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Phytochemicals of papaya and its traditional health and culinary uses - a review


Ikram, EHK and Stanley, R and Netzel, M and Fanning, K, Phytochemicals of papaya and its traditional health and culinary uses - a review, Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 41 pp. 201-211. ISSN 0889-1575 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2015.02.010


This paper reviews the current research on phytochemical composition and non-Western traditional culinary food preparation and health uses of papaya. Only ripe papaya fruit flesh is normally eaten in Western countries. The orange or red flesh is an excellent source of pro-vitamin A and ascorbic acid. In South-East Asia, both ripe and green fruit are used and additionally leaves are popularly consumed either raw in salad or cooked as a green vegetable. The leaves contain alkaloids as well as quercetin and kaempferol as the main phenolic compounds. In contrast to Western use papaya has a reputation as a medicinal plant in tropical countries where it is grown. Different plant parts such as fruit, leaf, seed, root, bark and flowers have been used as health treatments. These have included use as topical dressings for treating ulcers and dermatitis, gastrointestinal uses such as antihelminthic and antibacterial activity treatments and traditional uses for fertility control. The differences in use for food and health illustrate potential applications and nutritional benefits of the plant which require further research. With better verification the health applications of papaya could be more widely adopted into Western culture.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Carica papaya, cultivars, food composition, phytochemicals, maturity, culture, nutrition, health, biodiversity and nutrition, traditional uses
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Food sciences
Research Field:Food nutritional balance
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Horticultural crops
Objective Field:Tropical fruit
UTAS Author:Stanley, R (Professor Roger Stanley)
ID Code:106476
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:39
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2016-02-11
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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