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Comparative Cytotoxic Assessment of Hydro-methanolic Extracts Derived from Ripe Morinda citrifolia L. Fruit (Fresh, Dried, Pasteurized Juice) and Dried Seeds on Eukaryotic Normal and Carcinogenic Cellular Models
* 1, 2, 3 , 2 , 4
1  Department of Medical Science in Acupuncture, Faculty of Health Sciences, KIU, Sri Lanka
2  Department of Food Science & Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
3  Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.
4  Department of Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Livestock, Fisheries, & Nutrition, Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, Makandura, Gonawila (NWP), Sri Lanka.
Academic Editor: Hamada Elwan


Morinda citrifolia L., commonly known as noni fruit, are frequently processed into wellness drinks, puree, wine, powder, and nutraceuticals, while their seeds are used for vegetable oil production, both suitable as food additives. Among these products, Noni juice gained popularity for its nutraceuticals and high therapeutic values worldwide. Recently, Noni juice was established as a novel food in the European Union. However, in Sri Lanka, insufficient scientific research was conducted in the past to assess its toxicity, leading to misconceptions among the population due to its rancid flavor. Most people were not aware of its therapeutic benefits, and the primary cultivation of noni was for export purposes. This study aimed to assess the cytotoxic effects of hydro-methanolic extracts from fresh noni fruits, dried noni fruits, pasteurized noni fruit juice, and dried noni seeds on normal (BHK) and cancer (Hep2) cells. The extraction process involved 80% methanol extraction, followed by filtration, and the extracts were evaluated using the MTT colorimetric assay. The IC50 values of the extracts were determined for each cell type. The LC50 values for fresh noni fruits in BHK cells were 0.9759 mg/ml and in Hep2 cells were 0.674 mg/ml. For dried noni fruits, the values were 1.0409 mg/ml (BHK) and 0.9537 mg/ml (Hep2), while pasteurized noni fruit juice showed values of 1.1824 mg/ml (BHK) and 0.9716 mg/ml (Hep2). Dried noni seeds exhibited LC50 values of 1.6822 mg/ml (BHK) and 1.08 mg/ml (Hep2). The results revealed that the hydro-methanolic extract of noni fruits displayed dose-dependent toxicity towards cancer cells, while normal cells were less affected. Interestingly, the cytotoxic effect was reduced with fruit processing, and dried seeds exhibited lower toxicity compared to the different fruit forms. These findings suggest that noni fruit extracts possess potential cytotoxicity against cancer cells and that processing conditions can modulate this effect. Further research is warranted to elucidate the specific bioactive compounds responsible for the observed effects and their underlying mechanisms.

Keywords: Morinda citrifolia L, cytotoxicity, cancer cells, food additives