Introduction

Custard apple (Annona squamosa L.) is an edible tropical fruit, and is also called sugar apple or sweetsop. Although the exact original home of custard apple is still being debated, experts agree that its native habitat extends from Southern Central America to tropical South America.

Custard apple seeds are well known for their interesting pharmacological activities, especially for antitumor activity. It was found from a number of in vivo experiments in animals that custard apple seed extract was effective in the treatment of leukemia, liver cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, cervical cancer, etc. (Li & Fu, 2004; Liu et al., 2007).

In recent years, phytochemical and pharmacological studies on the custard apple seeds have shown that the major bioactive compounds are annonaceous acetogenins (more than 100 compounds), which have a strong antitumor activity. In this chapter, the beneficial aspects of custard apple seeds are reviewed.

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