Diversity in Nutrition and Bioactivity of Momordica cochinchinensis

Dilani Wimalasiri, Terrence Piva, Tien Huynh


Momordica cochinchinensis (Cucurbitaceae) aril is the richest source of the carotenoids of all known fruits with high anti-cancer activity. The plant is restricted to South East Asia with diverse morphology and genetic variations. The effect of varietal variations on carotenoids (lycopene and β-carotene) and anticancer activity was investigated to determine cultivars important for agricultural development. M. cochinchinensis aril samples were collected from 17 provinces within Thailand and Vietnam and compared with samples from Australia. Lycopene and β-carotene was quantified using HPLC and cytotoxicity on melanoma (MM418C1, D24) and breast cancer (MCF7) cells were assessed using CCK 8 assay. The greatest lycopene content was from Central Vietnam (6.3 mg/g) and greatest β-carotene was from Northern Vietnam (5.7 mg/g). Cytotoxicity was greatest from Northern Vietnam, with 70% melanoma cell death. The best varieties possessing the highest nutritional and bioactivity identified in this study will be incorporated into future breeding and crop improvement programs.


Momordica cochinchinensis; melanoma, breast cancer; carotenoids; lycopene; β-carotene.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18517/ijaseit.6.3.839


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Published by INSIGHT - Indonesian Society for Knowledge and Human Development