Open access peer-reviewed chapter - ONLINE FIRST

Mulberry as a Valuable Resource for Food and Pharmaceutical Industries: A Review

Written By

Ritwik Acharya, Trisha Bagchi and Debnirmalya Gangopadhyay

Submitted: February 25th, 2022 Reviewed: March 23rd, 2022 Published: May 4th, 2022

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.104631

Medicinal Plants Edited by Sanjeet Kumar

From the Edited Volume

Medicinal Plants [Working Title]

Dr. Sanjeet Kumar

Chapter metrics overview

24 Chapter Downloads

View Full Metrics


Mulberry is a fast growing hardy perennial woody plant belonging to the genus Morus of the family Moraceae. There are more than 60 species of the genus Morus found in the subtropical, tropical and temperate regions of Asia, Africa and North America. Cultivation of mulberry is highly economical since the leaf produced by mulberry is extensively used for feeding the silkworm, Bombyx mori for silk production. Mulberry possessing valuable nutritional and phytochemical constituents can serve as highly nutritious food for human with high therapeutic values. Mulberry fruit is rich in carbohydrate, protein and dietary fiber and an important foodstuff for the preparation of several value added items like jams, jellies, wines and syrups. Mulberry leaf has been identified as an excellent resource for the development of protein rich food products with natural antioxidant. Extracts of leaf, stem, twig, root and bark of mulberry are reported to have potential antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-hyperglycaemic, anticancer and anti-tyrosinase inhibition activity. Though mulberry is grown commercially in many countries for sericulture, its potential to be utilized as food for human consumption is not well recognized. The paper reviews the importance of mulberry as a valuable resource for various food, cosmetic, beverage and pharmaceutical industries.


  • food
  • mulberry
  • nutritional constituents
  • Phytomedicine
  • value addition

1. Introduction

Mulberry (Genus: Morus; Family: Moraceae) is an economical and widespread woody plant. In the Asian countries mulberry is widely cultivated for its leaf to feed the monophagous silkworm (Bombyx moriL.). The silkworm (B. moriL.) only naturally feed on mulberry leaf which makes mulberry the most vital component of sericulture industry that provides employment to a large number of people of India, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and many other Asian countries [1]. Other than sericulture it has an enormous economic value leads to its several unique and special features. Each single parts of mulberry plant can be used for various purposes. In India it is popularly known as ‘Kalpa Vriksha’ for its multipurpose utilities [2].

Main elements that determine the nutritional quality of any edible plant products are the qualitative and quantitative presence of protein, carbohydrate, dietary fiber and types of vitamin present inside the product; mulberry plant can be highly rated in this context [2]. Mulberry fruits in fresh condition contain carbohydrate which is present either in the form of simple sugars or in the form of starch, soluble and insoluble fibers. They are low in calorie value and high in water content. Iron, vitamin C, decent amount of potassium, vitamin E and K are predominantly found present in the fruits. They are also rich in plant compounds, like anthocyanins, that contribute to their color and positive health effects. Fruits can also improve the blood sugar level, can lower the amount of blood cholesterol, and can help in preventing fatty liver disease. Fruits are also found effective in decreasing the oxidative stress which can reduce the risk of cancer. Leaves of mulberry are also excellent food stuffs as they show nearly the same properties as the fruit. Recent findings mentioned that mulberry leaves contain high amount of bioactive compounds which mainly includes alkaloids, flavonoids, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and phenolic acids [3]. These compounds are effectively involved with antioxidation property [4, 5], as it lowers glycemia [6, 7] minimizes hypertension [8], prevents atherosclerosis, [9] and also shows anti-inflammation property [10]. Bioactive compounds like 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ), found in mulberry, seems to be a powerful inhibitor of α-glycosidase and has also shown potential therapeutic capacity for minimizing many diseases, particularly type II diabetes [11, 12]. Recent investigations also explored the very interesting tyrosinase inhibition activity of mulberry. In this regards, white mulberry (Morus alba), black mulberry (Morus nigra)and red mulberry (Morus rubra) are the most accepted worldwide species of the genus Morus[2].

Unani, Ayurveda, and Chinese systems of medicine traditionally recognize almost all mulberry varieties for their several pharmacological properties. M. nigrafruits are considered as one of the most important components having anti-cancerous properties and popularly known as ‘Tuti Aswad or Toot Aswad’ in Unani literature [13]. Traditional medicine practitioners consider mulberry as one of the most efficient plant in the treatment of blood pressure, dental diseases, constipation, helminthic complications, diabetes, hypertension, anemia and arthritic pain [2].

Valuable constituents in mulberry plant; mainly the fruits and leaves categorizes it as a plant which can perfectly be placed in the category of a functional food that not only useful to human health but also having proper basic nutritional function [14]. The Ministry of Health of China in 1985, declared M. albaas the first medicinally significant edible fruit [15]. Both leaves and fruits of M. albaare also considered as food and drugs along with its primary considerations [16].

