According to new research from the Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich. A rare amino acid called methionine is present in the pulp of the durian (Durio zibethinus). A fruit called the ‘king of all fruits,’ and plays a key role in the formation of the characteristic durian odour.

Durian is a Southeast Asian tropical plant known for its hefty, spine-covered fruit and sulfury and onion-like odor. The edible part of the fruit, a yellowish pulp, consists of the arils encasing the seeds. The pulp exhibits a sweet taste and a pleasant custard-like consistency.

Its odour, which combines some fruitiness with a dominating sulfury note, however, is extremely strong and, from the point of view of Westerners not used to durian consumption, very extraordinary and rather repellent. “We had already shown that the fruit’s stench is essentially due to the odorant ethanethiol and its derivatives,” said study authors Dr Nadine Fischer and Dr Martin Steinhaus.