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Ethnomedicine
Review Article
2021
:1;
3
doi:
10.25259/AJBPS_3_2021

Exploration of the Potential of Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity for the Development of Local Nutraceutical Products: A Case for Mauritius

Biopharmaceutical Unit, Centre for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research, University of Mauritius, Réduit, Mauritius
Department of Biosciences and Ocean Studies, University of Mauritius, Réduit, Mauritius
Department of Agricultural Production and Systems, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius, Réduit, Mauritius
Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Mauritius, Réduit, Mauritius
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, California State University Los Angeles, Los Angeles, United States of America
Corresponding author: Vidushi Neergheen, Biopharmaceutical Unit, Centre for Biomedical and Biomaterials Research, University of Mauritius, Reduit Mauritius, Plaines Wilhems, Mauritius. vidushin@gmail.com
Licence
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

How to cite this article: Ramjane H, Bahorun T, Ramasawmy B, RamfulBaboolall D, Boodia N, Aruoma OI, et al. Exploration of the Potential of Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity for the Development of Local Nutraceutical Products: A Case for Mauritius. Am J Biopharm Pharm Sci 2021;1:3.

Abstract

Nutraceuticals and natural health products globally represent one of the fastest growing sectors of research and development leading to novel products intended for disease risk reduction and human health promotion. The global nutraceutical market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.3% from 2020 to 2027 to reach USD 722.5 billion by 2027. There is a need to respond to this sector by exploring the local resources to target the production of innovative products from plant/marine biofactors with high prospects for commercial ventures. This paper explores the nutraceutical potentials enshrined in biodiversity values in a small island state in view to promote sustainable agricultural development to facilitate available resources for the development of regimen for the management of health and disease and in essence, pharmacotherapy. The reported phytochemical composition and pharmacological activities, of the terrestrial flora and marine organisms with high propensity for development and production of nutraceutical products will be discussed. Bioactive phytochemicals encompassing the immensely diverse groups of phenolic acids, flavonoids, terpenoids, alkaloids, possess therapeutic virtues including anti-diabetic, antihypertensive, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory attributes, all of which are highly relevant to the budding nutraceutical industry.

Keywords

Nutraceuticals and functional foods
Natural products biodiversity
Marine biodiversity and agriculture
Dietary supplements
Moringa
Papaya
Noni
Pomegranate
Turmeric rhizome
Pineapple
Spirulina
Chlorella
Tea
Ginger
Lemongrass

DEDICATION

“Sir Anerood Jugnauth (GCSK, KCMG, QC), fondly known as SAJ, was a towering figure of Mauritian politics for six decades. He left us on 3rd June 2021. Under his stewardship as both prime minister and president, Mauritius witnessed an unprecedented growth, massive generation of employment and the diversification of our economic pillars. He was a person of great erudition and intellect, always on the lookout for greater opportunities. SAJ will always be remembered as the father of the Mauritian economic miracle. Indeed, SAJ has left behind him a rich, legacy for the future generations of Mauritians. We have the immense pleasure to dedicate this review article to Sir Anerood Jugnauth, a true crusader for propelling research and innovation in Mauritius through his unflinching support and his long-term vision of transforming Mauritius into a knowledge hub.”

INTRODUCTION

The terrestrial and marine ecosystem has phenomenal biodiversity for the development of local nutraceutical products. Mauritius, an isolated oceanic island of volcanic origin, found in the southwest Indian Ocean and part of the Mascarene archipelago consisting of La Réunion and Rodrigues islands, harbors a treasure trove of terrestrial and marine biodiversity, which represents a valuable source of unique and structurally diverse bioactive compounds. The south harbors a number of biodiversity hotspots like The Cape Floristic Region, which falls mainly within the Western Cape, South Africa and the Republic of Madagascar.[1,2] There are 691 native flowering plant species in Mauritius, out of which 39.5% are endemic to Mauritius, and 61.2% are endemic to the Mascarene Archipelago.[3] The rich molecular diversity prevailing in Mauritius remains, however, an underexplored resource in terms of its application to health and wellness mainly because its identity and pharmacological properties are poorly disseminated. The richness in terms of primary and secondary bioactive metabolites and associated pharmacological effects has been extensively studied and can propel research for nutraceutical development.[4-17]

Nutraceuticals have become an integral part of the global wellness industry. A nutraceutical may be defined as any substance that is a food, including a fortified food or dietary supplement or a part of a food that is able to induce medical and health benefits and promote wellness, in addition to its basic nutritional properties.[18,19] Escalating global consumer awareness, rising health concerns, heightened interest in natural preventive mechanisms, and growing acceptance of these products have gradually been broadening the size of their market within a global footprint.[20-23] Nutraceuticals are multifunctional and can be utilized to improve or boost our health status, confer protection against chronic diseases, retard the aging process, prolong life expectancy, and among many others.[21,23,24] The rapid infection rate of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and elevated morbidity rate stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic has renewed interest in natural botanical supplements to boost immunity and reduce inflammation.[25]

There exists a long-standing history pertaining to the use of natural resources in traditional medicine in Mauritius and in Africa, which advocates for the development of a unique repertoire of health products, including nutraceuticals and functional foods.[26-30] Regarding the nutraceutical sector in Mauritius, it is presently at its nascent stage even though the flora and marine organisms produce a vast array of primary and secondary metabolites. Primary metabolites, including carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, oil, and multiple minerals and vitamins, have well-defined functions in metabolic pathways in the human body, while phytochemicals, the secondary metabolites, encompass phenolic acids, flavonoids, carotenoids, terpenoids, saponins, phytosterols, tannins, and alkaloids that are well-appraised for their multifunctional health properties.[22,23,31,32]

With the steep surge in urbanization and the change in lifestyle worldwide, several lifestyle-related diseases closely linked to stress and malnutrition have emerged, leading to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and obesity.[169] Consumers are now shying away from the use of pharmaceuticals due to the exorbitant pricing and increasing dependence on synthetic drugs, and are instead resorting to alternative natural products, notably nutraceuticals.[22,31] Nutraceuticals such as functional foods, functional beverages and fortified food products have therefore witnessed an unprecedented growth for those consumers seeking preventive health measures to address NCDs and nutritional deficiencies. Consumers are increasingly health-conscious, especially in the post-COVID times, where boosting of immunity and health status is of utmost priority. In view of the emerging nutraceutical sector, it is important to earmark the local natural resources available for nutraceutical product development. The outcome will have relevance to Africa, the Caribbean, and the Asian and Pacific Island Countries.

METHODOLOGY

Literature searches were performed on Google Scholar, ScienceDirect, PubMed, Scopus, ResearchGate, and Web of Science databases to identify all published works related to terrestrial flora and marine organisms that exude potential to be developed into nutraceutical products locally. The search terms used were as follows: Nutraceuticals, functional foods, functional beverages, medicinal plants, ethnomedicinal uses, traditional uses, plant, biodiversity, phytochemical composition, secondary metabolites, biological activities, pharmacological activities, therapeutic activities, health benefits/effects, biochemical, molecular, cellular, pre-clinical and clinical studies, clinical trials, marine extracts, marine nutraceuticals, marine sponges, marine organisms, microalgae, macroalgae, seaweeds, and specific scientific or vernacular names of organisms. All articles in English and French were extracted from 2002 up to April 2020 and assessed critically for data extraction. Local pharmacopeias were hand searched. The International Plant Names Index (www.ipni.org) (IPNI) and The Plant List (www.plantlist.org) were used for acquiring the authenticity of the botanical names of the plants.

The first search from all the scientific databases generated 2,327 scientific articles. Following this first generalized investigation, the searched articles were subjected to a title screening and then an abstract screening which entailed the elimination of a total of 77 irrelevant articles. Post screening based on abstract reading; the full-text articles were assessed for eligibility [Figure 1]. Eight criteria were used for the curation of the data as follows [Table 1]: (1) Phytochemical composition – The phytochemical constituent of a plant/ organism or part of a plant/organism is a crucial factor to take into consideration while evaluating its potential for nutraceutical development; (2) ethnomedicinal uses – The number of reported ethnomedicinal uses of a potential plant/ organism remains an essential factor to take into account during plant selection as this provides evidence to its history of usage in Mauritius and other countries; (3) Toxicity – Indeed, evaluating the safety and toxicity profile of a candidate remains the most important criterion for the purpose of plant selection; (4) biological activities – The more consequent the biological activities, the more attractive is the plant/organism or part of the plant/organism as a prospective nutraceutical as it is deemed to have a panoply of physiological benefits for human health; and (4) potential for cultivation in Mauritius – Presently, Mauritius enjoys a mild tropical maritime climate throughout the year. Only plants or organisms which can grow in tropical and subtropical climates can be further evaluated for potency. Expanding this to the African continent can reveal other strategic opportunities; (5) Marketed as nutraceuticals – There are several whole plants, part of plants, marine extracts, plant extracts, powder, and formulations, which are sold as nutraceuticals on the local and international market. Since nutraceuticals sold on international markets must abide by stringent regulations in terms of safety before being marketed, this criterion serves to complement the toxicity factor and supplement evidence for safe human consumption; (6) Food application – This criterion also serves to supplement evidence to support the safe use of prospective nutraceuticals for Mauritius; (7) Potential use against chronic diseases affecting the Mauritian population – Cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and other NCDs are prevalent within the Mauritian population.

