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Family Burseraceae
Canarium odontophyllum Miq.

Scientific names Common names
Canarium beccarii Engl. Dabai (General)
Canarium multifidum H.J.Lam Borneo olive (Engl.)
Canarium oodontophyllum  Miq. Sarawak olive (Engl.)
Canarium oodontophyllum  f. multiphidum (H.J.Lam) Leenh. Sibu olive (Engl.)
Canarium palawanense  Elmer  
Canarium odontophyllum Miq. is accepted. KEW: Plants of the World Online

Other vernacular names
BORNEO: Bundui-bundui, Dabai, Dabang, Dabu, Dawai, Kambayau, Kedongdong, Kumbayan, Kurihang, Saluan.
INDONESIA: Danau majang (Sumatra), Kurihang, Dawai (Kalimantan), Kadjay.

Gen info
- Canarium odontophyllum is a fruit-bearing tree of the genus Canarium in the family Burseraceae.
- The fruit is a prized seasonal delicacy in Sarawak where it earned a fruit-dedicated festival--Pesta Dabai, held annually since 2018 in Song, Sarawak. (22)
- Species epithet 'odontophyllum' is Latin for 'toothed leaf'.

Canarium odontophyllum is a tree up to 36 m tall, with a buttressed trunk up to 86 cm in diameter.  Leaves are oblong to lanceolate with pointed tips, up to 40 cm long and 10 cm wide. Leaf margin is dentate to serrate. Flowers are borne in clusters in the leaf axils. Male flowers are 4-7 mm long and female ones 8-9 mm long. Fruits are ovoid to ellipsoid, up to 4 cm long and 2 cm wide. Fruits turn to purplish-black when fully ripe with yellow flesh. There is one seed in each fruit. (2)

- Native to the Philippines.
- Grows primarily in wet tropical biome(s).
- In undisturbed lowland forests at elevations up to 600 m; sometimes along rivers and swamps.
- Also native to Sumatera and Borneo.

- In Sarawak, cultivated for its edible fruits.

- Phytochemical screening of MeOH and water extracts of leaves yielded flavonoid, tannin, terpenoid, and phenol. (see study below)  (9)
- Study of fruit flesh and seed showed higher total anthocyanin and carotenoid content in the flesh with values of 12.75 and 2.84 mg/100 g. Total phenolic and flavonoid contents were higher in flesh with values of 11.96 mg gallic acid equivalent (GAE)/g and 10.11 mg rutin equivalent (RU)/g, respectively. (see study below)  (10)
- GC-MS analysis showed the leaf extract contained 88.93% of fatty acids and terpenoids, especially n-hexadecanoic acid, spathulenol, and phytol. (see study below)  (13)
- Phytochemical screening of acetone, methanol, and water extract of leaves yielded flavonoids, tannin and terpenoid. (see study below) (15)
- The dabai kernel possess high content of dietary fiber, up to 22%.
- Total average phenolic content for skin, flesh, and kernel is 387.5 mg gallic acid GAE/100 g, 267.0 mg GAE/100 g, and 51.0 mg GAE/100 g, respectively. (23)
- Dubai fruit yields 22.1% carbohydrate, 339 kcal of energy, 3.8% of protein, and 26.2% of fat.   (23)

- The fruit is very delicate and highly perishable. Shelf life of dabai is usually 3 days when stored in room temperature (27°C), the skin becoming crinkled due to moisture loss. Improper storage and handling reduce quality and shelf life of fruit. (18)
- Studies have suggest antidiabetic, antiatherosclerotic, antibacterial, vasorelaxant, antimalarial, antioxidant, anticholinesterase, anticancer, antileptospiral properties.

Parts used
Fruits, leaves, stem bark.


- Fruits are edible; however, the skin and flesh are hard and inedible when ripe. The fruit needs to be soaked in warm water for up to 10 minutes to soften the skin. The taste of the flesh is similar to avocado with its creamy texture and fatty taste.
- Seeds eaten as nuts, but usually discarded. (2)
- See food based products below. (21)

- No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
- Food-based products: Potential source for high-yield production of dabai oil.
Dabai fruit components with oleoresin, oil, and kernel have been utilized to make dabai cocoa bars. Dabai kernel fat partially replaced cocoa butter and oil on cocoa bar formulation. Various food products have incorporated dabai, such as dabai fried rice, dabai sauce, dabai mayonnaise, dabai ice cream, and dried dabai. (21)
- Wood: Soft, of little use.

