Morinda citrifolia L has been reported to have a broad range of therapeutic effects, including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antitumor, antihelmin, analgesic, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, and immune enhancing effects. In the present study, shelf life of fruit juice of M. citrifolia grown in Sri Lanka was evaluated in terms of possibility of (a) decomposition of chemical compound/s (b) growth of microbes and (c) organoleptic properties of M. citrifolia juice at the initial stage and after 6 months. Possibility of decomposition of chemical compound/s in M. citrifolia juice was evaluated by means of (a) Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) fingerprint profile and (b) phytochemical classes. Microbiological analysis was done by evaluating the presence or absence of microbes (eg. counts of aerobic bacteria, Staphytococcus aureus, yeast and moulds and Escherichia coli). Organoleptic properties such as color, odour and taste of M. citrifolia juice were checked.
Results revealed that intensity of the spots bearing Rf values of 0.45, 0.60, 0.72, 0.80, 0.88 appeared in the TLC at the initial stage retained as similar after 6 months. Phytochemicals such as alkaloids, phenols, tannins, flavonoids, steroids, saponins were detected in both initial stage and after 6 months. Further, Escherichia coli, Coliforms and Salmonella were absent at initial stage and after 6 months respectively. Counts of Aerobic bacteria, Staphytococcus aureus, Yeast and Moulds were <1, <100 and <1 respectively in both stages. Organoleptic properties of Noni juice was similar at the initial stage and after 6 months. In conclusion, M. citrifolia fruit juice can be kept at room temperature without any chemical deterioration and microbial contamination for 6 months.