Figure 1:: Schematic representation of the methodology used to compile a list of the most apt terrestrial plants and marine organisms to be cultivated for production of nutraceuticals.
Table 1:: Score attribution system.
SN Definition of criteria Scoring system
1 Phytochemical composition
Reported number of major class of phytochemicals
0: No reported phytochemical
1: 1 major class of phytochemical
2: 2 major classes of phytochemicals
3: 3 major classes of phytochemicals
4: 4 major classes of phytochemicals
5: More than 4 major classes of phytochemicals
2 Ethnomedicinal uses
Type and number of traditional uses reported
0: None
1: Between 1 to 3 ethnomedicinal uses reported
2: Between 4 to 7 ethnomedicinal uses reported
3: Between 8 to 11 ethnomedicinal uses reported
4: Between 12 to 14 ethnomedicinal uses reported
5: More than 15 ethnomedicinal uses reported
3 Toxicity
Reported toxicity of the part of species/subspecies/products used
0: Yes
5: No
4 Biological Activities
Number of biological activities reported
0: None
1: Between 1 to 3 biological activities reported
2: Between 4 to 7 biological activities reported
3: Between 8 to 11 biological activities reported
4: Between 12 to 14 biological activities reported
5: More than 15 biological activities reported
5 Potential for cultivation in Mauritius 0: Can grow in temperate conditions
3: Can grow in sub-tropical condition
5: Can grow in tropical conditions
6 Marketed as nutraceuticals
Either internationally or locally
0: Not marketed as nutraceutical
5: Marketed as nutraceutical
7 Food Application
Part of organism used or consumed in food product
0: No
5: Yes
8 Potential use against chronic diseases affecting the Mauritian population
Reported use against cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases
0: No use reported against any of the chronic diseases
1: Use reported against one of the chronic diseases
3: Use reported against more than one chronic disease
5: Use reported against major three chronic diseases

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Terrestrial plants, marine flora and fauna: Potential candidates for the development of nutraceuticals

A repertoire of 126 organisms to include 107 terrestrial plants; six and 13 marine flora and fauna that represents potential candidates for the development of nutraceuticals in Mauritius, has been successfully proposed in this process. Post application of the score attribution system to all 126 species, a prioritized list of 45 plants emerged, as depicted in Table 2.