Metals and Trace Elements :
Study evaluated  C. odontophyllum for level of toxic metals and trace elements. Molybdenum was the trace element found in highest concentration at 38.22 ppm. Calcium and magnesium were nutritionally important elements found in considerably high levels of 24.66 ppm and 32.93 ppm, respectively. The rest of 13 elements were either not detected or found within low level. Despite low arsenic level at 0.015 ppm, heavy metals Pb and Cd were not detected.  (3)
Antiatherosclerotic Effect  / Hypocholesterolemic / Fruit Parts : Study evaluated the effect of C. odontophyllum fruit parts in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Rabbits receiving defatted pulp of CO showed greatest cholesterol lowering effect as evidenced by reduced plasma LDL-C, TC, and thiobarbiturate reactive substance (TBARS) levels as well as atherosclerotic plaques. Results suggest potential use of CO defatted pulp as cholesterol lowering and antioxidant agent.  (4)
Effect on Plasma Glucose / Leaves: Study evaluated the effect of CO leaves aqueous extract on blood glucose and T lymphocyte population in spleen of STZ-induced diabetic Sprague Dawley rats. Results showed significant decrease in body weight of diabetic and CO treated diabetic group (p<0.05). Fasting blood sugar was significant lower (P<0.05). Results suggest the aqueous extract of leaves has ability to reduce blood glucose in diabetic rats.  (5)
Antimalarial / Leaves: Study showed a methanol extract of leaves with lowest plasmodium lactate dehydrogenase (pLDH) assay half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values. It was most potent against the schizont stage of Plasmodium berghei NK65. The ME showed promising antimalarial activity and potential as schizonticidal agent (Ishak et al., 2020)  (6)
Antioxidant / Fruits: Study evaluated the antioxidant properties of methanol extract of skin, flesh, and kernel of CO fruit. Average antioxidant properties (mM TE/g FM) in skin,, flesh, and kernel were 16.46, 20.54, and 8.89, respectively by DPPH assay. Other assays tested were FRAP, ß-carotene, and OH scavenging activity. Average total phenolic content (mg GAE/100g FM) were 387.5, 267.0 and 51.0 for skin, flesh, and kernel respectively. Antioxidant activities were positively correlated with total phenolic content (0.71≤5≤0.84).  (7)
Vasorelaxant Effect / Leaves: Study evaluated the effects of CO aqueous leaf extract on isolated aortic rings. The leaf aqueous extract (3-15 mg/ml) induced relaxation in endothelium-intact and endothelium-denuded aortic rings precontracted with PE. Results suggest the vasorelaxant effect of CO leaves was endothelim-independent and possibly mediated through the blockade of voltage-dependent calcium channel and receptor-operated calcium channel.  (8)
Antibacterial / Leaves: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of leaf extracts of CO against two gram positive (S. aureus, B. cereus) and two gram negative (E. coli, P. aeruginosa) bacteria by agar well diffusion method. Acetone and methanol extracts of leaves showed concentration-dependent  antimicrobial activity towards growth inhibition of S. aureus with MIC values of 0.391 mg/ml.  (9)
Antioxidative / Anti-Cholinesterase / Fruit Flesh and Seed: Study evaluated the antioxidant activity, phytochemicals, and acetylcholinesterase inhibitor potential of extracts of fruit flesh and seed. The flesh of fruit showed higher antioxidant activity using DPPH, ABTS, and FRAP assays. Anti-cholinesterase activity was higher in seeds, suggesting other phytochemical constituents may be responsible for the effects. Similar contents and activities were observed in the distilled water extract. (see constituents above)  (10)
Cytotoxicity / Genotoxicity / HCT116 Human Colorectal Cancer Cell Line / Stem Bark: Study  evaluated the cytotoxic and genotoxic effect of stem bark extracts against HCT 116 human colorectal cancer cell lines. The acetone extract exhibited highest cytotoxicity effect. Primary cell death was via apoptosis. Low doses of acetone extract from stem bark showed significant DNA damage in HCT 116 cells. Results suggest great potential for an anticancer agent against HCT116 cells with no cytotoxic effect against human colon fibroblast cells.  (11)
Protective Effect of Pulp and Kernel Oils: Study compared the effects of pulp and kernel oils of C. odontophyllum on lipid profile, lipid peroxidation, and oxidative stress of healthy rabbits. Supplementation of CO pulp oil resulted in favorable changes in blood lipid and lipid peroxidation (increased HDL-C, reduced LDL-C, TG, TBARS levels) with enhancement of SOD, GPx, and plasma TAS levels. Supplementation with kernel oil caused lowering of plasma TVC and LDL-C as well as enhancement of SOD and TAS levels. Results suggest the oils of CO can be beneficial in improving lipid profile and antioxidant status as part of a normal diet. The oils can be a substitute to vegetable oil. (12)
