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Current Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 0929-8673
ISSN (Online): 1875-533X

Review Article

Behind the Myth of the Fruit of Heaven, a Critical Review on Gac (Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng.) Contribution to Nutrition

Author(s): Hanh Phan-Thi* and Yves Waché

Volume 26 , Issue 24 , 2019

Page: [4585 - 4605] Pages: 21

DOI: 10.2174/0929867326666190705154723

Price: $65


Gac, Momordica cochinchinensis (Lour.) Spreng. belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. It is more considered as a super fruit. The demand for this plant is growing in countries where its reputation is high, including traditional countries of gac culture and countries fond of super fruits and food supplements. In these latter countries, the industrial strategy aims at producing high added value in food supplements or nutritional rich preparations. However, when marketing is not the driving force and claims have to be related to scientific data, the situation of gac is less "heavenly", mainly because its most remarkable properties are in the field of micronutrients. These latter components are indeed very important for health but their supplementation on healthy populations brings no significant advantage. This paper proposes to review aspects important for the nutritional reputation of this plant: where it comes from, how it is cultured to have an optimal nutritional composition, what is its composition and how it can impact health of consumers, in which products it is used and what are the regulations to use it in different markets. One important goal of this review is to give a critical and scientific approach to confirm data on this fruit, which has been promoted by marketing departments injecting so many wrong and unverified information. Missing data will be highlighted and potential positive applications are proposed all along the text.

Keywords: Carotene, gac (Momordica cochinchinensis), lycopene, food supplements, micronutrients, optimal nutritional composition.

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