The population of Earth been never before as huge as it is today [17]. Rise of nutrient deficiencies is also tied with this population growth has become a serious global crisis, predominantly in the areas where the diet lacks variety. Cheap, easily available, nutritious and pharmaceutically influential plant resources are seems to be the solution of this global crisis. In this context the current review attempts to provide an insight into the potential of mulberry as a valuable resource for food and pharmaceutical industries. An overview of importance of mulberry in food and pharmaceutical industry is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Overview of importance of mulberry in food and pharmaceutical industry.


2. Geographical distribution of mulberry

Worldwide appreciable availability of any biological resource is extremely important from its exploitation point of view especially for the food and pharmaceutical industries. Presently, Mulberry is distributed in all regions between 500N Lat. and 100S Lat., and from sea level to 4000 m altitudes [18, 19], including Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Africa (Figure 2.). American continent has four mulberry species (M. insignis, M. celtidifolia, M. corylifolia, and M.mexicana). In India, four mulberry species are reported; among them M. albaand M. indicaare domesticated whereas M. serrataand M. laevigatagrow wildly in the Himalayan territory [1]. China has 24 species but only four species has been spotted for its massive exploitation in sericulture (M. alba, M. multicaulis, M.atropurpurea, and M. mizuho). Only M. alba, M. bombycis, and M. latifoilaare in use in Japan though presence of 19 species has been recorded there. In Africa, presence of M. mesozygiahas been reported from humid, sub-humid, and semi-arid areas [20].

Figure 2.

Geographical distribution of mulberry along with zone wise available species.


3. Botanical description of mulberry plant

Before any sort of investigations of a plant it is extremely urgent to go through its overall botanical details. Mulberry is a perennial, fast growing, woody, deciduous, deep and wide rooted plant [21]. Generally the height of Mulberry plant is approximately 5-6 feet from the ground level [22]. Stem of mulberry is cylindrical in shape with milky sap and fissured bark [23]. Mulberry leaves are generally 5-7.5 cm long and 6-10 cm wide, but they vary widely in their size and shape. Leaves are mostly deeply lobed or having serrate margins; leaf apex is mostly acute with cordate or truncate base. Basal nerves are generally 3; near the margins lateral nerves are forked. Flowers are yellowish green in color with chromosome number 2n = 28. There are differentiations between female and male spikes shape and size in mulberry. Male spikes (catkins) are cylindrical and broad where as female spikes (catkins) are ovoid and stalked, and female spikes (catkins) shorter than male spikes (catkins). Mulberry fruits are arranged longitudinally around the central axis in cluster of small fruits similar with blackberry or loganberries. Mulberry fruits are white to pinkish white in color and during the time of ripening it becomes purple or black in color. Fruits contain many drupes which are enclosed in a fleshy perianth, upto 5 cm long, sub-globose or ovoid in shape. Ovary of mulberry is unicellular with presence of a bifid stigma [2].


4. Mulberry as a potential food resource

Increasing consumer demand has been one of the driving forces in exploration of new natural food resources, keeping in mind that the food product must satisfy both basic dietary requirements and health benefits. In this respect it is evident that mulberry fruits are already famous throughout the world for their mouth-watering taste that makes it suitable to consume either in fresh or as an ingredient in value-added products and for culinary uses (Table 1). It is gradually becoming popular to the consumers not only because of their taste but also due to its high nutritional importance along with low calorie value. Opportunity of exploiting other parts of mulberry as processed food resource is also very high. This has led to increased demand of mulberry also in the food processing industries.

Food itemsUsesReference
SquashFruits of M. albaused for the preparation of spiced squash and appetizer.Hamid and Thakur, 2017 [24].
PastryBuckwheat flour, hulls, inulin and chokeberry along with M. albaextraction used for the production of pastry which is rich in fiber and low in calorie.Komolka et al., 2016 [25].
ChocolateFrom dried M. nigrafruit obtained anthocyanins can be used in chocolate preparation.Gultekin-Ozguven et al., 2016 [26].
PastaExtraction of M. nigrahaving hypoglycaemic effect, it reduces the glycemic index is vastly used to produce pasta.Yazdankhah et al., 2019 [27].
Minced meatShelf life of minced meat increased by methanolic extraction of mulberry leaves.Yazdankhah et al., 2019 [27].
YogurtAnthocyanins of M. rudraacts as a coloring agent of strawberry flavored yogurt.Byamukama et al., 2014 [28].
ProbioticsFor the isolation and culture of lactic acid forming bacteria M. albasilage is very important. These bacteria can stabilize the gastrointestinal tract microbial flora.Jan et al., 2021 [2].
Fruit jamMixed fruit jam prepared based on ratios of 70:30 rosella and mulberry fruit extract.Wongchalat and Chatthongpisut., 2016 [29].
Cup cakeThe concentrated amount of M. albapaste used to prepared cupcakes.Jan et al., 2021 [2]
SyrupFor the preparation of syrup M. albafruit used and it can be stored for 6 months under refrigerated condition.Thakur et al., 2017 [30].
VinegarM. albais exploited to prepare vinegar.Karaagac et al., 2016 [31].
Alcholic beverageFruit of M. albaused to produce alcoholic beverage and also used as a raw material to brew fruit wine.Daris-Martin et al., 2003 [32].

