Family • Bombacaceae - Durio zibethinus Murr. - DURIAN - Liu Lian

Scientific names

Durio zibethinus Murr.
Durio acuminatissima Merr.
Durio foetida Thunb.

Common names

Dulian (Lan., Sul., Mag., Bag.)
Duren (Indonesia)
Durian (Lan., Span., Engl.)
Durio (Bag.)
Duryan (Tag., Ilk.)
Duyan (Sul.)
Civet-cat fruit tree (Engl.)
Civet fruit (Engl.)
Common durian (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

BURMESE: Du-yin.
CHINESE: Liu lian.
DUTCH: Doerian, Stinkvrucht.
GERMAN: Durianbaum, Stinkfrucht, Zibetbaum.
KHMER: Thu-reen.
KOREAN: Du ri an.
LAOTIAN: Thourien.
MALAY: Duren (Java), Durian (Malaysia), Durian puteh.
SPANISH: Durión.
THAI: Thurian.
VIETNAMESE: S[aaf]u r[ee]ng, Sau rieng.

Gen info 
In Southeast Asia, considered the “King of Fruits.”


Durian is a tree that grows to a height of 20 meters or more. Leaves are dark green, smooth and shiny above, cinnamon-colored and scaly beneath, oblong to obovate-oblong, about 15 to 25 centimeters long, 5 to 9 centimeters wide. Flowers are white to yellowish-white, about 7.5 centimeters in diameter, with a pouchlike calyx. Fruit is globular, very large, 15 to 25 centimeters long, covered by a hard shell with stiff, sharp spines, weighing as much as 3 kilos or more. Shell breaks into five parts to which the flesh adhere. In each section of the fruit, there are 2 to 6 very large seeds covered by the flesh (aril). The flesh is soft and whitish, with the consistency of soft cheese, with a characteristic unpleasant rank and repugnant odor of bad smelling cheese. The seeds are eaten, either boiled or roasted.


– Cultivated for its highly prized fruit.
– Not known to exist in a wild state in the Philippines.
– Found in Agusan, Butuan, Lanao, Zamboanga, Cotobato, and Davao Provinces in Mindanao, and in the Sulu Archipelago.
– Also occurs in Indo-China, the Malay Peninsula, Java, Sumatra, Borneo, Celebes, and the Moluccas mostly in cultivation.


• The odor of the flesh believed to be dues to indole compounds which are bacteriostatic.
• Study identified the three strongest sulfury durian odorants and one non-sulfurous odorant with the highest odor impact.
• Study on the fruit odorants identified ethyl 2-methylbutanoate to have the highest odor impact among non-sulfurous odorants in durian.
• The fruit yields considerable amounts of phenolics, flavonoids, and carotenoids.
• Study for volatile compounds identified 108 compounds, including 48 esters, 18 sulfur compounds, 16 carbonyl compounds, 11 alcohols, 7 hydrocarbons, and 7 miscellaneous components.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Durian / Durio zibethinus L. / Purdue.Edu

(2) Inhibition of aldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme by Durian (Durio zibethinus Murray) fruit extract / John S. Maninang, Ma.Concepcion C. Lizada b and Hiroshi Gemmaa/ Food Chemistry Vol 117, Issue 2, 15 Nov 2009, Pages 352-35 / doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2009.03.106

(3) Sulfur-Containing Volatiles of Durian Fruits (Durio zibethinus Murr.) / J. Agric. Food Chem., 1996, 44 (10), pp 3291–3293 / DOI: 10.1021/jf960191i

(4) Durian / Joe Hing Kwok Chu / Complementary and Alternative Healing University

(5) THE EFFICIENCY OF POLYSACCHARIDE GEL EXTRACTED FROM FRUIT-HULLS OF DURIAN (DURIO ZIBETHINUS L.) FOR WOUND HEALING IN PIG SKIN / P. Chansiripornchai, C. Pramatwinai, A. Rungsipipat, S. Ponsamart, O. Nakchat / ISHS Acta Horticulturae 679: III WOCMAP Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants – Volume 5: Quality, Efficacy, Safety, Processing and Trade in Medicinal and Aromatic Plants

