BANGKOK - Researchers at Nare-suan University in Phitsanulok, northern Thailand, have developed a mango that can reduce the risk of contracting some cancers.
They've also devised a roll-on application for women that's both a deodorant and removes armpit hair.
The breakthroughs unveiled this week were financed by the Thailand Research Fund under the Royal Golden Jubilee PhD Programme.
Faculty of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment lecturer Asst Prof Dr Peerasak Chaiprasart explained that the improved Mahachanok mango is enhanced with anti-oxidants anthocyanin and carotenoid.
Carotenoid, found in yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables, strengthens the immune system and reduces the risk of various cancers, heart disease, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration in the retina of the eye.
Anthocyanin, which yields red, purple and blue pigments, slows cell degeneration and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke and kills pathogenic micro-organisms in the gastrointestinal system.
Dr Peerasak said the Mahachanok mango (Mangifera indica) - a hybrid of Thai Nang Klang Wan mangoes and Australian Sunset mangoes - had red-purple or yellow-red skin when ripe.
The researchers found that introducing methyl jasmonate to pre-harvest mangoes boosted their levels of Vitamin C, glucose, fructose, sucrose and carotenoid.
Methyl jasmonate plus ethephon, both of which are safe and leave no residue, increased the carotenoid level by 50 per cent.
Dr Peerasak said the university would continue working on the project and expected that farmers would be able to cultivate Mahachanok mangoes even beyond the usual April-June growing season, and produce beautiful red and healthy fruit that's in high demand.
The hair-reducing roll-on using Waan-Ma-Haa-Mek (Curcuma aeruginosa Roxb) was developed in the university's Herb Tech research centre.
Asst Prof Kornkanok Ingkaninant said her team initially discovered that Waan-Ma-Haa-Mek extract could be used to reduce hair loss in males.
They secured a patent and passed the technology on to Siam Nawat Co last year.
Their new Waan-Ma-Haa-Mek product is a hair-reducing roll-on for women, which Kornkanok said produced significant results among 30 volunteers during four weeks of clinical testing.