Table 1.

Uses of mulberry in preparation of food items, beverages and as preservative.

Mulberry fruits can be directly used for the preparation of jam and soft drinks [33]. Fresh fruits of mulberry are highly rated for human health because it contains vitamins, amino acids, and different minerals such as Zn, Ca, Mn, and Fe along with pectin and fibrin. Mulberry leaf is used for making tea, dhokla, pakoda and many other delicious different foodstuffs [34]. Mulberry is already a popular vegetable, along with the presence of high level of sugar makes mulberry an ideal resource for the food industry. It can be used for making breads, cakes, fruit drink pulp, fruit wine, fruit sauce, fruit powder and also chocolate. Fresh or dried or frozen forms of mulberry fruits can be utilized to produce different kinds of tonic, wine, syrups, amaretto. Mulberry seeds also can be used to produce oil. Unripe and immature mulberry fruits can be used for chutney preparation [35]. Famous Turkish food ‘Kome’ and ‘Pestil’ is prepared by mixing walnut, honey and flour with mulberry [36, 37]. Mulberry juice kept under a cold storage at a particular temperature for six months to one year has proven effective for healthy skin and in prevention of throat infection [38]. Mulberry paste popularly known as ‘sangshengao’ used to make tea in China and it also found effective in improving liver and kidney function, vision and hearing. Use of dehydrated mulberry fruit as a sweetening agent in black tea is extremely popular among the Iranian people. In some specified regions of China young leaves of mulberry is in use as vegetables [2]. Mulberry fruit powder can be consumed as an anti-aging substance as it protects the cell from the aging effect. It also stabilizes cholesterol level and increases the carbohydrate absorption capacity of the human digestive system. Over-ripened mulberry fruits are used to produced Mulberry wine, this also known as a ‘lady’s drink’ in Europe. Anthocyanin obtained from of M. rubraused for yogurt coloration having no difference with strawberry brand yogurt [28]. M. albaextract can be used to produce pastry along with Buckwheat flour, buckwheat hulls, chokeberry and inulin [25]. Shelf life of minced meat can be increased with the help of methanolic extraction of mulberry plant [27]. M. albafruits can also be used to prepare spiced squash and appetizers [24].


5. Pharmaceutical and therapeutic importance of mulberry

Mulberry having exclusive therapeutic properties that are primarily due to their indigenous chemicals along with their anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive, anti-cancer, hepatoprotective properties, and many more. Most important and relevant pharmaceutical ability of mulberry to improve human health and well-being is discussed in this section (Table 2).

Pharmaceuticals importance of mulberrySpecisParts usedMajor findingsRef.
Anti-oxidantM. alba
M. nigra
Twigs, Bark
  • Twigs, bark consists morin, maclurin that is important for inflammatory responses, and nervous system functioning.

  • Scavenging activities against super oxide and anion radicals.

  • Shows strongest protective effect on H2O2-induced injury.

  • Moracin extracted from leaves it shows anti-oxidant activities.

  • Stem extract shows anti-oxidant activity that increase superoxide and NO scavenging activity.

Kadam et al., 2019 [14], Wang et al., 2014 [16], Jan et al., 2021 [2].
Anti- CancerM. albaFruit
Root bark
  • Fruits containing anthocyanin shows an invasion against human lung metastatic.

  • Albanol A that isolated from root bark that induced potent cytotoxicity in Human Leucamia cell line

  • Anti-proliferation activity against human ovarian cancer.

  • Anti-proliferative lectin induced cell death in human breast cancer.

  • Flavonoids present in leaves that acts as a cancer inhibiting profile agent.

Khalid et al., 2021 [22], Kadam et al., 2019 [14], Naowaratwattana et al., 2010 [39]
Anti-hyperlepidemiaM. albaFruit
Root bark
  • It can help to decrease cholesterol and lipoprotein.

  • DNJ extraction from leave help to reduce lipoproteins and triglycerides serum level.

  • Inhibit the LDL anthrogenic alternation.

Khalid et al., 2021 [22].
Anti- DiabeticM. albaLeaves
Stem bark
  • Help to decrease blood glucose levels observed in brown rat.

  • Help to decrease fasting blood glucose (FBG) and glycosylated serum protein in diabetic mice.

  • Alternation of glutathione and insulin levels in STZ induced diabetic rats.

Kadam et al., 2019 [14],
Wang et al., 2017 [16]
Alanazi et al., 2017 [40]
Anti-InflammatoryM. albaLeaves
  • Reduce the production of cytokine and pro-inflammatory mediators.

  • Inhibit NO production shows anti-inflammatory effect.

  • Presence of anthocyanins that can inhibit pro-inflammatory effect of cytokine in mice.

  • Inhibit histamine release and act as a natural source of anti-histamine and anti-allergic agent.

