Hypoglycin A and methylenecyclopropylglycine are two compounds found in the extract of Litchi seeds that studies have shown to be toxic. Methylenecyclopropylglycine inhibits the synthesis of fatty acids from glucose, and therefore undernourished children are more at risk since their glucose reserves are low.
This study used LCMS with a Cogent Diamond Hydride™ column to detect these compounds in Litchi extracts. The results confirmed the presence of these compounds in all the extracts except the overripe fruit. The conclusion that can be gleaned from this work is that selection of a proper harvest time can allow for safe fruits to be sold to the consumer.
See Downloadable pdf Below for the Full Study with Method Conditions.
Note: There have been epidemics in India, mostly affecting malnourished children. Authorities have identified consumption of Litchi fruit as the cause of the illness.
Analysis of Litchi Seed Extracts pdf Download File