Antioxidant / Cytotoxic Effect on UVB-Induced  Human Keratinocytes / Leaves: Study evaluated the antioxidant capacity of hexane extract of leaves and cytotoxic effects on UVB-induced human keratinocytes (HaCaT). FRAP assay showed antioxidant activity with no significant difference in ascorbic acid antioxidant capacity. MTT assay showed no IC50 value for the tested extract dose on UVB-induced HaCaT. (13)
Antileptospiral Activity / Leaves: Study evaluated the antileptospiral activity of C. odontophyllum leaves against Leptospira interrogans serovar Bataviae and Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Javanica. A methanol extract showed highest percentage inhibition of 66% against L. interrogans and 74% against L. borgpetersenii, with IC50s of 4.60 mg/mL and 2.25 mg/mL, respectively. Results suggest potential for leaves extract from CO for control of leptospirosis. (14)
Cytotoxicity Against Human Colorectal Cancer Cell HCT 116 / Leaves: Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer in Malaysia after breast cancer. Study evaluated the cytotoxic effect of various leaf extracts against human HCT 116 colorectal carcinoma cells using MTT assay. All extracts demonstrated cytotoxic effects after 24 hours with acetone extract showing IC50 of 0.08 mg/mL against HCT 116 cells compared to methanol and aqueous extracts IC50s of 0.10 and 0.40 mg/mL, respectively. (see constituents above) (15)
Antimalarial / Leaves: Study evaluated the antimalarial activity of C. odontophyllum leaf extracts (methanol, acetone, aqueous) against erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium berghei NK65 using Plasmodium Lactate Dehydrogenase (pLDH) Assay and SYBR green I fluorescence Assay. All three leaf extracts were effective on Plasmodium berghei NK65, with the methanol extract showing most promising result. (16)
Anti-Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / Leaves: Study evaluated the antimicrobial potential of CO leaves against Methicillin-resistant S. aureus, Candida albicans, C. krusei, C. tropicalis, Aspergilus fumigatus, A. niger and A. flavus. Out of all microbes tested, only MRSA was found susceptible towards acetone and methanol extracts of CO leaves, which showed dose dependent growth inhibitory effect against MRSA. MICs for methanol and acetone extracts were 6,25 and 3.125 mg/ml. MBC of the methanol extract was twice MIC (12.5 mg/ml), whereas MIC and MBC of acetone extract against MRSA were the same (3.125 mg/ml). Results suggest a potential alternative phytotherapeutic agent against MRSA infection. (17)
Toxicological Effect Against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia CCL-119 Cell Line: Study evaluated the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of CO acetone extract against CCL-119, a childhood T-ALL malignancy cell line. CO IC25 and IC50 were 0.37 and 0.93 mg/ml respectively, while DEX (dexamethasone) IC25 and IC50 were 0.15 and 0.32 mg/ml respectively. Mode of cell death was via apoptosis. Cell morphological study showed blebbing and shrinkage of cells following CO and DEX treatments. Results suggest CO has potential to be developed into ALL treatment, which may improved life expectancy of pediatrics with leukemia. (19)
Time-Kill Assay and Post-Antibiotic Effect Against MRSA Mu50 Strain / Stem Bark: Study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of stem bark extract of CO against MRSA Mu50 strain in measures of rate of killing by extract (time kill assay) and post-antibiotic effect. The extract exhibited bacteriostatic effect against MRSA Mu50. The acetone bark extract showed comparable time-killing kinetic with standard antibiotic. The PAE time was 3.6 h against MRSA compared to vancomycin at 2.4 h. Results showed the stem bark acetone extract demonstrated concentration-dependent bactericidal effect with prolonged PAE time against MRSA Mu50 strain. (20)
Potential of Fruit as Alternative Fat: Dabai has potential as a source of alternative fat. The most abundant fatty acids in the fruit are oleic (18:1), linoleic (18:2), and palmitic (16:0), with percentages comparable to palm oil. The fruit is low in moisture but with high fat content. The fat contributes to the high energy content of the fruit. Fruit contains 29.58 to 37.07% fat and contributes 504.12 to 567.12 kcal of energy. The pulp and kernel oils has potential for use as healthy cooking oils due to its favorable fatty acid profile, good source of unsaturated fatty acids, and high antioxidant activity. The defatted peel has shown modest cardioprotective effect in invitro and invivo studies, possibly due to high dietary fiber content and antioxidant activity. Defatted peel increases cellular antioxidant enzymes, i.e., SOD and glutathione peroxidase in rabbits and inhibits lipid peroxidation. (21)
Nano-Carbon Mixture / Potential for Phytoremediation: The nanocarbon-based mixture was shown to be an effective adsorbent for removing dyes and heavy metals from wastewater via adsorption. Study reports on the preparation and property evaluation of a bio-carbon mixture made from Dabai nutshell with addition of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and montmorillonite (MMT) clay. (24)