Park et al., 2013 [10]
Jan et al., 2021 [2].
Anti-microbialM. mesozygia
M. alba
M. nigra
Stem bark
  • Used for the micro-organisms associated infections.

  • Antimicrobial activity against Enterococcus faecalis, E. coli, S. aureus.

  • Prevent growth of S. mutans.

Kuete et al., 2009 [41], Fukai et al., 2005 [42], Thabti et al., 2014 [43], Budiman et al., 2017 [44].
Neurodegenerative actionM. albaFruit
  • Protect against oxidative stress-induced apoptosis.

  • Fruit containing rutin, anthocyanin have impact on Parkinson’s disease

Kim et al., 2010 [45].
HepatoprotectiveM. mesozygia
M. indica
  • Glycoprotein protects against CC14 induced liver damage.

  • In experimental rats it help to decrease the activity of gastric mucosal injury.

Kadam et al., 2019 [14].
Activity against Skin diseaseM. albaLeaf
  • Help in the inhibition of mammalian tyrosinase, melanin synthesis effects.

  • It also contain carotenoids that can help to decrease age spot, blemishes effect on skin.

Chang et al., 2011 [46].
Kadam et al., 2019 [14].
Cardiovascular activityM. albaRoot bark
  • Helps to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol level.

  • Morusinol present in the root bark helps to prevent collagen and arachidonic acid.

  • Reveratrol, a flavonoid acts as a vasodilator.

Doi et al., 2000 [47].
Kadam et al., 2019 [14].

Table 2.

Pharmaceutical importance of mulberry.

5.1 Anti-cancer activity

Across the globe different forms of cancer is the most fatal disease. Many types of medicines are available in the market for the treatment of cancer but the number of successful and safe drug is very few. Anthocyanins extracted from the M. albafruit shows an invasion in human lung metastatic A549 carcinoma cells. Flavonoids isolated from the leaves of this plant acts as a cancer inhibiting profile agent [22]. From root bark of mulberry Albanol A (Mulberrofuran G) can be extracted which induce potent cytotoxicity in HL60 (Human Leucamia Cell line) by inhibiting topoisomerase II activity [14, 39]. M. albaleaf extract shows anti- proliferative lectin induced cell death by apoptosis in human breast cancer (MCF-7) and colon cancer (HCT-15) by inducing DNA fragmentation and morphological changes. Flavanone glycosides present in the root bark of M. albahaving anti-proliferation activity against human ovarian cancer in H0-8910 cells [2].

5.2 Anti-hyperlepidemia

Obesity develops due to unusual fat deposition which is a risk for the human health. It is one of the serious problems across the globe because it can increase the chance of cardiac failure, cancer, diabetes and many other diseases. Daily consumption of M. albafruit found effective in lowering the total cholesterol (TC) and lipoprotein levels in blood of both young and senior citizens. M. albaleaves extract which is DNJ rich if taken before meals can help to reduced the lipoproteins and triglycerides [2]. The root bark of M. albaplays an important role as inhibitor of the LDL (Low density lipo_protein) anthrogenic alternation and also act as a hypo-chlesterolemic element [22].

5.3 Anti-diabetic

Diabetes mellitus is characterized by high glucose levels (Blood sugar) which is a type of metabolic disorder. Insulin secretion, or insulin action or both can be defective in response to the high blood sugar (glucose) levels in this disease. Type 2 diabetes have two features- low gradic chronic inflammatory and the insulin resistance. Cardiovascular diseases and many other multi organ disorders can be developed by type 2 diabetes. Leaves of M. albahelps to decrease the blood glucose level and also prevents potential histo-pathological alterations in pancreas and kidneys which is observed in brown rats, in a recent experiment [14]. Soluble extract of M. albafruit found effective in decreasing fasting blood glucose (FBG) and glycosylated serum protein (GSP) in STZ induced diabetic mice. In STZ induced diabetic rats M. albastem bark also helps in the alternation of glutathione and insulin levels [2, 16, 40].

5.4 Anti- inflammatory

In some particular tissues presence of some microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and fungi and their circulation in blood can cause complex vascular biological problems known as inflammation. If within a certain time period it is not diagnosed properly then it can cause severe health complications and also can cause some acute chronic diseases such as- cardiovascular disease, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Leaf extract of M. albahelps to reduce production of cytokine and pro-inflammatory mediators by nuclear factor- κB (NF-κB) activation suppression [10]. Twigs and root bark of mulberry consists maclurin, morin, resveratrol and isoquercitrin and the fruits of mulberry contains other essential fatty acids like palmitic, linoleic and oleic acids which are also important for inflammatory responses [14]. Stem extract of M. albacan inhibit NO production by suppressing both Inos mRNA and protein which shows an inflammatory effect. Anthocyanin present in the fruits of M. nigrashows an anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokine which is experimentally proven in mice. Root extract of M. albais potential anti-histamine and anti-allergic natural drug resource as it successfully inhibits the histamine release and systemic allergic reaction [2].

