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Soursop is the fruit of Annona muricata, a broadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree native to Mexico, Cuba, Central America, the Caribbean islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, and northern South America, primarily Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela. Soursop is also produced in all tropical parts of Africa, especially in Eastern Nigeria, Mambilla Plateau and The Democratic Republic of Congo, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. It is in the same genus, Annona, as cherimoya and is in the Annonaceae family.
The soursop is adapted to areas of high humidity and relatively warm winters; temperatures below 5 °C (41 °F) will cause damage to leaves and small branches, and temperatures below 3 °C (37 °F) can be fatal. The fruit becomes dry and is no longer good for concentrate.
Other common names include: Shawshopu in (Igbo, Eastern Nigeria) Mãng cầu Xiêm (Vietnamese), Coração de Boi (Mozambique), Evo (Ewe, Volta Region, Ghana), Ekitafeeli (Uganda), Stafeli (Swahili), Aluguntugui (Ga, Greater Accra Region, Ghana), guanábana (Spanish), graviola (Brazilian Portuguese, pronounced: [ɡɾɐviˈɔlɐ]), anona (European Portuguese), graviolo (Esperanto), corossol (French), cœur de boeuf (Democratic Republic of Congo), kowosòl (Haitian Creole), කටු අනෝදා (Katu Anoda) (Sinhalese), sorsaka (Papiamento), adunu (Acholi), Brazilian pawpaw, (Filipino) guyabano, guanavana, toge-banreisi, durian benggala, durian belanda, nangka blanda, ทุเรียนเทศ [turi:jen te:d] (Thai), ទៀបបារាំង [tiəp baraŋ] (Khmer), sirsak (Indonesia), zuurzak (Dutch), Stafeli (Kiswahili), and nangka londa. In Tamil, Malayalam, it is called Mullatha, literally thorny custard apple. The other lesser-known Indian names are shul-Ram-fal and Lakshman Phala, and in Harar (Ethiopia) in Harari language known for centuries as Amba Shoukh (Thorny Mango or Thorny Fruit) and Annuni in Somali.
Away from its native area, some limited production occurs as far north as southern Florida within USDA Zone 10; however, these are mostly garden plantings for local consumption. It is also grown in parts of Southeast Asia and abundant on the Island of Mauritius. The soursop will reportedly fruit as a container specimen, even in temperate climates, if protected from cool temperatures.
The flesh of the fruit consists of an edible, white pulp, some fiber, and a core of indigestible, black seeds. The species is the only member of its genus suitable for processing and preservation.
The pulp is also used to make fruit nectar, smoothies, fruit juice drinks, as well as candies, sorbets, and ice cream flavorings.
Due to the fruit's widespread cultivation and popularity in parts of Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, soursop and its derivative products are consumed across the world, also via branded food and beverage products available in many countries, including Brazil, Mexico, Canada, the United States, the UK, Ireland and Continental Europe, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam.
In Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and Harar (Ethiopia), it is a common fruit, often used for dessert as the only ingredient, or as an agua fresca beverage; in Colombia and Venezuela, it is a fruit for juices, mixed with milk. Ice cream and fruit bars made of soursop are also very popular. The seeds are normally left in the preparation, and removed while consuming, unless a blender is used for processing.
In Indonesia, dodol sirsak, a sweetmeat, is made by boiling soursop pulp in water and adding sugar until the mixture hardens. Soursop is also a common ingredient for making fresh fruit juices that are sold by street food vendors. In the Philippines, it is called guyabano, derived from the Spanish guanabana, and is eaten ripe, or used to make juices, smoothies, or ice cream. Sometimes, they use the leaf in tenderizing meat. In Vietnam, this fruit is called mãng cầu Xiêm (Siamese Soursop) in the south, or mãng cầu (Soursop) in the north, and is used to make smoothies, or eaten as is. In Cambodia, this fruit is called tearb barung, literally "western custard-apple fruit." In Malaysia, it is known in Malay as durian belanda and in East Malaysia, specifically among the Dusun people of Sabah, it is locally known as lampun. Popularly, it is eaten raw when it ripens, or used as one of the ingredients in Ais Kacang or Ais Batu Campur. Usually the fruits are taken from the tree when they mature and left to ripen in a dark corner, whereby they will be eaten when they are fully ripe. It has a white flower with a very pleasing scent, especially in the morning. While for people in Brunei Darussalam this fruit is popularly known as "Durian Salat", widely available and easily planted. It was most likely brought from Mexico to the Philippines by way of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon trade.
The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center cautions, "alkaloids extracted from graviola may cause neuronal dysfunction". The compound annonacin, which is contained in the seeds of soursop, is a neurotoxin associated with neurodegenerative disease, and research has suggested a connection between consumption of soursop and atypical forms of Parkinson's disease due to high concentrations of annonacin. LD50=0.018 uM to dopaminergic neurons by annonacin (one of the acetogenins in Soursop), which is 100 fold more toxic than 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP), 700 fold more than coreximine, twice rotenone. Average fruit contains 15 mg of annonacin.
In 2010 the French food safety agency, Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des produits de santé, concluded that, based on the available research findings, "it is not possible to confirm that the observed cases of atypical Parkinson syndrome ... are linked to the consumption of Annona muricata," calling for further study on potential risks to human health.