(6) Pharmaceutical and Dermatocosmetic Compositions Comprising Extract of Durio Zibenthinus 

(7) Screening of the antioxidant and nutritional properties, phenolic contents and proteins of five durian cultivars / FERNANDO TOLEDO, PATRICIA ARANCIBIA-AVILA, YONG-SEO PARK, SOON-TECK JUNG, SEONG-GOOK KANG, BUK GU HEO, JERZY DRZEWIECKI, ZOFIA ZACHWIEJA, PAWEL ZAGRODZKI, PAWEL PASKO6 & SHELA GORINSTEIN / International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, August 2008; 59(5): 415-417

(8) CALORIES IN Fresh Fruits: Durian, raw, edible portion / Calorie King

(9) Physicochemical Properties of Whole and Fresh Cut Durian (Durio Zibethinus) Stored At Ambient and Refrigerated Temperatures / Voon, Yit Yang (2008) / PhD thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.

(10) Sorting Durio names / Porcher Michel H. et al. 1995 – 2020 / Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database – A Work in Progress / Institute for Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne.

(11) Synergistic Activity of Chloroform Extract of Durio zibethinus Wood Bark With Penicillin G Against Staphylococcus aureus. / Sivananthan Manoharan / Int J Biol Med Res. 2013; 4(2) : 3025- 3027

(12) Analysis of Aroma Volatile Profile of Philippine Durian Pulp (Durio zibethinus Rumph. ex Murray) using Headspace Solid Phase Microextraction (HS-SPME) coupled with GC-MS / Princess Tiffany G. Dantes,* John S. Maninang, Arnold R. Elepaño, Hiroshi Gemma / 13th ASEAN Food Conference, 9-11 September 2013, Singapore

(13) Characterization of the Major Odor-Active Compounds in Thai Durian (Durio zibethinus L. ‘Monthong’) by Aroma Extract Dilution Analysis and Headspace Gas Chromatography–Olfactometry / Jia-Xiao Li , Peter Schieberle , and Martin Steinhaus / J. Agric. Food Chem., 2012, 60 (45), pp 11253–11262
DOI: 10.1021/jf303881k

(14) GC-MS analysis of volatile compounds in durian (Durio zibethinus Murr.) / J. Jiang, S.Y. Choo, N. Omar, N. Ahamad / Developments in Food Science, Volume 40, 1998, Pages 345–352

(15) Durio zibethinus—durian / WorldAgroForestry

(16) Evaluation of Bioactive Potential in Durian Fruit (Durio zibethinus) Samples Using Pathogens / Dhasarathan P, Paulsi S. / Asian J Phar Biol Res. 2011; 1(1): 1-7.

(17) Isolation and Aphrodisiac Screening of the Fruits of Durio zibenthinus Linn. / P. Venkatesh, K. Hariprasath, V. Soumya, M. Prince Francis and S. Sankar / Asian Journal of Biological Sciences, 3: 1-17, 2010

(18) Crude methanolic extract activity from rinds and seeds of native durian (Durio zibethinus) against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus / Nera O. Duazo, Jing R. Bautista* and Franco G. Teves / African Journal of Microbiology Research Vol. 6(35), pp. 6483-6486, 13 September, 2012 / DOI: 10.5897/AJMR12.1180

(19) Comparative in vivo study of the antifungal effect against Candida albicans and wound healing property of durian (Durio zibethinus Murr.) seed extract versus Nystatin / Abdul, E.A., Abiera, E.M., Alvarez, A.T., Cueco, M.L., Dael, M.L., Sharma, J.G. / AGRIS-International Information System for the Agricultural Science and Technology


– Fruit is considered tonic, operative, depurative, and vermifuge.
– Possess a repugnant odor that bans it from hotel lobbies and rooms.