Table 2:: Prioritized list of plants following score attribution system.
Scientific Name Vernacular Name Major Phytoconstituents Biological Activities Ethnomedicinal Uses Mode of Application Part(s) used in ethnomedicine References
1. Amaranthaceae
Amaranthus caudatusL. Seed/grain amaranth Betacyanins, Caffeoylglucaric acid 1, Caffeoylglucaric acid 2, Caffeoylglucaric acid 3, Caffeoylglucaric acid 4, Caffeoylglucaric acid 5, Coumaroylglucaric acid 1, Coumaroylglucaric acid 2, Feruloylglucaric acid, Caffeoylquinic acid, Caffeic acid, Coumaroylquinic acid, Feruloylquinic acid, Rutin, Hydroxycinnamic acid derivative, Quercetin glucoside, Kaempferol-3-O-rutinoside, tocopherols, alkaloids, carotenoids, lectin, steroids Antioxidant, antitumor, antidiabetic, anti-cholesterolemic, antineoplastic activities and stimulates the immune system The plant is astringent, anthelmintic and diuretic. It is used in the treatment of stranguary and is applied externally to scrofulous sores Oral and Topical Seeds, leaves and stem [33-37]
Amaranthus viridisL. Locally known as “Bred Malabar” Tannins, resins, amino acids, reducing sugars, rutin, quercetin, spinosterol (24-ethyl-22 dehydrolathosterol), 24-methyllathosterol 24- ethyllathosterol, 24- methyl-22- dehydrolathosterol, 24-ethyl cholesterol, 24 ethyl- 22-dehydrocholesterol, steroidal component, amasterol (24- methylene-20-hydroxycholesta- 5,7-dien-3β ol) Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperlipidemia, antidiabetic, antinociceptive, hepatoprotective, antipyretic, analgesic, antimicrobial, cardioprotective activities Used as analgesic, antiulcer, antirheumatic, antileprotic, and antiemetic agent. It is also believed to treat eye diseases, psoriasis, eczema, asthma, and respiratory problems. In Mauritius, the leaves are used in the treatment of fever and anaemia Oral Leaves, stem [30,34,38-42]
2. Amaryllidaceae
Allium cepaL. Onion Carbohydrates with glucose, fructose, sucrose and a series of fructooligosaccharides as principal components, hydroxycinnamic acids (p-coumaric, caffeic, ferulic, and sinapic acids), hydroxybenzoic acid conjugates (such as protocatechuic acid, gallic acid, and p-hydroxybenzoic acid, flavonoids (particularly flavanols, flavones, such as luteolin and kaempferol and anthocyanin), diglycosides and monoglycosides of quercetin, proanthocyanidin, alkaloids, S-alk(en)yl cysteine sulfoxides, saponins, ascorbic acid Antioxidant, antimicrobial, anticancer, cardioprotective effects, anti-allergic, hypoglycemic and antihypertensive activities Skin infection, wound, anti-hair loss agent, Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes, high level of cholesterol, renal failure, hearing loss, erectile dysfunction, cataract, cough and tonsilitis, mucous discharge, nose infection Oral and Topical Bulb [43-46]
Allium sativumL. Garlic Sulfur-containing compounds such as ajoenes (E-ajoene, Z-ajoene), thiosulfinates (allicin), vinyldithiins (2-vinyl-(4H) -1,3-dithiin, 3-vinyl-(4H)-1,2-dithiin), sulfides (diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide), allistatin I and allistatin II, saponins, bioflavonoids such as quercetin and cyanidin, glycoside, anthraquinones, tannins, alkaloids, terpenoids, polysaccharides (sucrose and glucose), amino acids such as cysteine, glutamine, isoleucine, and methionine Antihyperlipidemic, cardioprotective, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, hepatoprotective, digestive system protective, neuroprotective and renal protective activities Flatulence, sciatica, cardiovascular disorders, convulsions, Type 2 diabetes, cataract, renal failure, wound, ulcer, arthritis, rheumatism, cuts, toxic fish stings and insect bites, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia and respiratory disorders, cold, hypertension, earache, gastrointestinal disorders Oral and Topical Pod [30,47-51]
3. Anacardiaceae
Mangifera indicaL. Mango Hydroxybenzoic acid derivatives (gallic, vanillic, syringic, protocatechuic, and p-hydroxybenzoic acids) and hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives (p-coumaric, chlorogenic, ferulic, and caffeic acids), gallotannins and quercetin derivatives, flavonoids (catechins, glycosides of quercetin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, anthocyanins, and tannic acid), xanthones (mangiferin), tocopherols, carotenoids (particularly β-carotene and lutein), terpenoids (such as monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes), rosmarinic acid Antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic, antiallergenic, analgesic, antiproliferative activities Throat pain, dysentery, bronchitis, diarrhea, dysentery, fever, burns, bleeding gums, type 2 diabetes Oral and Topical Leaf, bark, flower, fruit [30,48,52-54]
4. Apiaceae
Coriandrum sativum L. Coriander Polyphenols (including gallic acid, caffeic acid) and flavonoids including catechin, rutin, tannins, diosmin and carotenoids including beta-carotene, sterols, coriandrones, limonene, terpenoids, coumarins, isocoumarins, catechins, alkaloids, fatty acids, sterols, glycosides, reducing sugars Antioxidant, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiproliferative activities Bladder disease, flatulence, dyspepsia, intestinal spasms, dyspepsia and intestinal spasm. Whole plant + Magosteen + Cumin: Diarrhea and dysentery Oral Seeds, roots and whole plant [30,55-57]
Daucus carotaL. Carrot Phenolic acids, such as p-hydroxybenzoic, caffeic, and hydroxycinnamic acid (mainly chlorogenic acid), flavonoids (anthocyanins), isocoumarins, carotenoids (majorly β-carotene, α-carotene, lutein, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, and zeaxanthin), polyacetylenes (falcarinol, falcarindiol, and falcarindiol-3-acetate, (E)-isofalcarinolone, falcarindiol-8-acetate, 1,2-dihydrofalcarindiol-3-acetate, (E)-falcarindiolone-8-acetate, (E)-falcarindiolone-9-acetate, 1,2-dihydrofalcarindiol, (E)-1-methoxy-falcarindiolone-8-acetate, (E)-1-methoxy-falcarindiolone-9-acetate, and panaxydiol), ascorbic acid Antioxidant, anticancer, immunomodulator, cardioprotective effects, pro-vitamin A, plasma lipid modification activities Jaundice, pharyngitis, mouth sores, poor eyesight, tonify complexion and give shine to hair, soften skin, diuretic, diuretic, gangrene ulcers and against liver problems. Poultices are used to apply on the breast of feeding mothers to form well on their nipples Oral and Topical Roots [30,58,59]
5. Arecaceae
Cocos nuciferaL. Coconut Phenols (catechins, epicatechins), tannins, leucoanthocyanidins, flavonoids, triterpenes, steroids, alkaloids, triterpenes, saponins, tannins Antihypertensive, analgesia, vasodilation, nephroprotective, cardioprotective, and hepatoprotective, protection against ulcers, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-osteoporosis, anti-diabetic, antineop lastic, bactericidal, antihelminthic, antimalarial, leishmanicidal, antifungal, and antiviral activities Chronic hepatitis, diarrhea, worm, gonorrhea, indigestion, stomach-ache, digestive upset from drinking alcohol, diuretic, venereal disease, anthelmintic; as mouthwash for toothache, urinary tract infection, hair oil, cataract, Type 2 diabetes, renal failure, nephritis and bladder infections Oral Shell fibre, roots, pulp of coconut, coconut water [30,60,61]
6. Brassicaceae
Brassica oleraceaL. Broccoli Tannins, phenols, steroids, terpenoids, flavonoids, glucosinolates, carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein), alkaloids, anthocyanidin Antioxidant, anticancer, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic activities Leaves are used against cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, wounds and cataract Oral and Topical Flower and leaves [30,43,62,63]
Raphanus sativusvar. niger (L.) J. Kern Black Radish Glucosinolates (glucoraphasatin, glucoraphanin), flavonoids, polyphenols, isothiocyanates (4-(methylthio)-3-butenyl isothiocyanate), polysaccharides Antioxidant, antilithiatic and hypolipidemic and hepatoprotective activities Used as a stimulant of bile function, against flatulence, indigestion and the formation of gallstones Oral Root [64-66]
7. Bromeliaceae
Ananas comosus(L.) Merr Pineapple Bromelains, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, carotenoids (gallic acid, ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid, catechin, and epicatechin) Anti-inflammatory activity, anti-rheumatic, antioxidant, antibacterial, antidiabetic, anticancer activities The unripe fruit is used for cystitis and is abortive. The ripe fruit is diuretic. The green fruit is abortifacient, anthelmintic and purgative. The juice from the half ripe fruit is employed against bladder problems. A syrup from the fruit is employed against whooping cough in children Oral Fruits (both ripe and unripe), leaves and peels [30,48,67,68]
8. Cactaceae
Hylocereus undatus(Haw.) Britton & Rose Dragon fruit, pitaya Polyphenols, carotenoids including b-carotene, lycopene and tocopherols, triterpenoid, glycosides, alkaloid, flavonoid and saponin, betalain indole pigments Wound healing, antihyperlipidemic, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anticancer, antioxidant activities, vascular protection, skin protection (skin antiaging, firming, and humectant properties), antioxidant and antibacterial activities Treatment of injuries, cough, hyperactivity, tuberculosis, bronchitis, mumps, diabetes, and cervical lymph node tuberculosis Oral Fruit, pulp, seeds, peel, flower, leaves [69-72]
9. Caesalpinioideae
Cassia fistulaLinn Golden shower Anthracene derivatives, sennosides, fistulic acid, tannins derivatives with proanthocyanidin, sterols, beta-sitosterol, flavone glycosides, anthraquinone derivatives Antipyretic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antibacterial activities; antiperiodic agent. It is also used in the treatment of rheumatism and possesses wound healing properties Mild laxative suitable for children and pregnant women, purgative and to treat many other intestinal disorders such as healing ulcers Oral Leaves, flowers, fruits [4,48,73,74]
10. Caricaceae
Carica papayaL Papaya Phenolic compounds (5-hydroxy feruloyl quinic acid, acetyl pcoumaryl quinic acid, quercetin-3-O-rhamnoside, syringic acid hexoside, 5-hydroxy caffeic quinic acid, peonidin-3-Oglucoside, sinapic acid-O-hexoside, cyaniding-3-O-glucose and methyl feruloyl glycoside), terpenoids, saponins, steroids, tannins, alkaloids (carposide, xilitol, Carpinine, carpaine, pseudocarpine, choline, carposide), flavonoids (quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol), β-sitosterol, carotenoids (β-carotene, crytoxanthin, violaxanthin, zeaxanthin), monoterpenoids (4-terpineol, linalool, linalool oxide), carbohydrates (Glucose, sucrose, fructose), glucosinolates (benzyl isothiocyanate, benzylthiourea, caricin) Antioxidant, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antifungal, anthelmintic, wound healing, antisickling, abortifacient, antifertility, antitumor, hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activities, edema-reducing activities Diphtheria, eczema, hepatitis. The ripe fruit is used for stomach/peptic ulcer and constipation, anti-pimple, anti-pigmentation, skin moisturizer, hypertension, high cholesterol level. The seeds are used as vermifuge against intestinal worms. The roots are used for pain in joints and muscles and arthritis, while the latex is used as vermifuge Oral and Topical Different parts including its leaves, bark, roots, latex, flowers and seeds. [30,48,75-77]
11. Chlorellaceae
Chlorella vulgaris Microalgae Phenols, flavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids, glycosides, tannins, triterpenes Antioxidant, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, anticancer, antidiabetic, immunomodulatory activities Not Known Not Known Not Known [78-81]
12. Convolvulaceae
Ipomoea pes-caprae(L.) R. Br. Common beach pantropical creeping vine (Lianes batatrans), railroad vine, beach morning glory Alkaloid, sugar, glycoside, saponins, steroids, terpenoids and flavonoids Antihemorrhoidal, anticancer, antioxidant, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antinociceptive, antihistaminic, immunostimulant, insulinogenic, hypoglycemic, antimicrobial, antifungal and antibacterial activities The leaf juice of I. pes-caprae is used as a first aid for treatment of jellyfish stings. The plant is astringent, acrid, refrigerant, mucilaginous, somatic, laxative, diuretic and tonic and used in the treatment of skin diseases, boils, swelling, wounds, ulcer, carbuncle, dropsy, menorrhagia, hemorrhoids, colic, flatulence, dyspepsia, cramp, and burning sensation Oral and Topical Leaves and stem [30,82]
