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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7591951, 20 pages
Review Article

Phytochemicals and Medicinal Properties of Indigenous Tropical Fruits with Potential for Commercial Development

1Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2Research Centre of Excellence for Nutrition and Non-Communicable Diseases, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
3Laboratory of Halal Science Research, Halal Products Research Institute, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
4Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 28 December 2015; Revised 29 April 2016; Accepted 4 May 2016

Academic Editor: Daniela Rigano

Copyright © 2016 Hock Eng Khoo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Hundreds of fruit-bearing trees are native to Southeast Asia, but many of them are considered as indigenous or underutilized. These species can be categorized as indigenous tropical fruits with potential for commercial development and those possible for commercial development. Many of these fruits are considered as underutilized unless the commercialization is being realized despite the fact that they have the developmental potential. This review discusses seven indigenous tropical fruits from 15 species that have been identified, in which their fruits are having potential for commercial development. As they are not as popular as the commercially available fruits, limited information is found. This paper is the first initiative to provide information on the phytochemicals and potential medicinal uses of these fruits. Phytochemicals detected in these fruits are mainly the phenolic compounds, carotenoids, and other terpenoids. Most of these phytochemicals are potent antioxidants and have corresponded to the free radical scavenging activities and other biological activities of the fruits. The scientific research that covered a broad range of in vitro to in vivo studies on the medicinal potentials of these fruits is also discussed in detail. The current review is an update for researchers to have a better understanding of the species, which simultaneously can provide awareness to enhance their commercial value and promote their utilization for better biodiversity conservation.