5.5 Anti-oxidant

Different parts of mulberry consists variety of phytochemicals that have the potential of anti-oxidant properties. Moracin available in mulberry fruits help to prevent oxidative stress [14]. Fruit extract of M. albashowed radical-scavenging activities against anion radicals and superoxide that increases the level of antioxidants [16]. Moracin which can also be extracted from the leaves of M. albashows better antioxidant activity better than other anti-oxidants like resveratrol. Stem of M. albaincrease NO scavenging and superoxide activity. Fruits of M. nigrashow the strongest protective effect against H2O2-induced oxidative injury in PC12 cells [2].

5.6 Anti-microbial

Anti-microbial property of mulberry is also well known. The bark of M. mesozygiaused for the treatment of micro-organism associated infections [41]. Flavonoids isolated from M. albashows positive response in the treatment of antiviral and antifungal diseases [14]. Hydro-methanolic stem bark extract of M. albashows antimicrobial activity against Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureusand Salmonella typhimurium[42, 43, 44]. Similarly, ethanolic extract of M. nigraprevent the growth of Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Propionibacterium acnes.Fruits of M. albacontain the anti-bacterial compound Morin which strongly inhibits Streptococcus mutans. The juice of M. nigracontain anti-microbial properties against Bacillus spizizeniiand Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Vinegar produced from M. albashows potential antimicrobial action against Erwinia carotovora, Streptococcus pyogenes, Bacillus cereusand anti-fungal activities against Candida albicans[2].

5.7 Neurodegenerative actions

For treating cognitive disorders and different types of neuronal dysfunction medicinal plants play an important role and mulberry is one of the most prominent among them. Polyphenolics, alkaloids found in M. albacan improve cognitive function and delay in neural-degeneration [45]. Mulberry fruits’ lycophilised ethanolic extract can protect against oxidative stress-induced apoptosis in neural cells by the enhancement of the antioxidant enzymes production. In mulberry fruit rutin, quercetin anthocyanins are found present which have an impact on Parkinson’s disease (PD) by interfering MPTP-induced dopaminergic neuronal damage and bradykinesia [2, 45].

5.8 Hepatoprotective

A few bioactive compounds obtained from the twigs of M. mesozygiaesspecially shows the hepatoprotective activities. From M. indicaa glycoprotein (MIL) is purified which protects against CC14 induced liver damage. In CC14 treated mice MIL found decreasing the activity of Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT). M. albaextract found effective in decreasing the activity gastric mucosal injury in rats [14].

5.9 Activity against skin problem due to anti-tyrosinase property

Use of tyrosinase inhibitors is getting huge importance in the cosmetic industry due to their skin-whitening effects. Tyrosinase can be used as a whitening agent as it is a copper-containing primary regulatory multifunctional enzyme that is responsible for the biosynthesis of melanin and determines the color of the skin. Deposition of excessive melanin causes numerous dermatological disorders, such as melasma and age spots [48]. Twigs and roots of mulberry can be utilized as natural agents to react against the tyrosinase activity in cosmetics [49]. In a recent experiment, M. albafruit ethanolic extract has been utilized to formulate an emulsion-based cream to observe its clinical effect on skin melanin, moisture content and erythema for eight weeks. The formulated cream shown significant decrease in melanin content without causing any sort of skin irritation [50]. Betulinic acid (C30H48O3) which has been successfully isolated from M. alba(hexane extract of stem and root bark) can be utilized as a whitening agent owing to its tyrosinase inhibitory activity [51]. Ethanolic extract of M. nigrashows excellent tyrosinase inhibition activity and also can be exploited for the formulation of peel-off mask and for acne treatment [44, 45]. Mulberries can help to reduce skin problems such as spots and blemishes appears with age and also provides healthier and shiny appearance to skin and hair. From the above discussion, it is clear that mulberry exhibits remarkable tyrosinase inhibition activity, hence can be included as a necessary component of cosmetic products and de-pigmentation agents for the treatment of disorders like hyper-pigmentation.

5.10 Cardiovascular activity

M. albamostly used in eastern countries to treat cardiovascular diseases. Chinese people also use M. albafor decreasing blood pressure which can lead to cardiovascular disorder. It also helps to reduce serum cholesterol, hypertension and also prevents artherosclerosis [47]. From the root bark of M. albamorusinol is extracted which prevents collagen and arachidonic acid which induces TXB2 formation in cultured platelets known as the main causative agent of congestive cardiac failure. Mulberries contain Reveratrol, which is a very important flavonoid is found to increase the formation of Nitric oxide (NO) that acts as a vasodilator. Richness of flavanoids and vitamin C makes mulberry also ideal for treating other cold, flu-like problems [14].