13. Cucurbitaceae
Citrullus lanatus(Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai Water-melon Phenols, saponins, glycoside, tannins, terpenoids, glycosides, steroids, alkaloids, flavonoids, coumarins, quinones, carotenoids (such as lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin, beta-carotene), Antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, antioxidant, gastroprotective, analgesic, laxative, antigiardial, hepatoprotective activities. It also demonstrates activities against prostetic hyperplasia and atherosclerosis. The seeds are used against intestinal parasites including taenia and as a toxic fish poisoning antidote. Oral Seeds [30,48,83,84]
Cucurbita maximaDuchesne Pumpkin Alkaloids, flavonoids, phenolic acids, tannins, saponins, reducing sugars, glycosides, triterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids, squalene, tocopherols (αtocopherol is predominant), carotenoids (β-carotene), sterols Pumpkin seed oil exhibits antihypertensive, antidiabetic and anticancer activities. It also shows antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. The fruit possesses antioxidant and anticancer activities, blood-coagulatory effects and inhibits kidney stone formation The seeds are used in the treatment of intestinal worms and parasites, constipation, vomiting blood, renal failure and prostatitis. The leaves are used in the treatment of anaemia while the fruits are used in the treatment of urinal disorders, wounds, blood pressure, constipation. Its flowers are used in the treatment of cataract Topical and Oral Pulp and Seeds. Different organs (pulp, seeds, flowers, leaves, shoots, roots) are consumed around the world [85-89]
14. Lamiaceae
Ocimum basilicumL. Sweet Basil Phenolics, coumarins, glycosides, steroids, sterols, flavones, flavonoids, terpenoids, alkaloids, tannins, saponins, glycosides, ascorbic acid. The main constituents of the O. basilicum essential oil are: estragol, eucalyptol, ocimene, linalool acetate, eugenol, epibicyclosesquiphellandrene, menthol, menthone, cyclohexanol, cyclohexanone, myrcenol and nerol Antimicrobial, antifungal, anticancer, anticonvulsant, antiviral, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, cardiac stimulant, hypnotic, and antioxidant activities Gonorrhoea, nephritis, otitis, treatment of ulcers, stomach ache, indigestion, headache, infected ear, bronchitis, coughs, diarrhea, constipation, warts, worms, kidney malfunction, treatment of acne, loss of smell, insect stings, snake bites and skin infections Oral and Topical Seeds and leaves [30,90,91]
Rosmarinus officinalisL. Rosemary Polyphenols (apigenin, diosmin, luteolin, genkwanina) and phenolic acids (especially rosmarinic acid, chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid), terpenes such as epirosmanol, carnosol, carnosic acid (tricyclic diterpenes), ursolic acid and oleanolic acid (triterpenes). The main constituents of the rosemary essential oil are: camphor, 1,8-cineole, α-pinene, borneol, camphene, β-pinene and limonene. Antiproliferative, hepatoprotective, antithrombotic, diuretic, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-cancer, antiangiogenic and neuroprotective, antihypercholesterolemia, antioxidant and relief of physical and mental fatigue The leaves are used to alleviate heart palpitations, emmenagogue, stress, cardiovascular disease while the stems stimulate slow digestion Oral Leaves, stem [30,92-99]
15. Lauraceae
Persea americanaMill Avocado Carotenoids (predominantly lutein and other carotenoids such as α-carotene, β carotene, zeaxanthin, neoxanthin and violaxanthin)...phytosterols and triterpenes, fatty acids (olefinic, acetylenic bonds, furanoic acid), dimmers of flavanols, oligomeric proanthocyanidins, β-D-glucoside of 8-hydroxyabscisic acid and epi-dihydrophaseic acid β-d-glucoside, phenols, flavonoids, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, unsaturated steroids, triterpenoids (Leucoanthocyanins), isorhamnetin, luteolin, rutin, quercetin, and apigenin Anticardiovascular, anti-aging, anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antihypercholesterolemia, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, insecticidal, fungicidal, and antimicrobial activities The plant is used in traditional medicine for the treatment of various ailments, such as monorrhagia, hypertension, stomach ache, bronchitis, diarrhea, and diabetes. The leaves are traditionally used for treatment of hypertension Oral and Topical Fruit, Leaves and Seeds [100-105]
16. Leguminosae
Tamarindus indicaL. Tamarin Phenolic compounds, tannins, fatty acids (such as palmitic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and eicosanoic acid), flavonoids, saponins, alkaloids, proanthocyanidin, glycosides, 2-hydroxy-3', 4'-dihydroxyacetophenone, methy l-3, 4-dihydroxybenzoate, 3, 4-dihydroxyphenylacetate and (-)-epicatechin, arabinose, acetic acid, dihydroxylphenyl acetate Astringent, antiseptic, laxative, antioxidant activity, antidiabetic activities The pulp is used as a laxative, anti-asthmatic, astringent agent. The leaves are used as mouth wash, gargle against gingivitis while a bark decoction is used in the treatment of asthma. Infusion of young leaves is used for eye inflammation. Oral Pulp and leaves [30,106-108]
17. Lythraceae
Punica granatumL. Pomegranate Gallic acid, ellagic acid, punicalin, punicalagin, caffeic acid, citric acid, malic acid, succinic acid, tartaric acid, acetic acid, oxalic acid, shikimik acid, maleic acid, furamic acid ellagitannins, pelletierine alkaloids, piperidine alkaloid, isopelletierine, me-thyl-pelletierine, pseudopelletierine, glucoside, granatic acid, luteolin, kaempferol, quercetin, catechin, epigallocatechin gallate, rutin, flavones, flavanones, flavonoid, flavanols, steroids, lignins, fats and oils, glycosides, carbohydrates, anthocyanidins, anthocyanins melatonin, delfinidin 3-O-glucoside, punicacortein A, punicacortein B, pedunculagin, tellimagrandin, glucose, delphinidin, gallagyldilacton, tannins, simple sugars, aliphatic organic acids, quinic acid, amino acids, minerals, ascorbic acids, ursolic acid, triterpenoids, fatty acids, 3,3’-Di-O-methylellagic acid ; 3,3’,4’- Tri-O-methyellagic acid, punicic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, sterols, tocopherols, steroids Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, anticancer, antimutagenic, antimicrobial and anti-atherogenic, memory-enhancing activity, anti-ageing, wound healing, antidiarrheal, hepatoprotective activities Traditionally used to treat sore throats, coughs, urinary infections, digestive disorders, asthma, cardiovascular disease, high level of cholesterol, diarrhea, dysentery, skin disorders, arthritis, and to expel tapeworms Oral Fruit peels and roots; pericarp and mesocarp [30,109-113]
18. Malvaceae
Abelmoschus esculentus(L.) Moench Lalo, ladyfinger, okra Polyphenolic compounds (mainly oligomeric catechins), flavonoids, flavonol glycosides, polysaccharides, tannins, mucilages, leucoanthocyanins, reducing compounds, sterols and terpenes Hypoglycemic, antioxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic, antidepressant activities, immunoprotective activities Traditionally used in the treatment of diabetes, gonorrhea, dysuria, constipation, urinary tract infections, erectile dysfunction, as a diuretic agent Oral Fruit and seed [30,114-116]
19. Microcoleaceae
Arthrospira platensis Spirulina Phenolics, chlorophyll-a, zeaxanthin, diatoxanthin, 3'-hydroxyechinenone, echinenone, beta-carotene, xanthophyll, canthaxanthin, c-phycocyanin, beta-cryptoxanthin, myxoxanthophyll, oscillaxanthin, phycobiliproteins (phycocyanin and allophycocyanin), fatty acids (such as linoleic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, arachidonic acid, and stearidonic acid) and polysaccharides Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antihyperalgesic, antiviral, anticancer, antihypertensive, wound healing, antihypercholesterolemic, antidiabetic activities Not Known Not Known Not Known [78,79,117-120]
20. Moringaceae
Moringa oleiferaLam. Locally known as “Bred Mouroum” and “Baton Mouroum”, drumstick tree Leaves: n-hexadecanoic acid, tetradecanoic acid, cis-vaccenic acid, octadecanoic acid, palmitoyl chloride, beta-l-rhamnofuranoside, 5-O-acetyl-thio-octyl, gamma-sitosterol, and pregna-7- diene-3-ol-20-one, E-lutein. Plant radicle: 4-(α-l-rhamnopyranosyloxy)-benzylglucosinolate and benzylglucosinolate. Roots: spirochin and anthonine. Peduncle of plant: beta-sitosterone, vanillin, 4-hydroxymellein, β-sitosterol, and octacosanoic acid. Crust: 4-(α-l-rhamnopyranosyloxy)-benzylglucosinolate. Stem: alkaloids (moringine and moringinine), 4-hydroxymellein, octacosanoic acid, and β-sitosterol. Whole gum: l-rhamnose, d-glucuronic acid, l-arabinose, d-mannose, d-xylose, and d-galactose, leucodelphinidin-3-O-B-D-galactopuranosy (1->4)-O-B-D-glucopyranoside. Flower: sucrose, amino acids, alkaloids, and flavonoids, such as rhamnetin, isoquercitrin, and kaempferitrin. Whole pods: isothiocyanate, thiocarbamates, nitrile, O-[2'-hydroxy-3'-(2''-heptenyloxy)]-propyl undecanoate, methyl-p-hydroxybenzoate, and O-ethyl-4-[(α-l-rhamnosyloxy)-benzyl] carbamate. Seeds: benzylglucosinolate, 4-(α-l-rhamnopyranosyloxy)-benzylglucosinolate, 4-(α-l-rhamnosyloxy) benzylisothiocyanate, 4-(α-l-rhamnosyloxy) phenylacetonitrile, and O-ethyl-4-(α-l-rhamnosyloxy) benzyl carbamate Hypotensive, anticancer, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antihelminthic, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, antiobesity, hypolipidemic, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, anti-atherosclerotic activities Used as antidiabetic, antispasmodic, diuretic, purgative, vermifuge, and to manage low blood pressure Oral Leaves and pods [15,121-123]
21. Musaceae
Musa acuminata Colla Wild Banana Anigorufone, alkaloids, α-tocopherol, apigenin, β sitosterol, chlorogenic acid, 2,3-dihydro-3,5-dihydroxy6-methyl-4H-pyran-4-one, Epi-sesamin, flavonoids, glycosides, kaempferol, lectin, 2-methoxy-9-phenylphenalen-1-one, omega-3, omega-6, phytosterols, quercetin, saponins, sesamin, (S)-(+)-6-methoxy-αmethyl-2-naphthaleneacetic acid, tannins, trans beta carotene Antioxidant, immunomodulatory, antimicrobial activities, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, antithrombotic, vasodilatory, cholesterol reduction, cardioprotective, anticancer, anti-HIV activities The unripe fruit is used to treat diarrhea while the ripe fruit is used to alleviate Type 2 diabetes and gout. The leaves are used to manage fever, lower back ache, joint pain (rheumatism), headache, migraine. The plant is also used in the management of diabetes, high blood pressure, anemia, fever, wounds, allergies, respiratory disorders Oral and Topical Fruit, stem, pseudostem, flower, leaf, sap, inner trunk, inner core and root [30,124,125]
22. Myrtaceae
Psidium cattleianumSabine Red and yellow ‘Chinese guava’, Araçá or strawberry guava Ascorbic acid, volatile compounds (including (E)-β-caryophyllene, hexadecanoic acid, (Z)-3-hexenol and α-pinene, β-selinene, neointermedeol), carotenoids (lutein, all-trans-antheraxanthin, all-trans-β-carotene and alltrans-β-cryptoxanthin), phenolic compounds (gallic acid and its derivatives and ellagic acid and its derivatives, epicatechin, chlorogenic acid, quercetin), flavonoids (proanthocyanidins, cyanidins) Antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal and antiproliferative and allelopathic activities Traditional medicine to combat oral, gastrointestinal, urogenital and intestinal inflammations. A decoction of immature fruits is used against diarrhea and dysentery Oral Fruit and Leaves [30,126-131]
