|Etymology||Genus||To bite, reference to the seeds which look like they are bitten|
|Species||After Cochinchina, a region which is now part of south Vietnam|
|Synonyms||Muricia cochinchinensis Lour.|
|Common Names||Spiny Bitter Gourd, Gấc|
|Status||Exotic: Cultivated Only|
|Native Distribution||Southeast Asia|
The fruits are consumed for dietary and medicinal uses, especially by the Vietnamese. There, the aril of the ripe fruit is widely used as a rice colorant due to the extraordinarily rich concentration of lycopene (Vuong, et al., 2006). It also contains contains high levels of beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol.
The Spiny Bitter Gourd, in the Edible Pavilion Garden, 2020.
Vuong LT, Franke AA, Custer LJ, Murphy SP (2006) Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng. (gac) fruit carotenoids reevaluated. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 19: 664-668