RambaiThe mangosteen is a tropical evergreen tree, the genus Garcinia , in the family Guttiferae, native to Southeast Asia. The small edible oval fruit of the Malesian tree Baccaurea motleyana (family Euphorbiaceae), has white flesh and pale brown seeds in a smooth brownish-yellow skin; (also) the tree itself, has large evergreen leaves and racemes of tiny yellowish-green flowers.
The mangosteen has white or whitish flesh that is sweet and tangy in taste. The skin of the fruit is thin and easily peeled away to expose the firm pulp, which consists of a layer covering a single seed. The skin is discarded while consuming the pulp, but may be eaten or sucked on for some time afterward to cleanse the palate. Anyone who has consumed mangosteen will note that it is extremely juicy with an extremely short shelf life once picked from the tree. Typical mangosteen fruit contains 250-400 seeds of about 1.5 mm size each.
The mangosteen is best known for its sweet, fragrant white pulp surrounding the inner segments - arils - similar to grapefruit or pomelo flesh. The fruit has a distinctive slightly puckery astringency that is lost in the canning process. The skin of the ripe fruit has a thin layer of edible wax, called "wax bloom", which gives the skin a light purple color.
Mangosteen juice has become popular in some areas, and some brands add extra sugar or other juices to increase the volume sold. The mangosteen is also occasionally blended with other fruit juices such as grape and apple juice.
The pulp and juice of the mangosteen have been marketed as a dietary supplement with antioxidant properties, as well as claims it can cure or prevent cancer, arthritis, and influenza. Other research indicates that consumption of fruit-based products may have a beneficial effect on human health due to certain phenolic compounds. These studies indicate phenolics from mangosteen if absorbed into the human body, could potentially act as an antioxidant.
However, there is no clinical evidence that dietary supplementation with products containing mangosteen reduces cancer risk or prevents cancer in either humans or animals. Furthermore, the balance of currently available scientific evidence does not support claims that products containing mangosteen can prevent or treat cancer.
In Thailand, mangosteens are sometimes used as a food decoration. The fresh fruit is often sliced and arranged on a platter with other fruits such as pineapple, dragonfruit, or kiwifruit. In the Thai kitchen, it is common to cut the fruit into four parts, which corresponds roughly to the segments of an orange.