Psidium guajavaL. White “guava,” common guava fruit, goyavier saponins (combined with oleanolic acid, morin-3-O-α-L-lyxopyranoside and morin-3-O-α-L arabopyranoside), flavonoids (guaijavarin, quercetin, morin-3-O-α-L-lyxopyranosidemorin-3-O-α-L-arabinopyranoside, kæmpferol and luteolin-7-O-glucoside and apigenin-7-O-glucoside), hexanal, (E)-2-hexenal, (E,E)-2,4-hexadienal, (Z)-3-hexenal, (Z)-2-hexenal, (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate and phenol, β-caryophyllene, nerolidol, 3-phenylpropyl acetate and caryophyllene oxide, pentane-2-thiol, cineol, tannins, Guavin B, Guavin A, Isostrictinin, Strictinin, Amritoside or ellagic acid 4-gentiobioside, Pedunculagin and (+)-gallocatechin, menthol, α-pinene, β-bisabolene, β-pinene, β-copanene, limonene, terpenyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol, caryophyllene, longicyclene, cineol, caryophyllene oxide, humulene, farnesene, selinene, curcumene and cardinene, carotene, lycopene, Guavanoic acid, guavacoumaric acid, 2α-hydroxyursolic acid, isoneriucoumaric acid, jacoumaric acid, asiatic acid, ilelatifol D and β-sitosterol-3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside, triterpenoids (such as guavanoic acid, ursolic acid), phenolic compounds Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, analgesic, hepatoprotection, anti-allergy, antimicrobial, antigenotoxic, antiplasmodial, cytotoxic, antispasmodic, cardioactive, anticough, antidiabetic, antidiarrheal and antinociceptive activities Traditionally used in the treatment of dysentery, diarrhea, stomach ache and Type 2 diabetes Oral Fruit and Leaves [30,48,129,132,133]
23. Piperaceae
Piper betle L. Betel Terpenoids (1,8-cineole, cadinene), camphene, caryophyllene, limonene, pinene, chavicol, allyl pyrocatechol, carvacrol), Phenols (safrole, eugenol, and chavibetol, gallic acid, procatechuic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, quercetin, ferulic acid, ellagic acid), luteolin, tannins, steroids, alkaloids, sugar antioxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic, anti-ulcer, antihistaminic, analgesic, gastroprotective, hepatoprotective, neuroprotective in brain alcohol toxicity, wound-healing, anti-hyperglycemic, antimicrobial activities Traditionally used to manage cough, fever, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, cough, asthma, cold and flu, bronchitis, respiratory disorders, reduce milk flow in breastfeeding mothers and keep gums firm and healthy Oral Leaves [28,30,48,134]
24. Poaceae
Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf Citronelle Hydrocarbon terpenes, alcohols, ketones, citral, esters, tannins, saponins, anthraquinones, alkaloids, triterpenoids, flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol, apiginin), phenolic compounds (elimicin, catecol, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, hydroquinone), luteolin, glycosides Antibacterial, antidiarrheal, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimalarial, antimutagenicity, antinociceptive, antioxidant, hypocholesterolemic, antidiabetic activities A leaf infusion is used in the treatment of asthma, respiratory disorders, bronchitis, coughs, colds, fever, migraine, grippe, flu, abdominal pain, postpartum pain, abortion while the rhizome decoction is used against cough, bronchitis, asthma, chest problems Oral Leaves and rhizomes [30,135-138]
Triticum aestivumL. Wheatgrass Tocopherols, bioflavonoids (such as apigenin, quercetin, luteolin), phenolic acids, saponins, tannins, alkaloids, terpenoids, steroids and glycosides Anticancer, antiulcer, antioxidant, anti-arthritic activities, and blood building activity in Thalassemia Major. May have cerebroprotective activity as well Used for digestion improvement, blood pressure reduction, heavy metal detoxification from the bloodstream, immune system modulation, and gout alleviation. Oral Leaves [139-143]
25. Proteaceae
(A) Macadamia integrifolia Maiden & Betche Macadamia Polyphenol compounds, squalene, phytosterols, tocopherols, tocotrienols, carotenoids, proanthocyanidins Cardioprotective, antihypercholesterolemic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, angiogenic, antipyretic, anti-arthritic, chemoprotective and antithrombotic activities Not Known Not Known Fruit - nut [144-147]
(B) Macadamia tetraphylla L.A.S. Johnson Polyphenol compounds, phytosterols, tocopherols, tocotrienols, squalene, carotenoids, proanthocyanidins Cardioprotective, antihypercholesterolemic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, angiogenic, antipyretic, anti-arthritic, chemoprotective and antithrombotic activities Not Known Not Known Fruit - nut [144-146]
26. Rubiaceae
Morinda citrifoliaL. Noni, murier de java, feuille tortue Phenolic compounds (including damnacanthal, scopoletin, morindone, alizarin, aucubin, nordamnacanthal, rubiadin, rubiadin-1-methyl ether, and anthraquinone glycosides), organic acids, alkaloids, ursolic acids, anthraquinones and their glycosides, caproic acid, caprylic acid, fatty acids and alcohols (C5-9), flavones glycosides, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, steroids, glucose (β-D-glucopyranose), indoles, purines, and β-sitosterol Antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antidiabetic, immune-stimulating and analgesic activity, antimicrobial activities Ethnomedicinal applications against type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and pain. It is also used for arthritis, headaches, menstrual difficulties, gastric ulcers, poor digestion, and atherosclerosis. Boiled leaves are applied on sprains and swellings while a warm leaf poultice is used to alleviate rheumatism. A leaf decoction is used against toxic fish poisoning Oral and Topical Fruits and leaves [12,30,148-150]
27. Rutaceae
Aegle marmelos (L.) Corrêa Bael Coumarins, flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins, skimmianine, aeglin, rutin, γ-sitosterole, β-sitosterol, flavone, lupeol, cineol, citral, glycoside, O-isopentenyl, hallordiol, mameline, citronellal, cuuminaldehyde phenylethyle cinnamamides, euginol, marmesinin, aegelin, alkaloids, emodins, ferric chloride, lead acetate, gelatin, phenolics, and volatile oils Anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, analgesic, antidiabetic, anticancer, antimicrobial, antifungal, cardioprotective, antiulcer, immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective, antihyperlipidemic activities Used against stomach pains, stomach acidity, palpitations, diarrhea and dysentery; as a laxative. The leaves are astringent and used in treatment of peptic ulcers while dried roots are used in the treatment of earache Oral Leaf, fruit (ripe and unripe), roots, pulp of fruit, root bark [30,48,151,152]
Citrus aurantifoliaL. Lime Flavonoids (including apigenin, hesperetin, kaempferol, nobiletin, quercetin, and rutin), flavones, flavanones, naringenin, triterpenoid, limonoids, tannins, phenols (chlorogenic acid), carotenoids, saponins, glycosides, alkaloids Anticancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hypocholesterolemic activities Traditionally used as anti-spasmodic agent, in the treatment of respiratory problems, palpitations, nausea, scurvy. Other traditional uses reported include: antibacterial, antidiabetic, antifungal, antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, antilipidemic, antioxidant, anti-parasitic, antiplatelet. Oral Fruits, leaves [30,153-156]
Citrus clementina Clementine Flavonoids (such as hesperidin, naringin and diosmin), flavones, flavanones, flavanols, isoflavones, anthocyanidins, and flavanols, alkaloids, coumarins, limonoids, carotenoids, phenol acids Antidiabetic, anticancer, antihypertensive, antioxidant activities Not Known Not Known Not Known [9,157]
Citrus maxima(Burm.) Merr. Pamplemousses Polyphenols, flavones, flavanones, flavanols, isoflavones, anthocyanidins, and flavanols, limonene, saponins, tannins Antidiabetic, anticancer, antihypertensive, antioxidant activities Used as an antispasmodic agent, against type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol level Oral Fruit and peel [9,30,157]
Citrus reticulata Mandarin/tangerine Flavones, flavanones, flavanols, isoflavones, anthocyanidins, and flavanols, alkaloids, coumarins, limonoids, carotenoids, phenol acids. Antidiabetic, anticancer, antihypertensive, antioxidant activities Not Known Not Known Not Known [9,157]
Citrus sinensis(L.) Osbeck Orange Polyphenols, flavones, flavanones, flavanols, isoflavones, anthocyanidins, and flavanols, limonene, steroids, coumarins, carbohydrates, carotenoids Antidiabetic, anticancer, antihypertensive, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, hypocholesterolemic, anti-obesity, cardioprotective, UV protective activities Traditionally used in the treatment of ailments like constipation, cramps, colic, diarrhea, bronchitis, tuberculosis, cough, cold, obesity, menstrual disorder, angina, hypertension, anxiety, depression and stress Oral Fruit [9,30,157,158]
28. Sapindaceae
Litchi chinensisSonn. Litchi Flavonoids, phenolic acids, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, coumarins, lignans, chromanes, sesquiterpenes, fatty acids (such as palmitic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and cyclopropane fatty acids), sterols, and triterpenes Antioxidant, anticancer, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antihyperlipidemic, antiviral, antidiabetic, anti-obesity, hepatoprotective, antithrombotic and immunomodulatory activities. Traditionally used to treat bilious fever, a violent poison, cough, flatulence, stomach ulcers, diabetes, obesity, testicular swelling, hernia-like conditions, and epigastric and neuralgic pains. Oral Fruits and bark [30,159]
29. Theaceae
Camellia sinensis(L.) Kuntze Mauritian Tea (black and green) Alkaloids, flavonoids, steroids, terpenoids, carotenoids, benzoic acid, ascorbic acid, tocopherols, folic acid, glycosyl derivatives (i.e., apigenin, myricetin, quercetin, rutin), theaflavins and thearubigins and tannins consisting of catechin (flavonol) and gallic acids Black Tea:Antioxidant, antidiabetic, anticancer, antihypertensive, anti-hypercholesterolemia, anti-inflammatory, osteoporosis protective cardioprotective activities The plant is used as a tonic, stimulant, and astringent. A cold tea infusion is used against conjunctivitis (wash), eye infection and cataract. Strong tea infusion is used to treat diarrhea. Tea bags boiled and cooled are used as anti-dark circles, anti-wrinkle agent, type 2 diabetes, high level of cholesterol Oral and Topical Leaves and leaf buds [7,8,10,14,30,160,161]
Green Tea: antioxidant, antidiabetic, anticancer, antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypercholesterolemia, anti-obesity, osteoporosis protective, cardiovascular protection activities. It also helps in the reduction in diabetic nephropathy [11,14,30,161-165]
30. Vitaceae
Vitis viniferaL. Common Grape vine, “vigne rouge” Organic acids, phenolic acids, flavonoids (such as catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate), tannins, procyanidins, anthocyanins, stilbenes Antioxidant, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anticancer, cardioprotective, anticholesterolemic, neuroprotective, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective effects Leaves of Vitis viniferais used in traditional medicine for diarrhea, hepatitis and stomach-aches Oral Fruit, seed, leaves [166,167]
31. Zingiberaceae
Curcuma longaL. Turmeric, “Safran”, “Saffran vert” Polyphenols, terpenoids, alkaloids, curcuminoids (curcumin, monodesmethoxycurcumin and bisdesmethoxycurcumin), zingiberene, sesquiterpenes Analgesic, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, wound healing, antidiabetic, skin care activities, anticancer, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, antiseptic, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective, digestive, antihelmintic, antiseptic, antidepressant, antimalarial, lipid-lowering, anti-arthritic, anti-ageing, antirheumatic, antiulcer activities Traditionally used in the treatment of cough, cold, eye problems, bronchitis, asthma, pain, fever, ecchymosis, contusions and ecchymoses, wounds, measles, postpartum bleeding and diastasis as bath, cardiovascular disease. The crushed rhizome is used as face cleanser, facemask, and skin moisturizer and as a whitening agent. Oral and Topical Rhizome [28,30,151]
Zingiber officinaleRoscoe Ginger, Gingembre Essential oils, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, carbohydrates, proteins, alkaloids, glycosides, saponins, steroids, terpenoids, tannin, gingerol, gingerdiones, zingiberene Antimicrobial, anticancer, antioxidant, antidiabetic, nephroprotective, hepatoprotective, larvicidal, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities Traditionally used as diuretic, emmenagogue, to speed up digestion and expel intestinal gas, to control high cholesterol level, against blood spitting, dyspepsia or indigestion, pulmonary infection, postpartum bleeding, labor pain, abdominal pain, influenza, cold, nasal congestion, cough, sore throat diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, pulmonary infection Oral Rhizome [30,48,168]

