Gac Fruit Facts

Gac fruit (Momordica cochinchinensis), also known as Baby Jackfruit, Spiny Bitter Gourd, Sweet Gourd, or Cochinchin Gourd, is a bright orange spikey fruit found in Southeast Asia. The plant is a perennial twining, dioecious vine, with an angular robust, glabrous stem and tuberous roots. Tendrils are simple and stout. Plants can survive for 10–12 years. Gac is a bright-red fruit that grows as large as a cantaloupe and covered with short spines, hence it is sometimes referred to in English language as “Spiny Cucumber” or “Balsam pear”. Traditionally, gac fruit, seed and its leaves are used as a traditional medicine in the regions in which it grows.

Name Gac fruit
Scientific Name Momordica cochinchinensis
Native South China through southeast Asia to north-eastern Australia.
Common/English Name Chinese Bitter Cucumber, Chinese Cucumber, Cochinchin Gourd, Gac, Giant Spine Gourd, Spiny Bitter Cucumber, Spiny Bitter Gourd, Sweet Gourd, Baby Jackfruit
Name in Other Languages Nepal : Jhuse Karelaa
Bangladesh : Kakrol
Vietnam : Dia Ta Pieu ( Dao )
Malaysia : Teruah
Chinese : Da Ye Mu Bie Zi
Laos : Khaawz
French : Margose À Piquants
India : Bhat Kerala ( Assamese)
Thailand : Bai-Khai-Du
Indonesia : Pupia
Philippines : Tabog-Ok
Italian : Cetriolino Spinoso
Khmer : Makkao
Spanish : Cundeamor
Italian : Cetriolino Spinoso
Sri Lanka : Tumba Karavila
Czech : Tykvice Končičinská
Japanese : Mokube Tsushi
Plant Growth Habit Perennial twining, dioecious vine
Growing Climate Thrives in the warm humid tropics. It is hygrophilous, prefers sunny positions but is slightly shade tolerant.
Soil Fertile organic, humus-rich and moist but well-drained soils, e.g. around ponds, rice-fields, and abandoned areas, and home backyards.
Plant Size About 6 meters long
Root Tuberous roots.
Stem Angular robust, glabrous stem
Leaf Fairly large, alternate and deeply 3–5 palmately lobed with faintly dentate margins, cordate bases, glabrous, dark green above and lighter green below and petiolated
Flowering Season June to September
Flower Monoecious, unisexual, solitary in leaf axils, white to ivory yellow. Female flowers have small bracts and a scabrous ovary while male flowers have broad reniform bracts, calyx tube is short with triangular lobes, corolla has 5 yellow, ovoid-oblong petals, stamens
Fruit Shape & Size Large, 13 cm in length and 10 cm in diameter, ovoid, globose to oval, with sharp pointed protuberances and a rigid peduncle
Fruit Weight About 600 to 2500 g.
Fruit Color Green when young turning orangey-red to dark red when mature and ripe
Fruit Skin Coarse
Flesh Color Light orange spongy
Taste Mild taste like Avocado
Seed Large, flat, ovoid, compressed with a wavy outline, blackish-brown with irregularly sculptured seed coat covered in a red oily, pulpy aril
Season December and January
Major Nutrition Carbohydrate 17.4 g (13.38%)
Total dietary Fiber 1.6 g (4.21%)
Protein 2.1 g (4.20%)
Calcium, Ca 36 mg (3.60%)
Total Fat (lipid) 0.3 g (0.86%)
Health Benefits
  • Combats cancer Fights anemia
  • Helps lower cholesterol levels
  • Prevents cardiovascular diseases
  • Improves eyesight
  • Combats depression
  • Maintains youth and prevents aging
  • Helps Fight Prostate Enlargement
Calories in (100 gm) 80 K cal