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Kokum Butter

Kokum butter fruit
Kokum fruit

The evergreen Garcinia indica (kokum)tree produces a bright red fruit with four to eight large seeds. The kokum tree is a member of the mangosteen family (not to be confused with mango) and is a slow growing tree found in tropical forests of India.  Because it requires no pesticide or fertilizer applications to stay healthy and productive, it is said that the kokum tree fruit cultivation is eco-friendly. The tree is underexploited as a commodity, and researchers are focusing on grafting and germinating seeds to improve the population of this long-living and very useful tree (See reference: Juvekar, et al., 2019).

The fruit is used in culinary dishes and the large seeds are extracted to collect the kokum butter.  Kokum butter is a solid fat and has similar properties as cocoa butter from Theobroma cacao bean.  The butter is used in chocolate and other confectionaries.  Kokum butter is also used for wellness consumer products and the pharmaceutical industries. The triglyceride fatty acid content of kokum butter consists of 2% C16:0, 57% C18:0, 39% C18:1 and 1.3% C18:2.  The values vary based on the kokum tree variety, as with any oil or butter. (See reference: Sridhar et al., 1991).

“indica Garcinia indica” Subray Hegde is licensed under CC BY 1.0

References

Juvekar, S.V., Gawankar, M.S., Salvi, B.R., Khandekar, R.G., Kulkarni, M.M., Salvi, V.G., and Malshe, K.V. (2019). Effect of growing media on seedling growth of Kokum (Garcinia indica Choisy). Int. J. of Chem. Studies, 7, 2370.

Sridhar, R., Lakshminarayana, G., Kaimal, T.N.B. (1991). Modification of selected Indian vegetable fats into cocoa butter substitutes by lipase-catalyzed ester interchange. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc., 68, 726.