Durian Fruit

#1
I'd never heard of this until today, but apparently it's popular in Indonesia and Malaysia.

The news today was that 550 people in the library at the University of Canberra in Australia were evacuated because of a smell that people thought was a gas leak. Responding firemen discovered a discarded Durian fruit in a trashcan.

https://nypost.com/2019/05/13/durian-fru...-gas-leak/

It's not the first time. A building at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology was evacuated last year because of a Durian in a cupboard, which people once again reported as a gas leak.

The fruit is a large thing, native to Borneo and Sumatra, weighing up to 1 to 3 kilograms (2 to 7 pounds). It's spiky on the outside, but soft on the inside. Alfred Russel Wallace (the natural selection guy) described its taste as "a rich custard highly flavoured with almonds". But its smell is another matter. Wikipedia says, "Some people regard the durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance, whereas others find the aroma overpowering with an unpleasant odour. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as rotten onions, turpentine and raw sewage." The smell will linger for days and for that reason the fruit has been banned from hotels and public transportation in parts of Southeast Asia.


[Image: 220px-Durian.jpg]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durian
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#3
The German Research Center for Food Chemistry lab analyzed the durian fruit to discover what makes it so... stinky. They found at least 50 compounds in the fruit with strong smells. Some of the compounds smell good by themselves, others bad, but none of them individually smells like a durian. That unique eww-iness is apparently the result of the whole cocktail.

But it won't kill you and Indonesian and Malaysian locals eat the things.

Except... according to Smithsonian Magazine... "According to a 2009 Japanese study, durian extract strongly inhibits the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), used by the liver to break down alcohol. This might account for a piece of traditional Asian folklore: that getting intoxicated while eating durians can lead to death."

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-n...149205532/

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf303881k
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#4
(May 13, 2019 09:41 PM)Yazata Wrote: The German Research Center for Food Chemistry lab analyzed the durian fruit to discover what makes it so... stinky. They found at least 50 compounds in the fruit with strong smells. Some of the compounds smell good by themselves, others bad, but none of them individually smells like a durian. That unique eww-iness is apparently the result of the whole cocktail.

But it won't kill you and Indonesian and Malaysian locals eat the things.

Except... according to Smithsonian Magazine... "According to a 2009 Japanese study, durian extract strongly inhibits the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), used by the liver to break down alcohol. This might account for a piece of traditional Asian folklore: that getting intoxicated while eating durians can lead to death."

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-n...149205532/

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf303881k

At first glance they superficially reminded me of moonflower (datura) seed pods that have dried and turned slightly yellowish to brownish. But they're not as sharply pointy and small/light, with no edible flesh inside. Not to mention poisonous rather than contingently dangerous.  


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QmVI_V1GEc
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