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Shorea macrophylla: Overview of Illipe Nut Producing Tree

Ivy Yee Yen Chew, Hung Hui Chung, Melinda Mei Lin Lau, Boon Siong Wee and Siong Fong Sim

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 45, Issue 3, August 2022

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjtas.45.3.08

Keywords: Dipterocarpaceae, Engkabang, illipe nut, Shorea macrophylla, timber

Published on: 8 August 2022

Shorea macrophylla is also named as ‘Engkabang’ (Iban), ‘Kawang’ (Brunei), and ‘Tengkawang’ (Indonesia). It belongs to the Dipterocarpaceae family and is categorised under the genus Shorea, which can be found in the tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia. It prefers wet habitats, such as in periodically flooded alluvium and riverbanks. The tree size of S. macrophylla is medium or large; however, some researchers in Kalimantan claim it is a small tree. The flowering and fruiting systems of most Dipterocarps, including S. macrophylla, are irregular, but there is a massive flowering event once every few years. Its genetic structure is characterised by moderate genetic diversity within species and populations, as well as high genetic differentiation within local populations. Shorea macrophylla, also known as the Light Red Meranti, is a suitable timber supply for light construction work. It produces illipe nuts that are widely used as cocoa butter replacer fat. Wildlife eats the ripe illipe nuts, which contain a high oil content with mostly beneficial unsaturated triglycerides. The fat extracted from the nut are suitable for cosmetic application as it provides a good moisturising effect. Future investigation into the illipe nuts’ composition and other potential uses should be carried out.

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