Chapter 5

Diversity and Utilisation of Wild Edible Fruits in Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve

R. D. Arun Raj, M. Reginald Appavoo and R. D. Anpin Raja

Abstract

Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve (ABR) in Southern Western Ghats has been identified as one of the three centers of plant diversity in India. The Kanis (kānis) or Kanikkar, an indigenous population residing in the ABR holds rich traditional knowledge on wild edible plants in this region. A total of 49 Wild edible fruits (WEF) classified among 36 genera and 26 families are consumed raw by the Kanis in ABR. Maximum number of the fruit species belong to the family Myrtaceae with eight species. The present chapter describes these underutilized fruits in the context of their diversity, multiple utility and economic potential.Nutritional composition with special regard to ascorbic acid and anthocyanin has also been emphasized. It highlights the significance of these fruits as a cheap source of nutrients, the need for sustainable processes and suitable conservation approaches to be formulated.

Total Pages: 54-65 (12)

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