Durian as a gift

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Durian in Beijing Supermarket

When I was reading SW’s Weekend FT, there was an article in the Life section (13th May 2012) about a fund manager who left the UK and went to Hong Kong to start a new fund investing in small and medium enterprises in China. There were some great descriptions about the difficulty of doing business there and some information which help to flavor the article for European readers. Surprisingly, there was mention of durians in the Beijing Supermarket, the equivalent of Carrefour or Tesco’s called “Wumart”, which stocked the stinky spiky fruit. No idea whether the durians are from Thailand or Malaysia but they are definitely fresh ones if they are stinking up the place!

(Funnily enough, the article says that Wumart is not Tesco or Walmart, but they haven’t been to Tesco’s or Carrefour in Malaysia! Here, we do have all sorts of chicken parts on ice and in fact all kinds of seafood too, it’s almost like a wet market in many of the hypermarts here….)

durians in beijing

Durian Gargle? Durian Handwash?

Please don’t ask me why I found this article but I did. I have a slight obsession with teeth at the moment and it was interesting to read that the husk of the durian has some antiseptic properties which some very entrepreneurial scientists are proposing to make a mouthwash with.

(The bit about toxicity and death in the research aspect of the article is particularly amusing)

Already we know that there is something in the durian pellicle that people believe can make the smell from your hands go away, as long as the water is run through it (see this post). Maybe in addition to considering the mouthwash to combat halitosis, they can make a handwash to combat the trapped aromas on skin surfaces too. Now there’s a new business idea….

From: Dental Tribune

A Durian a day keeps caries away, research from Asia suggests

by Dental Tribune Asia Pacific

LAS VEGAS, Nev., USA: A sugary gel found on the thorn-covered husks of the Durian fruit is currently under observation by researchers for its potential to work as a mouth disinfectant. Students from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Chulalongkorn in Bangkok, Thailand, recently presented their intitial findings at the Annual Meeting of the American Dental Association in Las Vegas, the online portal drbiscus.com reports.

They found that the substance made of polysaccharides was able to reduce the number of Streptococcus mutans in lab rats hours after use which would make it as effective as 0.2% chlorhexidine, a common formula used in mouth rinses. Studies on human subjects also showed a reduction of hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, and dimethyl sulphide, compounds responsible for halitosis or bad breath. No evidence of treatment-related gross toxicity or deaths caused by exposure to mouth rinse with durian polysaccharide gel (DPG) was observed, the researchers stated.

Durian is popular in many Southeast Asian countries including Thailand and Malaysia which are the world’s largest importers of the fruit. It’s root and leaves are often used in traditional medicine.

Earlier research conducted with durian polysaccharide gel have confirmed the antibacterial properties of the gel.