Mineral and Trace Element Concentrations in Morinda citrifolia L. (Noni) Leaf, Fruit and Fruit Juice


Fruit and leaf of noni (Morinda citrifolia L.) have been used traditionally as food and for medicinal purposes by South Pacific populations since over two thousand years. Recently noni fruit juice became very popular as health beverage worldwide. Manufacturers and distributors of noni juice often praise the high content of minerals and trace elements in conjunction with the geological situation of the origin of the raw noni material. We therefore performed an investigation about the metal concentration of noni fruit, leaf and soil samples from 42 different locations in French Polynesia, and of 16 commercial noni juices. Median concentrations of metals in noni fruit, leaf and fruit juice appeared in a normal range compared to other fruits, however, the variance between different locations was considerable. Noni fruits from lime soil were poorer compared to volcanic soil in most metals. Self-prepared noni juices did generally not serve for more then 10% of the daily requirement of trace elements and minerals per 100 ml. The metal concentration in noni fruit puree was higher compared to clear juice and reached 10% and 34% of the daily requirement in 100 ml for manganese and chromium respectively. The concentrations of toxic metals (As, Cd, Pb) were below 2% of the maximum permitted levels (MPL) in all of these juices. For one of the commercial noni juices the MPL for lead was exceeded (170%) and some others were close to it. Most metals showed a good correlation regarding the concentration in noni fruit versus leaf, but not for soil versus fruit or juice. The concentration of magnesium, manganese, zinc and germanium in the commercial juices was highly correlated to the potassium concentration, indicating that these elements are useful to detect a dilution of noni juices.

Share and Cite:

S. Basar and J. Westendorf, "Mineral and Trace Element Concentrations in Morinda citrifolia L. (Noni) Leaf, Fruit and Fruit Juice," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 8, 2012, pp. 1176-1188. doi: 10.4236/fns.2012.38155.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] T. F. Cheeseman, “The Flora of Raratonga, the Chief Island of the Cook Group,” Transcripts of Linnean Society of London, 2nd Series-Botany, Vol. 6, 1903, pp. 261-313.
[2] A. R. Dixon, H. McMillan and N. L. Atkin, “Ferment This: The Transformation of Noni, a Traditional Polynesian Medicine (Morindacitrifolia, Rubiaceae),” Economic Botany, Vol. 53, No. 1, 1999, pp. 51-68. doi:10.1007/BF02860792
[3] T. Takahashi and S. Shoji, “Distribution and Classification of Volcanic Ash Soils,” Global Environmental Research, Vol. 6, 2002, pp. 83-97.
[4] M. Nanzyo, “Unique Properties of Volcanic Ash Soils,” Global Environmental Research, Vol. 6, 2002, pp. 99-112.
[5] L. Deenik and R. S. Yost, “Chemical Properties of Atoll Soils in the Marshall Islands and Constraints to Crop Production,” Geoderma, Vol. 136, 2006, pp. 666-681. doi:10.1016/j.geoderma.2006.05.005
[6] M. Pande, N. Naiker, G. Mills, N. Singh and T. Voro, “The Kura Files: A Qualitatively Social Survey,” Pacific Health Surveillance and Response, Vol. 12, No. 2, 2005, pp. 85-93.
[7] European Commission, 2003/426/EC, “Commission Decision of 5 June 2003 Authorising the Placing on the Market of Noni Juice (Juice of the Fruit of Morindacitrifolia L.) as a Novel Food Ingredient under Regulation (EC) No 258/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council,” Official Journal of the European Union L 144, 2003, p. 001.
[8] European Commission, 2008/8108/EC, “Commission Decision of 15 Dec 2008 Authorizing the Placing on the Market of Leaves of Morinda Citrifolia as a Novel Food Ingredient under Regulation (EC) No 258/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council,” Official Journal of the European Union L 352/46, 2008, p. 001.
[9] D. R. Williams, “Historical Outline of the Biological Importance of Trace Metals,” Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease, Vol. 6, Suppl. 1, 1982, pp. 1-4. doi:10.1007/BF01811315
[10] M. J. Tamás and E. Martinoia, Eds., “Molecular Biology of Metal Homeostasis and Detoxification. From Microbes to Man,” Springer, Berlin-Heidelberg-New York, 2005.
[11] V. Mudgal, N. Madaan, A. Mudgal, R. B. Singhand and S. Mishra, “Effect of Toxic Metals on Human Health,” The Open Nutraceuticals Journal, Vol. 3, 2010, pp. 94-99. doi:10.2174/1876396001003010094
[12] K. Ljung, B. Palm, M. Grandér and M Vahter, “High Concentrations of Essential and Toxic Elements in Infant Formula and Infant Foods—A Matter of Concern,” Food Chemistry, Vol. 127, No. 3, 2011, pp. 943-951. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2011.01.062
[13] C. G. Fraga, “Relevance, Essentiality and Toxicity of Trace Elements in Human Health,” Molecular Aspects of Medicine, Vol. 26, 2005, pp. 235-244. doi:10.1016/j.mam.2005.07.013
[14] S. M. Reichmann, “The Responses of Plants to Metal Toxicity: A Review Focusing on Copper, Manganese and Zinc,” Occasional Paper No. 14, Australian Minerals and Energy Environment Foundation, 2010.
[15] C. A. Grant and L. D. Bailey, “Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Zinc Management Effects on Grain Yield and Cadmium Concentration in Two Cultivars of Durum Wheat,” Canadian Journal of Plant Science, Vol. 78, 1998, pp. 63-70. doi:10.4141/P96-189
[16] B. B. Clarke and E. Brennan, “Differential Cadmium Accumulation and Phytotoxicity in 16 Tobacco Cultivars,” Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, Vol. 39, 1989, pp. 1319-1322.
[17] J. Liu, Q. Zhu, Z. Zhang, J. Xu, J. Yang and M. H. Wong, “Variations in Cadmium Accumulation among Rice Cultivars and Types and the Selection of Cultivars for Reducing Cadmium in the Diet,” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Vol. 85, 2005, pp.147-153. doi:10.1002/jsfa.1973
[18] T. Arao, N. Ae, M. Sugiyama and M.Takahashi, “Genotypic Differences in Cadmium Uptake and Distribution in Soybeans,” Plant and Soil, Vol. 251, 2003, pp. 247-253. doi:10.1023/A:1023079819086
[19] V. E. Neall and S. A. Trewick, “The Age and Origin of the Pacific Islands: A Geological Overview,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Vol. 363, No. 1508, 2008, pp. 3293-3308. doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0119
[20] L. R. Hawl and W. E. Schmid, “Uptake and Translocation of Zinc by Intact Plants,” Plant and Soil, Vol. 27, 1967, pp. 249-260. doi:10.1007/BF01373393
[21] I. Alonso and C. García-Olalla, “Mineral Composition of Soils and Vegetation from Six Mountain Grassland Communities in Northern Spain,” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, Vol. 73, No. 2, 1997, pp. 200-206. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0010(199702)73:2<200::AID-JSFA701>3.0.CO;2-L
[22] J. Jorhem, C. Astrand, B. Sundstr?m, M. Baxter, P. Stokes, J. Lewis and K. Grawé, “Elements in Rice from the Swedish Market: Cadmium, Lead, and Arsenic (Total and Inorganic),” Food additives and Contaminants, Vol. 25, No. 3, 2008, pp. 284-292. doi:10.1080/02652030701474219
[23] E. Zahir, I. Naqvi and S. Uddin, “Market Basket Survey of Selected Metals in Fruits from Karachi City (Pakistan),” Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, Vol. 5, No. 2, 2009, pp. 47-52.
[24] S. Basar and J. Westendorf, “Identification of (2E, 4Z, 7Z)-Decatrienoic Acid in Noni Fruit and Its Use in Quality Screening of Commercial Noni Products,” Food Analytical Methods, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2011, pp. 57-65. doi:10.1007/s12161-010-9125-9
[25] A. B. Santamaria, “Manganese Exposure, Essentiality and Toxicity,” Indian Journal of Medical Research, Vol. 128, No. 4, 2008, pp. 484-500.
[26] Z. Krejpcio, “Essentiality of Chromium for Human Nutrition and Health,” Polish Journal of Environmental Studies, Vol. 10, No. 6, 2001, pp. 399-404.
[27] R. A. Anderson, “Chromium as an Essential Nutrient for Humans,” Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, Vol. 26, No. 1, 1997, pp. 35-41. doi:10.1006/rtph.1997.1136
[28] S. H. Tao and P. M. Bolger, “Hazard Assessment of Germanium Supplements,” Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, Vol. 25, No. 3, 1997, pp. 211-219. doi:10.1006/rtph.1997.1098

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.