November 2022

                                                 PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Canarium odontophyllum - Borneo olive / © Trade Winds Fruit / click on image to go to source page / TradeWindsFruit
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo: Canarium odontophyllum - tree portion / © fruitipedia click on image to go to source page / Fruitipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Canarium odontophyllum Miq. / KEW: Plants of the Woorld Online

Canarium odontophyllum Miq / National Parks: FLORA & FAUNA WEB
Canarium odontophyllum fruit as a rich source of nutritionally important minerals and beneficial trace elements / Dayang Fredalina Basri,, Nur Faizah Abu Bakar / International Journal of Medicinal Plants, 2014; Photon 107: pp 590-595 / ISJN: 6672-4384
Antiatherosclerotic Effect of Canarium odontophyllum Miq. Fruit Parts in Rabbits Fed High Cholesterol Diet / Faridah Hanim Shakirin, Azrina Azlan, Amin Ismail, Zulkhairi Amom, Lau Cheng Yuon / Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2012; 2012: 838604 / DOI: 10./1155/2012/838604 / PMID: 22811751
Effects of Canarium odontophyllum leaves on plasma glucose and T lymphocyte population in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats / Shafikha Mohd Saari, Nor Malia Abd Warif et al / Saudi J Biol Sci., 2017; 24(2): pp 320-323 / PMID: 28149168 / DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2015.09.032
Canarium odontophyllum Miq. (Dabai) Leaf Phytoextracts and Their Medicinal Properties / Muhammad Wahizul Hazwan Abdul Aziz, Siti Fathiah Masre, Dayang Fredalina Basri, Ahmad Rohi Ghazali / Pertanika J. Sci. & Technol. 2022; 30(3): pp 2115-2125 / DOI: 10.47836/pjst.30.3.20
Antioxidant properties of methanolic extract of Canarium odontophyllum fruit / A Azrina, Nurul Nadiah M N, I Amin / International Food Research Journal, 2010; 17: pp 319-326
The vasorelaxant effect of Canarium odontophyllum Miq. (Dabai) extract in rat thoracic aorta / Dayang Fredalina Basri, Nur Sa'adah Abdul Rahman, Shafreena Shaukat, Satirah Zainalabidin / Egyptian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 2018; 5(1): pp 75-79 / DOI: 10.1016/j.ejbas.2017.11.004
Phytoconstituent Screening and Antibacterial Activity of the Leaf Extracts from Canarium odontophyllum Miq. / Dayang Fredalina Basri, Nur Hafidzah Mohd Nor / American Journal of Plant Sciences, 2014; 5(19)

