Potential for novel food products from agroforestry trees: a review.
The domestication of trees for agroforestry approaches to poverty alleviation and environmental rehabilitation in the tropics depends on the expansion of the market demand for non-wood forest products. This paper reviews published data on the nutritive values of the flesh, kernels and seed oils of the 17 fruit tree species that have been identified by subsistence farmers in 4 ecoregions of the tropics as their top priorities for domestication. Each species is described in a separate brief section. In some species, genetic variation in nutritive value has been reported, but in most species there is still inadequate information on which to base programmes for the genetic improvement of these species. Farmers and agroforesters have identified many of the biological constraints relevant to their viewpoint on production, but there is a need for inputs from the food industry into the identification of the desirable traits and characteristics of potentially novel food products. This paper calls for greater collaboration between agroforesters and the food industry in the effort to promote the domestication and commercialization of under-utilized tree products.