhat sour and chelate in flavour.

Mencepu Garcinia Prainiana [3]

Amidst the dense foliage, small red flowers emerge like jewels from the deep green branch tips, effusing their sweet aroma in hopes of seducing tiny insects. Beneath the tropical sun, the insects flitter playfully among the male and female blooms, unwittingly pollinating their thankful hosts. Brilliant orange fruits have very pleasant taste, with unusual sweet-sour flavoured pulp. The trees are very slow growing but long-lived and can fruit when only a few feet tall, 5-10m, crown narrow, dense, bushy.

The fruit is a little gummy and sour tastes, a lot of people do not eat directly instead use them in cooking.



Fruit Carving

I was specially invited by the organiser to attend the soft launching of MAHA International 2012 or Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture & Agrotourism International Show 2012 by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, at Putrajaya Mariott Hotel & Spa, Malaysia on 16 July 2012.

MAHA International 2012 will be held from 23 November to 2 December 2012 at Malaysia Agro Exposition Park, Serdang (MAEPS), Selangor, Malaysia.

While waiting for the official function to begin, I was fascinated by the decorations prepared for the event i.e. tropical fruits and fruit carving as well as it small flowers as table decoration.



Nick named ‘King of Fruits’; durian is highly valued in Southeast Asian countries. Durian has a very distinguished smell and its skin is thorny and hard. The dimension of a durian fruit is about 30 – 15 cm and its weight is about three Kgs. Durian flowers bloom in a cluster and there are about three to thirty identical clusters borne on its trunk and large branches. Every flower has sepals and about five to six petals. Durian is round although the oblong shape is not irregular. The shells are green or brown while its flesh is a luminous yellowish or reddish color.

Common Names – Durian (Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia)
Origin – Durian originated from Southeast Asia.
Scientific Name – Durio zibethinus

The degree of ripeness has an effect on the flavor of durian. Scientific analysis done on the durian aroma has found a mixture of esters, ketones, and different sulphur compounds, but could not distinguish which one is the primary contributor of the strong odor. The odor of the edible parts of durian is so penetrating; it spreads a long distance even without removing the shell. Some like the aroma of durian very much while some others highly despise its scent.

Durian trees yield two harvests per year, but it may vary in keeping with the various climates, cultivars and places. Durian trees bear fruit after 4 -5 years and they take about three months to ripe. From a great variety of durian, only the Durio ziebethinus variety is marketed internationally.

Durian shells are green or brown while its flesh is a luminous yellowish or reddish color. The odor of the edible parts of durian is so penetrating; it spreads a long distance even without removing the shell. Some like the aroma of durian very much while some others highly despise its scent.

Without refrigeration the fruit has a shelf life of only 2 -5 days. Fermented durian, wrapped in palm leaves, remain palatable for up to a year. The preparation is called “tempoyak” in Malaysia and Indonesia and is a popular side dish. They may also be used mixed with rice and sugar to make “lempok”, or minced with salt, onions and vinegar, for “boder”. Durian seeds may be roasted in hot ashes, or cut into slices and fried in spiced coconut oil. They are eaten with rice, or mixed with sugar to make a sweetmeat. Half-ripe fruit are used in soups. The durian is not only a meal to the lover, but has in fact the requisite food values. Though the fruit has much waste, it is very filling and high in proteins, minerals and fats.



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”.

Common Names – Manggis (Malaysia and Indonesia)
Origin – Pulasan originated from Southeast Asia.
Scientific Name – Garcinia mangostana

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.