6. Conclusion

Best way to find out the solution of hunger and pharmaceutical demand is the discovery and exploitation of new biological resources. Products from natural resources are now being re-emphasized to encounter these issues. Connection between the health and diet is very clear and consumers are now-a-days very much concern about their health. The solution of rural hunger and helping them to come out of the nutritional deficiency is not only a matter of deep concern. Investigating these connections has drawn the attention of the scientists in exploration of biological functional foods and pharmaceuticals, which can dominate the global nutrition market. The current review attempts to point out the potentiality of mulberry species in different areas and it is clear that mulberry is a versatile plant from both food and pharmaceutical aspects with huge possibilities. Mulberry is a jewel of food industry. Being low in calories, this plant can be exploited in the preparation of hypo-caloric foodstuffs and also can be added as a new ingredient to enhance the functional properties of different popular foods. Products like jam, jelly, wine, vinegar, tea, syrup, squash and many more are successfully formulated from mulberry that aids industrialists for further effective utilization of its fruits, leaves and other plant parts. Mulberry is also among the major ingredients in many traditional formulations sold worldwide. In addition to its exceptional usage in the food industry, recent studies have revealed that Morusspecies and their bioactive phytochemicals are having important biomedical activities, including anti-diabetic, antioxidants, anti-obesity, hypo-lipidemic, antihypertensive, and anti-atherosclerosis, etc. Tyrosinase inhibition activity of mulberry is comparable with kojic acid that makes it a wonderful ingredient in cosmetics. Different isolated chemical compounds like maclurin and morin, oxyresveratrol from different parts of M. albashows potential tyrosinase inhibition activity. There are still some unidentified biological novel compounds present in mulberry that require proper exploration. Proper investigation, exploration and exploitation of mulberry in both food and pharmaceutical industry having the potentiality of creating a history.


7. Recommendations

Sericulture is mainly known as a women friendly enterprise, because of the high percentage of involvement of rural women which is about 53.45% of the total employment generated in silk industry. Though broad involvement of rural women are significantly high in the silk industry, but the involvement of tribal people is still scanty [52] which should be considered for extension for financial support and development of small scale industries, mainly in the developing countries. It is the most important fact that the main concentration of the sericulture industry moves around the silkworm feeding, cocoon generation and silk rearing. The proper exploitation of the mulberry in terms of food product and pharmacologically potent substance is still far from the goal. Lack of proper infrastructure for cocoon production and reeling often becomes a barrier for the cultivation of mulberry plant, because B. morimoth can only feed upon the fresh and juicy mulberry leaves [53]. Rural people will be able to overcome these constrains if they will be properly trained about the other economic importance of mulberry.

In this context, it is highly recommendable that proper training, campaigning, infrastructure and market development along with broad research and development projects on proper scientific exploitation of mulberry other than feeding the silkworm is absolutely essential and urgent.



Authors are grateful to the Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of Raiganj University, India for providing necessary facilities. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


