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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Processing Quality of Noni Juice (Morinda Citrifolia)

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1. Quantify the compositional and microbial changes of noni juice during the fermentation period.

2. Develop a standard method for processing fermented noni juice.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Physiologically mature, ripe noni fruit will be harvested from commercial orchards on the island of Hawaii. Fruit will be washed and placed into sterilized glass jars with sealed lids and allowed to age for 10-14 days at 25°C. A second batch will be aged for up to 30 days. Juice will be pasteurized at 85°C in a water bath, cooled, and frozen. Subsamples of juice will be collected throughout the fermentation process to conduct compositional and microbial analyses. Prominent yeast, bacteria, and fungi will be isolated and identified using standard microbiological techniques. Ascorbic acid, malic acid, lactic acid, and sugar concentrations will be analyzed using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Total antioxidant activity will be determined using a photochemical luminescence method. Collaborators at the University of Hawaii, College of Pharmacy will test samples of noni juice for bioactivity and toxicity in various cell culture assays. Documents Trust with Patient First C Foundation. Log 39444. Formerly 5320-43000-015-08T (06/11).


3.Progress Report:

The goal of this project is to quantify the compositional and microbial changes of noni juice during the fermentation period and to develop a standard method for processing fermented noni juice which relates to the overall objective of the parent project to develop and protect U.S. export markets for fresh tropical commodities with emphasis on expanding and diversifying agriculture and agricultural exports in Hawaii and other states by providing environmentally sound, economically viable systems, treatments, or processes that control quarantine pests, ensure product quality and food safety, and increase product value while safeguarding the agriculture of other states.

Noni fruit (Morinda citrifolia) and juice extracts are reportedly therapeutic for diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. Research was completed to determine the physiology of noni fruit ripening, as well as the chemical and microbial changes that occur during noni juice fermentation. Ripening noni fruit had a nonclimacteric respiratory pattern and no detectable ethylene production. The fungus, Mucor circinelloides f. sp. circinelloides, was consistently isolated from fermented noni juice, with peak populations at 14 days. The bacteria Erwinia pyrifoliae and Gluconobacter frateurii, were isolated from fermented juice at 42 days. Total sugar concentration decreased by 37% after 7 days, whereas total organic acids were highest at 28 days. The major non-volatile acids identified in noni juice included acetic, ascorbic, dehydroascorbic, galacturonic, malonic, succinic, and tartaric acids. Ethanol and acetic acid were the main fermentation products detected in noni juice. The optimum fermentation time was 14 to 21 days, and the need for pasteurization was clearly demonstrated. These results will be useful in developing a standard method for producing consistent quality noni juice.


Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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