The first “International Symposium on Superfruits: Myth or Truth?” was held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on 1-3 July 2013, organized by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Tropical Fruits Network (TFNet), and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam (MARD). Ninety participants from 18 countries attended the symposium, including Australia, Nigeria, Sudan, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, Netherlands, and USA.  Participants represented international organizations, government agencies, academic and research institutions, and the private sector.

Generally, symposium participants agreed that the superfruit label is an innovative marketing strategy to sell fruit products, targeted for consumers who demand healthy food options that can prevent chronic diseases and ultimately increase longevity. Whether a fruit is super or not remains debatable because the precise effects of phytochemicals on humans are difficult to measure. However, superfruits have established their position in the market and are here to stay. Developing countries should capitalize on branding and marketing tropical fruits as the next superfruit. The potential of superfruits in enhancing food security and generating income to smallholders in developing countries is immense. The Symposium also discussed interventions to fully integrate smallholders in the value chain, including organization of farmer groups, infrastructure support, and appropriate policies.


The Proceedings is available for download in the FAO website under related links or here.




Powerpoint presentations



Session 1. Defining Superfruits

Session 2. Getting Superfruits to Market

Session 3: Technical and Institutional Issues and Constraints

Session 4: Enhancing Food Security for Smallholder Producers

Parallel Session 1: Value Chains and Production Technology of Potential Superfruits

Parallel Session 2: Value Chains and Production Technology of Potential Superfruits.

Parallel Session 3: Selection, Postharvest, Pest and Disease Management and Processing of Potential Superfruits

Session 1.

Defining Superfruits


1. The impact of superfruit development on the socio-economic welfare of smallholder producers

Her Excellency Agnes Cishek

Vice Minister for Agriculture Sector Planning, Dominican Republic

Presented by:

His Excellency Mario Arvelo

Chairperson, Committee on Agriculture and Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to FAO


2. Superfruits: a gimmick or scientifically supported? How the science impacts the marketplace or vice versa

Mary Ann Lila

Director, Plants for Human Health Institute, North Carolina State University


3. Fruits are super vs superfruits

Barbara Burlingame

Deputy Director, Nutrition Division, FAO


4. Review of the scientific evidence regarding the attributes of “superfruits” and agronomic considerations

Alison Hodder

Senior Officer, Plant Protection and Protection Division, FAO


5. Therapeutic values of superfruits beyond nutrition and their value addition for commercialization

DBT Wijeratne

Additional Secretary (Agricultural Technology), Ministry of Agriculture, Sri Lanka


6. Progress on bioactive compounds and pharmacological activities of several major tropical and subtropical fruits in China

Yi Ganjun

Vice President, Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Science, China


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Session 2:

Getting Superfruits to Market


1. Supply and demand trends in the global superfruits market

Lu Ann Williams

Head of Research, Innova Market Insights, BV, Netherlands


2. Developing the market potential of mangosteen as a superfruit with focus on quality enhancements, promotional requirements and market expansion

Rhoedhy Poerwanto

Professor, Bogor Agriculture University, Indonesia


3. Demand trends, market, price developments and promotional requirements for dragon fruit

Luong Ngoc Trung Lap

Southern Fruits Research Institute (SOFRI), Vietnam


4. Market potential of miracle berry in West Africa : production, consumption and trade

Omolaja Adelaja

Deputy Director, Nigerian Institute of Horticulture, Nigeria


5. Challenges on production of tropical fruits in the Philippines

Edna Anit

Assistant Director, Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), Philippines


6. Production and expansion of the export market for papaya in Asia and the Pacific

Miliakere Nawaikula

Director of Research, Ministry of Primary Industries, Fiji


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Session 3:

Technical and Institutional Issues and Constraints


1. Developing and adopting appropriate technology in superfruits production

Bob Williams

Director of Plant Industries, Northern Territory Government, Australia


2. Post-harvest requirements: farm to market and is there a case for certifying superfruits?

Errol Hewitt

Professor Emeritus, Massey University and Chairperson of ISHA Post Harvest Commission