Antioxidative Phytochemicals and Anti-Cholinesterase Activity of Native Kembayau (Canarium odontophyllum) Fruit of Sabah, Malaysian Bornea / Siti-Hawa Ali-Hassan, Jeffrey R Fry, Mohd-Fadzelly Abu-Bakar / Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences, 2013; 4(1) / DOI: 10.4172/2155-9600.1000249 / ISSN: 2155-9600
Assessment of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of stem bark extracts from Canarium odontophyllum Miq (dabai) against HCT 116 human colorectal cancer cell lilne
/ Dayang Fredalina Basri, Zafira Ayushah Zainul Alamin, Kok Meng Chan / BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies, 2015; 16(36) /
DOI: 10.1186/s12906-016-1015-2
Protective Effect of Pulp Oil Extracted from Canarium odontophyllum Miq. Fruit on Blood Lipids, Lipid Peroxidatio, and Antioxidant Status in Healthy Rabbits / Faridah Hanim Shakirin, Azrina Azlan, Amin Ismail, Zulkhairi Amom, Lau Cheng Yuon / Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, Vol 2012: Article ID 840973 / DOI: 10.1155/2012/840973
Fatty acids and terpenoids from Canarium odontophyllum Miq. leaf and their antioxidant and cytotoxic effects on UVB-induced immortalized human keratinocyte cells (HaCaT) / Muhammad Wahizul Haswan Abdul Aziz, Dayang Fredalina Basri, Siti Fathiah Masre, Ahmad Rohi Ghazali / Malaysian Applied Biology, 2022; 51(3) / DOI: 10.55230/mabjournal.v51i3.2377
In-vitro antileptospiral activity of Canarium odontophyllum Miq. (Dabai) leaves extract / Shafariatul Akmar Ishak, Syahirah Ariffudin, Dayang Fredalina Basri et al / Malaysian Journal of Microbiology, 2019; 15(3): pp 220-225 / ISSN: 1823-8262 / Record No: 20203101639
Leaves Extract from Canarium odontophyllum Miq. (Dabai) Exhibits Cytotoxic Activity against Human Colorectal Cancer Cell HCT 116 / Dayang Fredalina Basri, Ammar Syatbi Mohd Shabry, Chan Kok Meng / Natural Products Chemistry & Research, 2015; 3(2) / ISSN: 2329-6936
Ex vivo Study of Antimalarial Activity of Canarium odontophyllum Leaf Extracts against Plasmodium berghei NK65 / Shafariatul Akmar-Ishak, Fifi Fariza-Asmi, Adibah Syahnaz-Zahari, Dayang Fredalina-Basri / Microbes, Infection, and Chemotherapy, 2021; Vol 1: e1255 / ISSN: 2789-4274 /
DOI: 10.54034/mic.e1255
The potential of Canarium odontophyllum Miq. (Dabai) as anti-methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus agent / D F Basri, N H Zainal, J Santhanam / International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2014; 6(9) / eISSN: 0975-1491 / pISSN: 2656-0097
Dabai Fruit: Postharvest Handling and Storage / Siti Hajar Ariffin et al / Advances in Agricultural and Food Research Journal, 2020; 1(2) / DOI: 10.36877/aafrj.a0000126
Toxicological Effect of Canarium odontophyllum Extract Against Acute Lymphoblastic Leukema CLL-119 Cell Line / Elda Surhaida Latif, Dayang Fredalina Basri, Tava Shelan Nagapan / International Journal of Scientific Research in Environmental Science and Toxicology, 2018; 3(1): pp 1-8 / ISSN: 2572-3162
Time-kill assay and post-antibiotic effect of acetone extract from the stem bark of Canarium odontophyllum against Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus Mu50 strain / Dayang Fredalina Basri, Nur Azmina Yahya, Nur Amira Mohd Shamsuddin / JABB: Journal of Applied Biology & Biotechnology, 2019; 7(3) /
DOI: 10.7324/JABB.2019.70303
Exploring Dabai (Canarium odontophyllum), Indigenous Fruit of Borneo: A Review of Nutritional Values, Potential Uses, Emerging Application in Essential Oil Processing, and Health Benefits / Muhammad Hazwan Hamzah, Moyd Salahuddin Mohd Basri, Maimunah Mohd Ali et al / Plants, 2022; 11: 2646 /
DOI: 10.3390/plants11192646
Canarium odontophyllum / Wikipedia
Mini-review: Phytology of Dabai (Canarium odontophyllum) as a potential functional food / M Mundi, M H Rawi, N Saupi, S R Sarbini / Food Research, 2022; 6(1): pp 296-303 / eISSN: 2550-2166
Synthesis and characterization of novel nano-carbon mixture from Dabai (Canarium odontophyllum) nutshell / A Anak James, M R Rahman , D Huda, M M Rahman et al / Bioresources, 2022; 17(3): pp 4452-4469  / DOI: 10.15376/biores.17.3.4452-4469


DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

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