All 45 plants are worth considering for local nutraceutical production. However, the ensuing discussion will focus on the following: (A) Ten terrestrial plants [Figure 2], in particular, moringa, strawberry guava, papaya, pineapple, tea, noni, pomegranate, garlic, lemongrass and turmeric due to the gamut of commercial products that can be derived from them, the numerous pharmacological effects and potential for commercial cultivation in Mauritius and (B) two marine species, namely, Spirulina and Chlorella on the account of the intensifying consumer interest, growing markets, and countless health-promoting properties [Figure 3a and b].

Figure 2:: (1) Moringa; (2) Yellow and Red varieties of strawberry guava; (3) Papaya; (4) Noni; (5) Pomegranate; (6) Turmeric rhizome; (7) Pineapple; (8) Tea; (9) Ginger; (10) Lemongrass.
Figure 3:: (a) Light microscopy of Arthrospira filaments from natural environment (magnification ×200). (Source: Furmaniak et al., [267]). (b) Light microscopy of Chlorella vulgaris KNUA027 at ×1000 magnification on a Nikon Eclipse E100 Biological Microscope (Japan) (Source. Hong et al.,[268]).

Moringa: The miracle tree

Moringa oleifera Lam, native to north western India, is a sole genus of Moringaceae family with 13 species widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions around the world.[170,171] Commonly known as Moringa, drumstick tree, ben oil tree, miracle tree and “brède Mouroum” in the local vernacular, it is a hardy plant that can withstand both severe drought and mild frost conditions.[172] Almost all parts of the plant are used including leaves, pods, bark, roots, and flowers. In Mauritius, Moringa is traditionally used as an anti-diabetic agent, to alleviate pain in joints and muscles, to treat anemia, and to increase lactation in nursing mothers.[30] In Africa, Moringa is consumed by individuals affected by diabetes, hypertension, or HIV/AIDS.[170] Other traditional uses reported in the literature include in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, colitis, sores, skin infections, anemia, cuts, scrapes, rashes, sign of aging, asthma, dental decay, malaria, anxiety, bronchitis, catarrh, chest congestion, cholera, glandular, swelling, fever, headaches, conjunctivitis, cough, pain in joints, pimples, psoriasis, respiratory disorders, and diabetes among others.[170,172] The anti-diabetic, anticancer, antimicrobial, antihypertensive, hypocholesterolemic, antioxidant, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and anti-arthritic activities of Moringa are supported by in vitro studies.[172] In vivo studies involving rat models have validated the use of Moringa as an anti-diabetic agent, a potent neuroprotectant, an anti-ulcer, and an anti-arthritic agent.[173-178] There are numerous commercial applications of Moringa, notably, infusions, powder and capsules from leaves, Ben oil, and infusions with hypocholesterolemic properties from flowers and fortifying moringa in snacks such as cookies, cream, and butter crackers.[172] Locally, Moringa leaves infusions and Moringa powder and capsules are already marketed. Therefore, this represents a great opportunity to further explore local Moringa plants to expand the range of locally manufactured Moringa nutraceuticals.

Strawberry guava: A potent novelty

Strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum Sabine) is an exotic tropical plant native to the temperate zones of Brazil.[131] P. cattleianum Sabine belongs to the Myrtaceae family and is commonly known as strawberry guava, Chinese guava, cattley guava, or cherry guava, and locally called “goyaves de chine.”[30,127,131] This shrub is highly adaptable and can withstand conditions involving temperature and water extremes.[130,179] Both the leaves and fruits of the plant are used in the traditional medicine system.[128] In Mauritius, a decoction of the immature fruits is used in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery while the fruits are consumed as a source of Vitamin C to treat scurvy.[30] Around the world, the Psidium species is used in folk medicine for antiseptic purposes, for digestive purposes, for antihemorrhagic action, to control blood pressure, as diuretic, and in decoctions for the treatment of diarrhea.[128] In vitro studies have provided evidence to the antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anticancer, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties of strawberry guava.[126-131,180] Moreover, in vivo experiments using rat models have substantiated the antioxidant, anti-diabetic, antifungal, and anti-aging activities of P. cattleianum Sabine.[131,181,182] Although strawberry guava fruit is widely consumed fresh or used to flavor beverages, ice creams and desserts or in fillings, jams, jellies, sauces, there are currently almost no nutraceutical products derived from the Psidium species on the global market.[179,180] The only product that can be found on international websites are fresh strawberry guava leaves for infusion (https://www.movagarden.com/fresh-cattleyguava-leaves). P. cattleianum Sabine offers great scope for transformation into innovative health products owing to its assortment of beneficial activities but the invasive nature of the plant remains a sizeable barrier to overcome.[180]

Carica papaya Linn.: A highly promising nutraceutical crop

C. papaya Linn, belonging to the family Caricaceae, is a tropical tree, native to Central America and now widely cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world for its fruits and latex.[183-185] Commonly known as papaya or pawpaw, C. papaya L. was introduced in Mauritius in the 18th century and now grows in a number of geographic locations in Mauritius, being a resilient crop that adapts well, even on difficult terrain conditions, to the Mauritian agro-climate.[186] Both the green and ripe fruits can be utilized. Indeed, several parts of the C. papaya plant are used in traditional medicine in Mauritius: the ripe fruit for stomach/peptic ulcer and constipation, hypertension, high cholesterol level and as anti-pimple, anti-pigmentation and skin moisturizer; the green fruit for stomach and duodenal ulcers; the seeds for intestinal worms; the roots for pain in joints, muscles and arthritis; and the latex as vermifuge.[30] Other reported uses in folk medicine include antibacterial, antifungal, anthelmintic, wound healing, antisickling, abortifacient, antifertility, antitumor, hypoglycemic, and hypolipidemic.[86,183] Studies have reported that papaya exhibits a wide range of biological activities including anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, antihelminthic, anticancer, antidiabetic, anti-hyperglycemic, antifungal, antibacterial, anti-hypertensive, immunomodulatory, gastro-protective, antinociceptive, anti-pyretic, antioxidant, antimalarial, and antihyperlipidemic which can be ascribed to the chemical diversity it possesses.[184,185, 187, 188] Both the ripe and unripe papaya fruit can be consumed in salads, beverages, or in dehydrated, crystallized, canned, pickled form, or fermented into wine.[183,189] Fermented products derived from papaya, for instance, the popular fermented papaya preparation, confers physiological protection against diabetes, cancer, and respiratory diseases.[77,190,191]

Noni: A superfruit gaining popularity

Morinda citrifolia L. commonly known as noni is a tropical plant belonging to the Rubiaceae family, believed to have originated from South Asia and is now found in several countries across the globe where it is cultivated commercially.[149,192] It is a resilient plant that is resistant to severe weather and can withstand different environmental conditions.[149] Noni parts including fruits, seeds, barks, leaves, and flowers are used for their individual nutritional and therapeutic properties but the fruit is deemed to be most valuable in terms of bioactive constituents.[192,193] In Mauritius, noni is used traditionally in the treatment of sprains, swellings, rheumatism, toxic fish poisoning and against type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and hypertension.[12,30] Other ethnopharmacological uses reported worldwide pertain to the use of noni leaves and fruits as blood purifiers, antihelminthic agents, dietary supplements, against digestive disorders, hypertension, tuberculosis, urinary tract dysfunctions, diabetes, depression, and as appetite stimulator.[12,149,193] Reported in vitro biological activities of noni include: wound-healing, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anticarcinogenic, antidiabetic, anti-arthritic, immune stimulating, and analgesic properties.[48,193] In vivo studies using rat models have corroborated the anti-diabetic, ulcer healing, memory enhancing, and anticancer activities of noni.[148,149] The anticancer activity has been investigated at the level of clinical trial but no conclusive evidence has been obtained which prompts further experimentation before using M. citrifolia in therapeutic anticancer medicine.[194] Products developed from noni fruits and leaves are commonly marketed in the form of pills, tablets, capsules, teas, powders, purees, and juice.[12,149] In the last few decades, M. citrifolia has emerged as a popular health product, due to its claimed beneficial physiological effects as a stimulant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory agent.