  1. 1. Vijayan K, Tikader A, Weiguo Z, Nair CV, Ercisli S, Tsou CH. Morus. In:Wild Crop Relatives: Genomic and Breeding Resources. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2011. pp. 75-95
  2. 2. Jan B, Parveen R, Zahiruddin S, Khan MU, Mohapatra S, Ahmad S. Nutritional constituents of mulberry and their potential applications in food and pharmaceuticals: A review. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences. 2021;28(7):3909-3921
  3. 3. Yu Y, Li H, Zhang B, Wang J, Shi X, Huang J, et al. Nutritional and functional components of mulberry leaves from different varieties: Evaluation of their potential as food materials. International Journal of Food Properties. 2018;21(1):1495-1507
  4. 4. Arabshahi-Delouee S, Urooj A. Antioxidant properties of various solvent extracts of mulberry (Morus indica L). Leaves Food Chemical. 2007;102(4):1233-1240
  5. 5. Katsube T, Imawaka N, Kawano Y, Yamazaki Y, Shiwaku K, Yamane Y. Antioxidant flavonol glycosides in mulberry (Morus alba L.) leaves isolated based on LDL antioxidant activity. Food Chemistry. 2006;97(1):25-31
  6. 6. Asano N, Oseki K, Tomioka E, Kizu H, Matsui K. N-containing sugars from Morus alba and their glycosidase inhibitory activities. Carbohydrate Research. 1994;259(2):243-255
  7. 7. Jeszka-Skowron M, Flaczyk E, Jeszka J, Krejpcio Z, Król E, Buchowski MS. Mulberry leaf extract intake reduces hyperglycaemia in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats fed high-fat diet. Journal of Functional Foods. 2014;8:9-17
  8. 8. Yang NC, Jhou KY, Tseng CY. Antihypertensive effect of mulberry leaf aqueous extract containing γ-aminobutyric acid in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Food Chemistry. 2012;132(4):1796-1180
  9. 9. Harauma A, Murayama T, Ikeyama K, Sano H, Arai H, Takano R, et al. Mulberry leaf powder prevents atherosclerosis in apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 2007;358(3):751-756
  10. 10. Park E, Lee S-M, Lee JE, Kim J-H. Anti-inflammatory activity of mulberry leaf extract through inhibition of NF-κB. Journal of Functional Foods. 2013;5:178-186
  11. 11. Hu XQ , Jiang L, Zhang JG, Deng W, Wang HL, Wei ZJ. Quantitative determination of 1-deoxynojirimycin in mulberry leaves from 132 varieties. Industrial Crops and Products. 2013;49:782-784
  12. 12. Hu XQ , Thakur K, Chen GH, Hu F, Zhang JG, Zhang HB, et al. Metabolic effect of 1-deoxynojirimycin from mulberry leaves on db/db diabetic mice using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry based metabolomics. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2017;65(23):4658-4667
  13. 13. Venkatesh KR, Chauhan S. Mulberry: Life enhancer. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research. 2008;2(10):271-278
  14. 14. Kadam RA, Dhumal ND, Khyade VB. The mulberry, Morus alba (L.): The medicinal herbal source for human health. International Journal of Current Microbiology Applied Science. 2019;8(4):2941-2964
  15. 15. Yuan Q , Zhao L. The mulberry (Morus alba L.) fruit - a review of characteristic components and health benefits. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2017;65(48):10383-10394
  16. 16. Wang S, Liu XM, Zhang J, Zhang YQ. An efficient preparation of mulberroside a from the branch bark of mulberry and its effect on the inhibition of tyrosinase activity. PLoS One. 2014;9(10):e109396
  17. 17. Leisinger KM, Schmitt K, Pandya-Lorch R. Six billion and counting: Population growth and food security in the 21st century. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute; 2002
  18. 18. Tutin GT. Morus L. In: Tutin GT, Burges NA, Chater AO, Edmondson JR, Heywood VH, Moore DM, Valentine DH, Walters SM, Webb DA, editors. Flora Europa, Psilotaceae to Platanaceae. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Australia: Cambridge University Press; 1996
  19. 19. Machii H. A list of genetic mulberry resources maintained at National Institute of sericulture and entomological science. Misc Publications National Seric Entomology Science (Japan). 1999;26:1-77
  20. 20. Le Houerou HN. The role of browse in the management of natural grazing lands. In: Le Houerou HN, editor. Browse in Africa, the current state of knowledge. Ethiopia: International Livestock Centre for Africa; 1980. pp. 329-338
  21. 21. Wani MY, Mir MR, Baqual MF, Ganie NA, Bhat ZA, Ganie Q. Roles of mulberry tree. The Pharma Innovation. 2017;6(9):143-147
  22. 22. Khalid N, Fawad SA, Ahmed I. Antimicrobial activity, phytochemical profile and trace minerals of black mulberry (Morus nigra L.) fresh juice. Pakistan Journal of Botany. 2011;43(6):91-96
  23. 23. Rahman AHMM. Khanom a.taxonomic and ethno-medicinal study of species from Moraceae (mulberry) family i n Bangladesh Flora. Research in Plant Sciences. 2013;1:53-57
  24. 24. Hamid H, Thakur NS. Development of appetizer (spiced squash) from mulberry (Morus alba L.) and its quality evaluation during storage. Journal of Applied and Natural Science. 2017;9(4):2235-2241
  25. 25. Komolka P, Gorecka D, Buszka KS, Golinska AJ, Dziedzic K, Waszkowiak K. Sensory qualities of pastry products enriched with dietary fiber and polyphenolic substances.Acta Scientiarum Polonorum, Technologia. Alimentaria. 2016;15(2):161-170
  26. 26. Gültekin-Özgüven M, Karadağ A, Duman Ş, Özkal B, Özçelik B. Fortification of dark chocolate with spray dried black mulberry (Morus nigra) waste extract encapsulated in chitosan-coated liposomes and bioaccessability studies. Food Chemistry. 2016;201:205-212
  27. 27. Yazdankhah S, Mohammad H, Mohammad HA. The antidiabetic potential of black mulberry extract-enriched pasta through inhibition of enzymes and glycemic index. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. 2019;74:149-155