Nutritional Facts 
• Serving size: 1 – cup, chopped or diced (8.6 oz)
• Calories 357
• Total Fat 13.0 g
• Cholesterol 0 mg
• Total Carbs 65.8 g
• Fiber 9.2 g
• Protein 3.6 g
• Calcium 14.6 mg
• Potassium 1059.5 mg *

• High Potassium Content: As a potassium-rich food it could be a good fruit to supplement potassium needs of patients on diuretic therapy. However, it’s potassium content should be of concern in patients with kidney failure or varying degrees of renal impairment or those already taking other forms of potassium supplementation or potassium-sparing diuretics.

Parts used
Fruit, leaves, and root.

· Fruit is a good source of carbohydrates, with significant amounts of protein and vitamin B and C. Pulp is eaten raw, cooked as vegetable, frozen or dried. In Indonesia, pulp is fermented for a side dish or mixed with fleshy arils with rice and sugar for a local dish called lempong.
· Seeds are eaten, boiled or roasted.

· Decoction of root and leaves taken for fevers.
· Leaves are used in medicinal baths for jaundice.
· The juice is used in a solution for bathing the head of a patient with fever.
· In Java, fruit walls used externally for skin problems.
· In Malaya, decoction of leaves and roots used as febrifuge.
· Leaf juice applied on head for fever.
· Decoction of leaves and fruits used for swelling and skin diseases.
· Flesh used as aphrodisiac.
· In China, decoction of leaves and roots used for fever. Used for colds, phlegm. Leaves used in medicinal baths for patients with jaundice. Ash of burned rind taken after childbirth. Used to improve sexual function.
· In Malaysia, leaf juice applied to head for fever.
· A Malay prescription for fever is a decoction or poultice of boiled roots of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Durio zibethinus, Nephelium longan, Nephelium mutabile and Artocarpus integrifolia. source

· Dried rinds burned as fuel and used to smoke fish.
· Ash used to bleach silk.
· Timber: Heartwood is dark red, relatively durable and used for interior construction, cheaper types of furniture and packing cases.

