Discipline: Natural Sciences
A research was conducted to document wild fruits found at the Isabela State University, Cabagan Campus and vicinity. Specifically, it aims to identify the plants with edible fruits growing in the wild, increase awareness of the wild fruit species for the local community, and identify approaches to utilize and conserve them. A total of 36 taxa were thriving in the area were documented to have been utilized for their edible fruits in the sanctuary. Distribution of the flora consists of about 30 wild natives ((83%) of which three (3) are endemic to Northern Luzon while six (6) (17%) are exotic and become naturalized in the area. The wild fruits are utilized as jams, jellies, pickles, fermented beverages, roasted nuts or eaten fresh. Eighty percent (80%) are consumed fresh or raw. Lack of knowledge on processing into various products like wine, vinegar, jam or jelly and high cost of processing limit their utilization and market potential. Where environmental degradation is accelerating, germplasm collections of wild food plants should be made before potentially valuable traits are lost. Promotion on the utilization of these wild plants through extension activities could improve food security among the local communities. Research and development are needed to improve processing, utilization, packaging and storage of wild fruits especially the native ones. Likewise, the conservation status of the species should be assessed as foundation for their protection, conservation and monitoring.