Anthraquinone content in noni (Morinda citrifolia L.)

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Noni has been used in traditional medicine and as food for thousands of years. While the fruits serve as food and internal medicine, leaves were traditionally used only topically. In recent years, concern regarding the possible content of anthraquinones in noni has led to scrutiny by the European Food Safety Authority. Little research existed on the content of anthraquinones in different noni preparations, with no information about the potential effect of harvest and preparation methods. Our research focused on lucidin, alizarin, and rubiadin, the most important anthraquinones from a health perspective. We found that the production process (fermentation/juice production versus drying/lyophilization) has no effect on the anthraquinone content. The source product, however, does have implications: noni fruit puree from which seeds had been removed as well as consumer products produced from such puree had no detectable amounts of any anthraquinones. Products that did contain seed or leaf material in all cases did contain partly significant amounts of anthraquinones. To alleviate safety concerns, we suggest that noni products, whether fermented or unfermented juice or powder, should be derived only from fully ripe noni fruits, and that any seed material needs to be removed during the production process. © 2013 Rainer W. Bussmann et al.




Bussmann, R. W., Hennig, L., Giannis, A., Ortwein, J., Kutchan, T. M., & Feng, X. (2013). Anthraquinone content in noni (Morinda citrifolia L.). Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013.

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