Pomegranate: A fruit with myriad virtues

Pomegranate, scientifically known as Punica granatum L., belongs to the family of Punicaceae and is native to northern India and to Iran but is widely cultivated in the Asian and African regions including Mauritius.[195,196] Documented use of pomegranate in Mauritian ethnomedicine includes consumption of macerated bark extracts to treat diarrhea, dysentery, asthma, and intestinal worms; consumption of pulp for cardiovascular diseases and to control high cholesterol levels; and usage of the rind in the treatment of diarrhea.[30,195] The use of pomegranate in traditional medicine is deeply entrenched in Ayurveda.[197] The rind of the fruit and the bark of the pomegranate tree is used as a traditional remedy against diarrhea, dysentery and intestinal parasites while the seeds and juice are considered a tonic for the heart, throat, eyes and used for a variety of purposes, such as stopping nose bleeds and gum bleeds, toning skin, firming-up sagging breasts, and treating hemorrhoids.[197] Bhowmik et al. reported in vitro biological activities of pomegranate include anticancer, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, cardioprotective, anti-diabetic, antioxidant, UV protective, memory enhancing, anti-arthritic, wound healing, anti-obesity, lipid-lowering, antimalarial, antihypertensive, and anti-inflammatory.[111,195-199] Pomegranate has exhibited antiproliferative and anti-invasive effects on different cancer cell lines in vitro, in vivo and in clinical trials. [109,196,200,201] In vivo studies and clinical studies have supported the antioxidant, antihypertensive, anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, anti-hypercholesterolemic, immune stimulating, cardioprotective, and hepatoprotective properties of pomegranate.[109,196,202-208] Nutraceutical and functional food products from P. granatum include 100% pomegranate juices, pomegranate-containing beverages, extracts of pomegranate plant parts such as leaves, flowers, seeds and peel, pomegranate seed oil, and skin care products containing pomegranate extracts and/or seed oil as main ingredient.[201,209]

Turmeric: The golden medicine

Curcuma longa L, commonly known as turmeric, is native to tropical South Asia and belongs to the Zingiberaceae family.[210] This extensively grown spice is of huge interest to both the scientific and medical spheres as well as the gastronomical world due to its chemical diversity and its multitude of therapeutic properties. The rhizome is widely used in Mauritius in traditional medicine to alleviate cough, eye problems, bronchitis, asthma, pain, fever, contusions, wounds, measles, postpartum bleeding, and cardiovascular disease.[30] It is also used as phytocosmetic for face cleanser, facemask, skin moisturizer, and whitening agent.[28] In different regions of India, turmeric is used in traditional medicine in the treatment of cuts, wounds, stomach ache, body pain, joint pain, asthma, itching, bloating, cold, foot rot, intestinal wounds, withering of foot pad, dyspepsia, cancer, fever, malaria, bone fracture, headache, arthritis, neurasthenia, piles, dental caries, skin diseases, rheumatism, sprain, flatulence, diabetes, muscle injury, snake bite, gangrene, cataract, urticaria, ringworm, dry skin, wrinkled skin, prickly heat, measles, psoriasis, pimples on face, breast disorder, and spleen disorder.[28] The characteristic yellow color of turmeric is due to the presence of curcuminoids which is mainly composed of curcumin (75–81%), demethoxycurcumin (15– 19%), and bisdemethoxycurcumin (2.2–6.6%).[211] Curcumin, the most prevalent natural polyphenol in turmeric, possesses several biological activities that are supported by in vitro studies, including: anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antioxidant, photo-protection, neuroprotection, immunomodulatory, nephroprotective, wound healing, and gastroprotective among many others.[211-212] In vivo studies using rat models provide evidence for the antioxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, anti-obesity, antitumor, analgesic, anti-pyretic, wound healing, and skin care activities.[210-221]

Clinical studies have demonstrated the anti-arthritic effects of curcumin in humans with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.[213,222] Curcumin is commonly commercialized in multiple forms including capsules, tablets, ointments, beverages, soaps, skin care products, and cosmetics.[213]

Pineapple: Source of the valuable enzyme, bromelain

Ananas comosus (L.) Merr, popularly known as pineapple, is a plant of the Bromeliaceae family.[223,224] Pineapple is mainly cultivated in the tropical and subtropical regions.[223] In Mauritius, the fruit is traditionally used as an abortifacient, anthelmintic, diuretic, and laxative agent; and used against whooping cough in children.[30] Various parts of the plant pineapple are used in traditional medicine worldwide for treatment of a number of diseases and disorders. The fruits, stems, and leaves of pineapple are used as antimicrobial, vermicide, laxative, abortifacient, anti-edema, and anti-inflammatory agent and in different aspects of wound healing like anti-edema, anti-inflammatory agent in soft tissue injury, osteoarthritis, and as a debriding agent.[68] The fruit contains a proteolytic enzyme namely bromelain which exhibits a wide array of beneficial therapeutic effects.[224] In vitro biological activities associated with bromelain pertain to its anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-metastatic, appetite stimulating, immunomodulatory, and cardioprotective activities.[224-227] In vivo and clinical studies have validated the cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-diarrheal, antimicrobial, anticancer, wound-healing, anti-thrombotic, anti-arthritic, and antihypertensive activities of pineapple and confirmed its effectiveness as a fibrinolytic agent.[225,226,228-230] Indeed, bromelain is popular as a nutritional supplement used to promote health, alleviate acute inflammation and treat sport injuries.[230] It is also noteworthy that malic acid in pineapple assists in maintaining oral health, enhancing immunity, and preventing dental plaque formation.[223]

Mauritian tea: A panoply of bioactive constituents

Tea, Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze, belonging to the family Theaceae, is native to Southeast Asia.[161] Tea made from the leaves of C. sinensis is a widely consumed beverage around the world and there are three major varieties of tea - green, black, and oolong.[161,231,232] The difference between the teas lies in their processing; green tea is produced from unfermented leaves, the leaves of oolong tea are partially fermented, while the leaves are fully fermented to prepare black tea.[161,232,233] Locally, ethnopharmacological usage of tea include as tonic, stimulant, astringent, in the treatment of conjunctivitis, eye infection, cataract, diarrhea, type 2 diabetes mellitus, high level of cholesterol, and as anti-dark circles and anti-wrinkle agent.[30] Across the globe, tea is commonly used as a stimulant, diuretic, astringent, cardioprotective agent; to treat flatulence, to regulate body temperature and blood sugar, to assist in digestion, and to enhance mental processes among others.[234,235] Luximon-Ramma et al. investigated the polyphenol constituents of Mauritian commercial black tea and reported exceptionally high levels (+)-Catechin ((+)-C), (−)-epicatechin ((−)-EC), (−)-epicatechin 3-gallate ((−)-ECG), (−)-epigallocatechin ((−)-EGC), (−)- epigallocatechin 3-gallate ((−)-EGCG), and gallic acid which reflect an excellent source of polyphenolic constituents with consequent antioxidant activities.[7] A study by Toolsee et al. demonstrated the potential of Mauritian green tea in alleviating one of the most severe complications of diabetes, diabetic nephropathy.[164] Clinical trials conducted locally concluded that the consumption of black tea can help to significantly reduce the level of uric acid and C-reactive protein in individuals susceptible to cardiovascular diseases; and demonstrated its hypoglycemic and antioxidant capacities.[8,10] Furthermore, a clinical trial conducted by Ramlagan et al. reported the anti-diabetic, cardioprotective and anti-hypercholesterolemic activities of the Mauritian green tea.[14] Indeed, studies performed on the Mauritian tea have highlighted their very high contents in antioxidant active metabolites, compared to teas grown elsewhere, thus providing an originality base for the development of health products. Common nutraceuticals derived from tea include green tea, green tea extracts for consumption and incorporated in cosmeceutical formulations, green tea capsules, functional food and beverage (e.g. catechin candy, green tea ice cream, and catechin tea bar), herbal teas and tea wine.[233,236,237]