Study Findings
• Lipid Entrapment / Lipid Lowering Effect / Fruit Hulls: Study evaluated the lipid entrapment property of a polysaccharide gel extracted from fruit hulls of durian. Results suggest that PG from fruit-hulls of durian may be a potential dietary fiber/ medicinal supplement for a blood lipid / cholesterol lowering effect.
• Durian-Alcohol Combination:Study investigated the adverse, and sometime lethal, effect of ingesting durian while imbibing alcohol with its Disulfiram-Ethanol type reaction arising from inhibition of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH).
• Immunomodulatory / Antibacterial:Polysaccharide gel from the fruit rind of D zibethinus has been characterized to be a pectic polysaccharide with immunomodulating and antibacterial activities.
• Hyperthermic Effect / Paracetamol Interaction: Believed to have body-warming properties with concerns on consumption with paracetamol. Rat study showed no significant body temperature elevation. Rats receiving a durian-paracetamol combination showed a significant drop in body temperature. No mechanism for toxicity was identified.
• Antibacterial / Wound Healing Effect: Polysaccharide gel extracted from fruit-hulls of durian was prepared as a preparation of dressing film for use in the treatment of full-thickness excisional wounds in swine. Results showed the PG dressing film treated wounds showed showed a beneficial effect on wound healing with more rapid wound closure.
• Bactericidal Effect / Wound Healing: Bactericidal effect of polysaccharide gel was clearly demonstrated against S. aureus and E. coli. Study showed accelerated wound healing.
• Phenolic Content / Antioxidant Effect: Study showed the durian cultivars’ high bioactivity and total polyphenols were the main contributors to the overall antioxidant capacity and provides a source of nutritional supplement.
• Fruit-Hulls Antimicrobial Activity: PG inhibited the growth of 2 bacterial strains tested: S aureus and E coli. The yeast strains were resistant.
• Physiochemical Properties / Storage: Study on ambient and refrigerated storage showed the pulp can be stored for 21-days, after which off-flavor develops and the green aroma becomes too intense and renders the pulp unacceptable.
• Antioxidant / Phytochemicals: Study showed caffeic acid and quercetin were the dominant antioxidant substances in durian. Ripe durian showed high bioactivity and the total polyphenols were main contributors to the overall antioxidant property.
• Wood Bark / Synergism with Penicillin G: Study showed the synergistic activity of a chloroform extract of Durio zibethinus wood bark with Penicillin G against Staphylococcus aureus. Although the effect was mild, authors suggest it is possible that DZ can reverse resistance and potentiate the effect of common penicillin against resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
• Aroma Volatile Profile / Pulp: Study analyzed the aroma volatile compounds of the Philippine “Puyat” durian. The pulp produced 22 volatiles composed of 15 esters, 6 sulfurs, and 1 thioacetal. Ethyl propanoate, ethyl octanoate, propyl propanoate, ethyl 2-methyl butanoate and diethyl disulfide were the major compounds identified.
• Major Odor Active Compounds: Dilution analysis applied on the volatile fraction isolated 44 odor-active compounds in the flavor dilution (FD) factor range of 1-16384, identifying 41, of which 24 had not been reported before. High FD factors were found for ethyl (2S)-2-methylbutanoate (fruity; FD 16384), ethyl cinnamate (honey; FD 4096), and 1-(ethylsulfanyl)ethanethiol (roasted onion; FD 1024). Among the highly volatile compounds screened by static headspace gas chromatography–olfactometry, hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg), acetaldehyde (fresh, fruity), methanethiol (rotten, cabbage), ethanethiol (rotten, onion), and propane-1-thiol (rotten, durian) were found as additional potent odor-active compounds. (See abstract for further FD details.)
• Volatile Compounds / Taste and Odor: Study for volatile compounds identified 108 compounds.Acetoin, ethyl 2-methylbutanoate and diethyl disulfide were predominant. Esters and sulfur compounds were considered responsible for durian’s strong fruity and sulfury odors, while ketones, especially acetoin, likely contribute to its creamy flavor.
• Antimicrobial: Study evaluated the antimicrobial potential of durian fruit against human pathogens. Antibacterial activity was more pronounced in the fresh durian fruit sap. Dose dependent variations in antimicrobial activity was noted. Extracts also showed good antifungal activity. Results suggest potential antimicrobial compounds in durian fruits.
• Aphrodisiac: Study evaluated compound (3-β-hydroxy-21-Normethyl-19-vinylidenylursane), isolated from a petroleum ether extract, for aphrodisiac activity in sexually active male mice. Results showed significant aphrodisiac activity and suggest further study to identify biologically active constituents.
• Antibacterial / Rinds and Seeds: Study evaluated methanolic crude extracts from seeds and rinds of durian for antibacterial activity against hospital isolates of E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Durian seed and rind showed greater inhibition on E. coli bacterium, greater than control chloamphenicol.
• Antifungal and Wound Healing Effects Compared to Nystatin: In vivo study compared the antifungal and wound healing effects of DZ seeds extract versus Nystatin on full skin thickness wounds in rabbits. The Inflammatory Phase Grading System and Fibroplasia Phase Grading system showed better antifungal and wound healing effect for Nystatin.

• Durian with Alcohol / Inhibition of Aldehyde Dehydrogenase: Reports have been made of believed adverse and sometimes lethal effects of ingesting durian while drinking alcohol. The scientific basis has not been established. A study showed a dose-dependent inhibition of yeast ALDH (aldehyde dehydrogenase) by sulphur-rich fruit extract. Results support the role of durian fruit’s high sulphur content in its ALDH-inhibiting property providing insight into the disulfiram-ethanol-like reaction with the simultaneous fruit ingestion and alcohol consumption.

Cultivated for its fruit.