3. Tackling technical and institutional constraints in the development of superfruits in Africa

Badreldin El Sheik Hassan

Director-General, Horticulture Sector Administration, Ministry of Agriculture, Sudan


4. Improving market access for superfruits through effective dissemination of market information to smallholders

Sisir Mitra

Chairperson, Tropical Fruits Committee, International Society for Horticultural Science


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Session 4:

Enhancing Food Security for Smallholder Producers


1. Smallholder participation in the tropical superfruits value chain: ensuring equitable share of the success to enhance their food security

Kaison Chang and Margarita Brattlof

Secretariat, Intergovernmental Group on Bananas and Tropical Fruits, FAO


2. Improving farmers’ integration into the tropical fruit value chain to entrancemarket access in Myanmar

Than Than Sein

Myanmar Fruit, Flower and Vegetable ProducerAnd Exporter Association, Myanmar


3. Implementing effective policies to enhance market access and improve smallholder integration into tropical superfruit value chains

Yacob Ahmad

Chief Executive Officer, International Tropical Fruits Network


4. Policy advice to enhance smallholder food security

Mario Arvelo

Chairperson, Committee on Agriculture and Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to FAO


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Parallel Session 1:

Value Chains and Production Technology of Potential Superfruits


1. Aiming on a direct delivery of mangosteen from hill to city

Juejan Tangtermthong

Agricultural and Food Marketing Association for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand


2. Malaysian carambola from a rising star to a global leader

Zabedah Mahmood

Director-General, Horticulture Horticulture Research Center, MARDI, Malaysia


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Parallel Session 2:

Value Chains and Production Technology of Potential Superfruits


1. Experience in commercialising of Canarium odontophyllum Miq.: A potential superfruit of Sarawak

Pearlycia Brooke

Department of Agriculture Sarawak, Malaysia


2. Tree distance and replacement of citrus greening diseased trees of king mandarin for a superfruit

Katsuya Ichinose

Resident Officer, Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Centre, Japan


3. Studies on identification of pitaya (Hylocereus undatus) yellow cladode-brown spot and the evaluation of some antagonisms, agrochemicals against the pathogens under laboratory conditions

Nguyen Thanh Hieu

Southern Horticultural Research Institute, Vietnam


4. King mandarin rated as a superfruit in Southern Vietnam by the introduction of tree training and pruning

Kazuyoshi Yuasa

Project Officer, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan


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Parallel Session 3:

Selection, Postharvest, Pest and Disease Management and Processing of Potential Superfruits


1. Evaluation and selection of early lychee cultivars in Vietnam

Nguyen Van Dung

Fruit and Vegetable Research Institute, Vietnam


2. Survey on the postharvest quality and management of dragon fruits exported from Vietnam to Holland

Nguyen Van Phong

Southern Horticultural Research Institute, Vietnam


3. Phytophthora citricola: New finding pathogen on durian in Vietnam, control models and preliminary results on varieties screen against Phytophthora spp.

Nguyen Van Hoa

Southern Horticultural Research Institute, Vietnam


4. Infestation of pomelo fruit borer Citripestis Sagittiferella (Moore) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in Vietnam and the effect of compact fluorescent lamp as a repellent

Le Quoc Dien

Southern Horticultural Research Institute, Vietnam


5. Total phenolic contents and antioxidant activity of Musa AAA Berangan after UV-C Radiation

Phebe Ding

Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia


6. Commercialization of clarified salak beverage using enzymatic treatment and microfiltration technology

Wan Izzuddin Sulaiman

Corporate and Technical Director, Team Biovision Sdn Bhd, Malaysia


7. Study of characterization of pectin gel extracted from Malaysian pomelo fruits (Citrus Maxima merr.) peels as a noble food ingredient

Chek Zaini Hassan

Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Malaysia


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