Ginger: A valuable rhizome

Ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe) belongs to the Zingiberaceae family and is endemic to India.[238,239] It has been commonly consumed as a dietary supplement, condiment and a key ingredient in traditional herbal medicine for a long time.[240] In Mauritius, ginger is traditionally used as diuretic, to help with digestion, to control high cholesterol level, against blood spitting, pulmonary infection, postpartum bleeding, labor pain, abdominal pain, influenza, cold, nasal congestion, cough, sore throat diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and pulmonary infection among others.[30] The rhizome of the plant is commonly used in decoctions, pastes, and infusions as part of traditional medicine. Around the world, ginger is traditionally used in the treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer; to aid digestion, reduce nausea, and help fight the flu and common cold among others.[238,241,242] The numerous pharmacological activities of ginger pertain to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, neuroprotective, cardioprotective, gastroprotective, anti-obesity, antidiabetic, antinausea, anti-emetic properties, and protective effects against respiratory disorders.[238-240,242] All of the aforementioned biological activities of ginger have been substantiated by in vitro, in vivo experiments, and/or clinical trials.[238-243] The effectiveness of ginger against a number of chronic diseases plaguing the global population renders it a potent ingredient for nutraceuticals. Indeed, ginger supplements, ginger oil, ginger powder, ginger tea, and beverages are common nutraceutical products on the market which are heavily consumed.[244]

Lemongrass: A mighty resource

Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf, commonly known as lemongrass or citronella, belongs to the Poaceae family and grows in a number of tropical and subtropical regions around the world.[135] In Mauritius, the leaves of the lemongrass plant are commonly used in ethnomedicine. Locally, the common traditional usage includes the treatment and management of asthma, respiratory disorders, bronchitis, coughs, colds, fever, migraine, flu, abdominal pain, postpartum pain, and abortion among others.[26,30] Around the world, the leaves have been traditionally used in tea and decoctions for their anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-fever, antispasmodic, analgesic, anti-hermetic, antibacterial, and diuretic properties.[245,246] Reported pharmacological activities encompass antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive, antifungal, antimalarial, anti-obesity, antihypertensive, antioxidant, anti-HIV, anti-diabetic, anticancer, insecticidal, and dermatotoxicity effects.[246] The antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, and anti-HIV activities of lemongrass have been validated by in vivo trials.[135,245,247-250] A popular nutraceutical derived from this plant is the lemongrass essential oil which is used against flu, colds, nausea, menstrual problems, headaches, muscle cramps, and rheumatisms; and to improve digestion.[138] The essential oil is also used as a stimulating agent, tonic, diuretic, and aroma among others.[138]

Spirulina: A complete food source

Spirulina platensis is a non-toxic cyanobacteria that has gained considerable popularity in the natural health food industry over the years as a complete food source owing to its high protein content (up to 62%) and presence of minerals (including calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc and selenium), vitamins (provitamins; Vitamin A Vitamin E, and various B Vitamins), amino acids, essential fatty acids, carotenoids, sulfolipids, glycolipids, and polysaccharides.[251-254] Spirulina also acts as a functional food, feeding beneficial intestinal flora, including Lactobacillus and Bifidus.[255] Ciferri reported pharmacological activities include antioxidant, antihyperlipidemic, anticancer, immunity-boosting, nephroprotective, anti-obesity, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.[254] Besides Spirulina pills and capsules, Spirulina is also added to chocolate bars, cookies, beverages, which are commercialized as health foods.[117]

Chlorella: A source of essential fatty acids

Chlorella vulgaris, a green alga from the Chlorophyceae class, is a renowned food supplement with important antioxidant potential and valuable therapeutic virtues.[256] C.vulgaris contains 43–58% protein, essential fatty acids, carbohydrates, lipids, carotenoids, Vitamins A, B, C, and E, and minerals including calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc.[256] C. vulgaris contains a variety of compounds, including antioxidants and a glycoprotein, which may act on different pathways of tumor cell growth and survival.[257] Reported biological activities for C. vulgaris encompass antibacterial, antiviral, antitumor, wound healing, antioxidant, anti-Alzheimer, and immunostimulating properties.[256,258,259] One of the most important polysaccharides in C. vulgaris is β-1,3-glucan, which is an active immunostimulator, a potent free radical scavenger and an antihyperlipidemic agent.[256] Moreover, the tissue stimulating effects of C. vulgaris have enormous potential in cosmetic and skin care products, as it exhibits collagen-forming properties, anti-wrinkling, and anti-aging activities.[258,260]

Drivers for the subsequent development of marine nutraceuticals

A number of metabolites produced by marine organisms are considered as high-value commercial products for both the phytocosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.[261-263] However, several barriers hinder marine bioprospecting for product development and thus, they need to be addressed to increase the success rate of health products derived from marine sources. At present, only a fraction of the marine diversity prevailing in our oceans are known, which engenders limitations, to the best of our knowledge, and in turn use of these resources.[264] Therefore, sampling techniques need to be honed to allow collection of samples which exhibit promising industrial application but are found in unreachable zones of the oceans.[265] Both the classical and molecular methods including macroscopic examination, microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, thin-layer chromatography, high-pressure liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, involved in determining the taxonomy and classification of a species need to be employed to enhance the process, and improve knowledge on marine species diversity.[266]

The success of a product development program majorly depends on the availability and sustainable supply of the starting material. Therefore, new culturing techniques such as mariculture, land-based aquaculture, and metagenomics are imperative to ensure a continued supply of marine resources.[264] Marine species, which are less vulnerable to environmental fluctuations and can be reproduced under lab-controlled conditions, should be prioritized for product development.[265] Improving extraction techniques by rendering them more productive, sensitive, and robust will enable the screening of small amounts of bioactive constituents’ samples with low concentration issues.[264] Furthermore, the structure elucidation process for metabolites derived from marine sources should be enhanced by applying the most appropriate and rigorous techniques before further use.[264]

Drivers for the subsequent development of terrestrial plant-based nutraceuticals

The global market is flooded with nutraceutical products derived from plant sources, which attest to the growing interest in natural botanical products. The biodiversity existing in Mauritius offers countless possibilities in terms of transformation into nutraceuticals. Therefore, it is crucial to address the potent impediments to this mushrooming sector. The financial status of an enterprise is directly proportional to its productive output. Availability of funding for initial capital investment in production of raw materials and processing of raw materials into nutraceuticals will thus serve as a booster. The global spread of these products has raised significant questions about the scientific evidence to back claims associated with them and in the process, has rendered the commercialization procedure stringent. Enabling access to adequate R and D infrastructure and resources to provide support to processors will allow them to successfully validate their product before venturing into marketing. Support mechanisms including incentives and schemes, need to be put in place to motivate wider and more active participation in this sector. There is an ongoing ambiguity related to regulations pertaining to the production, labeling, and commercialization of nutraceuticals, given the absence of legislative measures locally. It is, therefore, imperative to advocate for clear regulations and standards for the local nutraceutical industry and this should apply to products derived from both terrestrial and marine sources.

It is noteworthy that for nutraceuticals derived from terrestrial and marine sources, access to resources and market are key factors impacting on the development process of the product. The Nagoya protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) “provides a transparent legal framework for the effective implementation of one of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity, namely, the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.” The nutraceutical industry is dependent on the development and commercialization of products derived from genetic resources, which may fall under the scope of the Nagoya Protocol. Therefore, the implementation and harmonization of the Nagoya Protocol in different countries and regions should be viewed as a priority. Developing a clear access scheme for non-locals will certainly inject finance and boost advances in the nutraceutical development sector.[265] Moreover, market guidelines must be integrated within bioactives discovery and product development programs, early on, to assess the economic viability of the prospective products on the market.[265] Up to date market intelligence to evaluate the trend for nutraceuticals on the global and regional markets to better target the choice of nutraceuticals to be produced locally, should become norm. To secure a higher success rate for locally produced nutraceuticals and products, a close partnership between academics/researchers and the industry/SMEs is highly recommended.[264] This collaboration brings together the expertise of the academics and the market awareness and business sense of the industry/SMEs, all of which contributes to the success of such products on the market.

CONCLUSION

Commercial and large-scale production of nutraceuticals from local terrestrial flora and marine organisms represents a good opportunity for the development of a Mauritian nutraceutical industry, with the same being inextricably applicable to other African countries, the Caribbean, and the Asian and Pacific Island countries. The bioresources that include moringa, yellow and red varieties of strawberry guava, papaya, noni, pomegranate, turmeric rhizome, pineapple, tea, ginger, lemongrass, and a spectrum of tropical plants, have potentials for the nutraceutical industry in the region. The identified terrestrial flora and marine organisms (including Spirulina and Chlorella) on the account of their economic and commercial importance, can be exploited in the short and medium terms to produce raw materials for export to countries with already well-established nutraceutical manufacturing plants; and in the long term, theses raw materials can be channeled in the nutraceutical value chain for local production and exportation of finished products. This calls for a sustained, responsible balance of supply to meet demand for the long-term health of these markets.

Declaration of patient consent

Patient’s consent not required as there are no patients in this study.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

OIA is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Zurvita, Houston Texas, USA.

TB is Executive Director at Mauritius Research and Innovation Council, Mauritius.

HR, TB, BR, DR-B, NB, OIA, and VSN were consultants for the Mauritius Economic Development Board to assess in 2020, the Development of a nutraceutical framework and industry in Mauritius.

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