  28. 28. Byamukama R, Andima M, Mbabazi A, Kiremire BT. Anthocyanins from mulberry (Morus alba) fruits as potential natural colour additives in yoghurt. African Journal of Pure and Applied Chemistry. 2014;8(12):182-190
  29. 29. Wongchalat R, Chatthongpisut R. Nutritional value and anthocyanins of mulberry and Roselle mixed fruits jam. Applied Mechanics and Materials. 2016;855:65-69
  30. 30. Thakur NS, Kumar P, Thakur A. Development of syrup from mulberry (Morus alba L.) and its quality evaluation under ambient and refrigerated storage conditions. International Journal of Bio-Resource & Stress Management. 2017;8(1):116-121
  31. 31. Karaagac RA. An investigation of antimicrobial properties and antioxidant activities of mulberry vinegar which is naturally produce In Uzundere and Ispir (Erzurum). Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology. 2016;6(1):34-39
  32. 32. Darias-Martín J, Lobo-Rodrigo G, Hernández-Cordero J, Díaz-Díaz E, Díaz-Romero C. Alcoholic beverages obtained from black mulberry. Food Technology and Biotechnology. 2003;41(2):173-176
  33. 33. Ghosh A, Gangopadhyay D, Chowdhury T. Economical and environmental importance of mulberry: A review. International Journal of Plant and Environment. 2017;3(2):51-58
  34. 34. Srivastava S, Kapoor R, Thathola A, Srivastava RP. Nutritional quality of leaves of some genotypes of mulberry (Morus alba). International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 2016;57(5-6):305-313
  35. 35. Jalikop SH, Kumar R, Shivashankara KS. Variability in mulberry (Morus spp.) accessions for plant and fruit traits and antioxidant properties. Acta Horticulturae. 2011;890(890):267-272
  36. 36. Yildiz O. Physicochemical and sensory properties of mulberry products: Gümüşhane pestil and köme. Turkish Journal of Agriculture and Forestry. 2013;37(6):762-771
  37. 37. Eecisli S, Orhan E. Chemical composition of white (Morus Alba), red (Morus Rubra), and black (Morus Nigra) mulberry fruits. Food Chemistry. 2007;103(4):1380-1384
  38. 38. Buhroo ZI, Bhat M, Kamili AS, Ganai N, Bali GK, Khan IL, et al. Trends in development and utilization of sericulture resources for diversification and value addition. Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies. 2018;6(4):601-615
  39. 39. Naowaratwattana W, De-Eknamkul W, De Mejia EG. Phenolic-containing organic extracts of mulberry (Morus alba L.) leaves inhibit HepG2 hepatoma cells through G2/M phase arrest, induction of apoptosis, and inhibition of topoisomerase IIα activity. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2010;13(5):1045-1056
  40. 40. Alanazi AS, Anwar MJ, Alam MN. Hypoglycemic and antioxidant effect of morus alba l. stem bark extracts in streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats. Journal of Applied Pharmacy. 2017;9(234):2
  41. 41. Kuete V, Fozing DC, Kapche WFGD, Mbaveng AT, Kuiate JR, Ngadjui BT, et al. Antimicrobial activity of the methanolic extract and compounds fromMorus mesozygiastem bark. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2009;124(3):551-555
  42. 42. Fukai T, Kaitou K, Terada S. Antimicrobial activity of 2-arylbenzofurans from Morus species against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Fitoterapia. 2005;76(7-8):708-711
  43. 43. Thabti I, Elfalleh W, Tlili N, Ziadi M, Campos MG, Ferchichi A. Phenols, flavonoids, and antioxidant and antibacterial activity of leaves and stem bark ofMorusspecies. International Journal of Food Properties. 2014;17:842-854
  44. 44. Budiman A, Aulifa DL, Kusuma ASW, Kurniawan IS, Sulastri A. Peel-off gel formulation from black mulberries (Morus nigra) extract as anti-acne mask. National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 2017;7(9):987-994
  45. 45. Kim J, Yun EY, Quan FS, Park SW, Goo TW. Central administration of 1-deoxynojirimycin attenuates hypothalamic endoplasmic reticulum stress and regulates food intake and body weight in mice with high-fat diet-induced obesity. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;2017:1-11
  46. 46. Chang LW, Juang LJ, Wang BS, Wang MY, Tai HM, Hung WJ, et al. Antioxidant and antityrosinase activity of mulberry (Morus alba L.) twigs and root bark. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2011;49(4):785-790
  47. 47. Doi K, Kojima T, FUJIMOTO, Y. Mulberry leaf extract inhibits the oxidative modification of rabbit and human low density lipoprotein. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 2000;23(9):1066-1071
  48. 48. Mukherjee PK, Biswas R, Sharma A, Banerjee S, Biswas S, Katiyar CK. Validation of medicinal herbs for anti-tyrosinase potential. Journal of Herbal Medicine. 2018;14:1-16
  49. 49. Li HX, Park JU, Su XD, Kim KT, Kang JS, Kim YR, et al. Identification of anti-melanogenesis constituents from Morus alba L. leaves. Molecules. 2018;23(10):2559
  50. 50. Akhtar N, Hisham J, Khan HMS, Khan BA, Mahmood T, Saeed T. Whitening and antierythemic effect of a cream containing Morus alba extract. Hygeia Journal for Drugs and Medicines. 2012;4(1):97-103
  51. 51. Nattapong S, Omboon L. A new source of whitening agent from a Thai mulberry plant and its betulinic acid quantitation. Natural Product Research. 2008;22(9):727-734
  52. 52. Dewangan SK, Sahu KR. Participation of tribal women in sericulture in two tribal block of Raigarh District, Chhattisgarh, India. Asian Journal of Agriculture & Life Sciences. 2017;2(1):13-22
  53. 53. Srinivasa G, Sarangi RN, Geetha GS, Rahmathulla VK, Geethadevi RG. Factors influencing the cocoon yield and sericultural income. Indian Journal of Sericulture. 2004;43(1):42-45

Written By

Ritwik Acharya, Trisha Bagchi and Debnirmalya Gangopadhyay

Submitted: February 25th, 2022 Reviewed: March 23rd, 2022 Published: May 4th, 2022