Kinnow's cancer-fighting nutrients under study

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Ludhiana, Jan 23 (UNI) Deliciously juicy Kinnow, which has emerged as a favourite winter fruit, is good for heart and promises to fight cancer.

The fruit can play a great role in the nutritional security and health promotion in the country, said Dr Gurkanwal Singh, Nodal Officer (Citrus), Hoshiarpur.

The fruit is full of natural contents called limonoids, which the laboratory tests have established as an efficient inhibitants against a variety of cancers.

Dr Singh, while interacting with horticulturists at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here, said he was in contact with international experts such as Dr Gary D Manners of Agricultural Research Services, USDA, on this aspect.

Dr Singh informed that he has gathered information from the experts involved in research on citrus limonoids, that human body can readily access the limonoids, called limonin, present in citrus fruits.

Kinnow fruit, mainly grown in Punjab, is richest source of limonoids (218 ppm) among the world's commercial cultivars.

The available information shows that persistence of limonin in the human blood stream up to 24 hours helps fight cancer.

He explained that the laboratory tests have revealed the cholesterol lowering properties of limonin as well, which makes kinnow a heart-freindly fruit.

So far, all the testing of citrus limonoids has been done in animals or with human cancer cell lines, Dr Gurkanwal Singh said, adding further research on this aspect of kinnow will be immensely beneficial for society.

He has also taken up this aspect with State Department of Horticulture and State Farmers' Commission and suggested that PAU scientists consider this subject for further research.

Responding to his suggestion, Dr J S Randhawa, Head, Department of Horticulture, PAU, said the PAU was considering this aspect in the new proposals being submitted for research funding under the national innovation project.

With the technology made available by the PAU and the State Department of Horticulture, growers are cultivating kinnow on 27000 ha with a production of 4.14 lakh tonnes, thereby, earning profits better than the traditional agriculture.

An awareness campaign about immunity boosting, cancer fighting and cholesterol retarding properties of limonoids in kinnow juice should be taken up, the experts stressed.

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