Alternative cancer treatment
The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center lists cancer treatment as one of the "purported uses" of soursop. According to Cancer Research UK, "Many sites on the internet advertise and promote graviola capsules as a cancer cure, but none of them are supported by any reputable scientific cancer organisations" and "there is no evidence to show that graviola works as a cure for cancer" and consequently they do not support its use as a treatment for cancer.
The Federal Trade Commission in the United States determined that there was "no credible scientific evidence" that the extract of soursop sold by Bioque Technologies "can prevent, cure, or treat cancer of any kind."
Cancer Research UK also released a statement about the alleged cancer "cure" that included these sentences: "Overall, there is no evidence to show that graviola works as a cure for cancer. In laboratory studies, graviola extracts can kill some types of liver and breast cancer cells that are resistant to particular chemotherapy drugs. But there haven’t been any large scale studies in humans. So we don't know yet whether it can work as a cancer treatment or not. Many sites on the internet advertise and promote graviola capsules as a cancer cure, but none of them are supported by any reputable scientific cancer organisations. We do not support the use of graviola to treat cancer."
In 2008, a court case relating to the sale in the UK of Triamazon, a soursop product, resulted in the criminal conviction of a man under the terms of the UK Cancer Act for offering to treat people for cancer. A spokesman for the council that instigated the action stated, "it is as important now as it ever was that people are protected from those peddling unproven products with spurious claims as to their effects."
- Annona crassiflora
- Annona reticulata
- List of ineffective cancer treatments
- Paw Paw
- "Can graviola cure cancer?". Cancer Research UK.
- "Graviola (Soursop)". Blackherbals. Retrieved 30 January 2012.[unreliable source?]
- Morton, Julia F. (1987). "Soursop (Annona muricata)". Fruits of warm climates. Purdue University. pp. 75–80. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "Graviola". Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Retrieved November 2013.
- Le Ven, J.; Schmitz-Afonso, I.; Touboul, D.; Buisson, D.; Akagah, B.; Cresteil, T.; Lewin, G.; Champy, P. (2011). "Annonaceae fruits and parkinsonism risk: Metabolisation study of annonacin, a model neurotoxin; evaluation of human exposure". Toxicology Letters 205: S50. doi:10.1016/j.toxlet.2011.05.197.
- Lannuzel, A; Michel, P.P; Höglinger, G.U; Champy, P; Jousset, A; Medja, F; Lombès, A; Darios, F; Gleye, C; Laurens, A; Hocquemiller, R; Hirsch, E.C; Ruberg, M (2003). "The mitochondrial complex I inhibitor annonacin is toxic to mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons by impairment of energy metabolism". Neuroscience 121 (2): 287–96. doi:10.1016/S0306-4522(03)00441-X. PMID 14521988.
- Champy, Pierre; Melot, Alice; Guérineau Eng, Vincent; Gleye, Christophe; Fall, Djibril; Höglinger, Gunter U.; Ruberg, Merle; Lannuzel, Annie; Laprévote, Olivier; Laurens, Alain; Hocquemiller, Reynald (2005). "Quantification of acetogenins inAnnona muricata linked to atypical parkinsonism in guadeloupe". Movement Disorders 20 (12): 1629–33. doi:10.1002/mds.20632. PMID 16078200.
- Lannuzel, A.; Höglinger, G. U.; Champy, P.; Michel, P. P.; Hirsch, E. C.; Ruberg, M. (2006). "Is atypical parkinsonism in the Caribbean caused by the consumption of Annonacae?". Journal of Neural Transmission. Supplementa. Journal of Neural Transmission. Supplementa 70 (70): 153–7. doi:10.1007/978-3-211-45295-0_24. ISBN 978-3-211-28927-3. PMID 17017523.
- Caparros-Lefebvre, Dominique; Elbaz, Alexis (1999). "Possible relation of atypical parkinsonism in the French West Indies with consumption of tropical plants: A case-control study". The Lancet 354 (9175): 281–6. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(98)10166-6. PMID 10440304.
- Lannuzel A, Michel PP, Höglinger GU, Champy P, Jousset A, Medja F, et al. (2003). "The mitochondrial complex I inhibitor annonacin is toxic to mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons by impairment of energy metabolism.". Neuroscience 121 (2): 287–96. PMID 14521988.
- Champy P, Melot A, Guérineau Eng V, Gleye C, Fall D, Höglinger GU (2005). "Quantification of acetogenins in Annona muricata linked to atypical parkinsonism in guadeloupe.". Mov Disord 20 (12): 1629–33. doi:10.1002/mds.20632. PMID 16078200.
- "Avis de l'Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des aliments relatif aux risques liés à la consommation de corossol et de ses préparations" (pdf). Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des aliments. 28 April 2010. Retrieved August 2013.
- "FTC Sweep Stops Peddlers of Bogus Cancer Cures". FTC. 18 September 2008.
- "Man convicted over cancer 'cure'". BBC News. 10 September 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Annona muricata.|
- Bridg, Hannia. "Micropropagation and Determination of the in vitro Stability of Annona cherimola Mill. and Annona muricata L.".
- (Portuguese) Correia, M. P., (1984) Dicionário das plantas úteis do Brasil
- Description of soursop from Fruits of Warm Climates (1987, ISBN 0-9610184-1-0)
- Sorting Annona names
- Soursop List of Chemicals (Dr. Duke's)
- PHYTOCHEMICAL AND PHARMACOLOGICAL PROPERTIES OF ANNONA MURICATA: A REVIEW