Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Breadfruit trees grow to a height of about 20 meters (66 ft). The leaves are large, thick and are deeply cut into pinnate lobes. All parts of the tree, including the unripe fruit, are rich in milky juice, gummy latex, which is useful for boat caulking.

The breadfruit is closely related to the breadnut and the jackfruit. Breadfruit can be eaten at all stages of maturity when they are roasted, baked, fried, or boiled. They are rich in startch and when cooked the taste is very similar to potato-like, or fresh baked bread. One of the fermentation technique is to bury peeled and washed fruits in a leaf-lined pit over several weeks and produce a sour, sticky paste. Fermented stored breadfruit may last a year or more.

Fully ripe fruits that have harvested from the tree can be wrapped in polyethylene, or put into polyethylene bags, and can be kept for upto 10 days in storage at a temperature of 53.6'F (12'C). At lower temperature, the fruit may be damaged by chilling injury. Slightly unripe fruits that have been caught by hand when knocked down can be maintained for 15 days under the same conditions. The thickness of the polyethylene used to keep the fruit should be atleast equal or greater than 38 or even 50 micrometer.


A common product is a mixture of cooked or fermented breadfruit mash mixed with coconut milk and baked in banana leaves.

Whole fruits can be cooked in an open fire, then cored and filled with coconut milk, sugar and butter, cooked meats, or other fruits. The filled fruit can be then cooked so that the flavor of the filling permeates the flesh of the breadfruit.

The pulp scraped from soft, ripe breadfruits is combined with coconut milk, salt and sugar and baked to make a pudding. A more elaborate dessert is concocted of mashed ripe breadfruit, with butter, 2 beaten eggs, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and rosewater, a dash of sherry or brandy, blended and boiled. Breadfruit is also candied, or sometimes prepared as a sweet pickle.

The original method of making POI involved peeling, washing and halving the breadfruit, discarding the core, placing the fruits in stone pits lined with leaves of Cordylme terminalis Kunth, alternating the layers of fruit with old fermented pod, covering the upper layer with leaves, topping the pit with soil and rocks and leaving the contents to ferment, which acidifies and preserves the breadfruit for several years.

In Barbados and Brazil there is a way to substituting breadfruit in part for wheat flour in breadmaking, and it called Breadfruit flour. Breadfruit flour is much richer than wheat flour in lysine and other essential amino acids. This new combination has been found more nutritious than wheat flour alone.

The seeds from the breadfruit are boiled, steamed, roasted over a fire or in hot coals and eaten with salt.


It's lightweight wood is highly resistant to termites and shipworms. Its wood pulp can also be used to make paper. The wood pulp is also used in traditional medicine to treat illnesses that range from sore eyes to sciatica.

Fiber from the bark is highly durable but difficult to extract. Malaysians fashioned it into clothing. Material for tape cloth is obtained from the inner bark of young trees and branches.


Breadfruit is a relatively good source of iron, calcium, potassium, riboflavin, and niacin. The mature fruit is high in carbohydrates, low in fat and protein, and a good source of minerals and vitamins, especially B vitamins. The nutritional composition of breadfruit varies depending on the ripeness of the fruit as ripe breadfruit is more nutritious.

Medicinal uses

Decoction of the breadfruit leaf is believed to lower blood pressure, and is also said to relieve asthma. Crushed leaves are applied on the tongue as a treatment for thrush. Ashes from burned leaves are used on skin infections. A powder of roasted leaves is employed as a home remedy for enlarged spleen.

Toasted flowers are rubbed on the gums around an aching tooth.

The latex is used on skin diseases and is bandaged on the spine to relieve sciatica. Diluted latex is taken internally to overcome diarrhea.

Mangosteen fruit (mangustan)

The Mangosteen fruits are the fragrant edible flesh can be described as sweet and tangy, citrusy with peach flavor and texture. The Mangosteen fruit, capped by the prominent calyx at the stem end and with 4 to 8 triangular, flat remnants of the stigma in a rosette at the apex, is round, colored dark-purple to red-purple and smooth externally; size 1 1/3 to 3 in (3.4-7.5 cm) in diameter round. The rind is 1/4 to 3/8 in (6-10 mm) thick, red in cross-section and purplish-white on the inside.

It contains bitter yellow latex and a purple, staining juice. There are 4 to 8 triangular segments of snow white, juicy, soft flesh and are actually the arils of the seeds. The fruit may sometime be seedless or have one to five fully developed seeds, shaped ovoid-oblong, somewhat flattened, 1 in (2.5 cm) long and 5/8 in (1.6 cm) wide, that cling to the flesh. The flesh is slightly acid and mild to distinctly acid in flavor and is acclaimed as exquisitely luscious and delicious.

The fruit can be kept safe for a few days without refrigeration. To extends the life about 20 days, keep the storage area at 10oF. Refrigeration sometime causes cold damage; and to minimize this, wrap the fruit in a newspaper and keep it in the upper part of a refrigerator.

Eating the Fruit

Hold the fruit with the stem end downward and with the help of a sharp knife cut around the middle completely through the rind, and lift off the top half, which leave the fleshy segments exposed in the colorful 'cup' in the bottom half of the rind. The flesh segments are lifted out by fork and the can be easily eatable.

Mangosteen seeds are germinate as soon as they are removed from the fruit and die quickly if allowed to dry. So the seeds must be kept moist to remain viable until germination.
[image: mangosteen fruit is now ready to eat]

The Tree

The mangosteen tree must be grown in consistently warm conditions. And if any exposure to temperatures below 40oF (4oC) will generally kill a mature plant.

Uses of Mangosteen

The seedless/ seed-removed flesh segments are boiled with an equal amount of sugar and a few cloves for 15 to 20 minutes will produces mangosteen jam.

In the Philippines, a preserve is made by simply boiling the flesh segments with brown sugar, and then the seeds may be included to enrich the flavor.

The seeds are sometimes eaten alone after boiling or roasting.

The rind is rich in pectin. After treatment with 6% sodium chloride to eliminate astringency, the rind is made into a purplish jelly.

Mangosteen twigs are used as chewsticks in Ghana. The fruit rind contains 7 to 14% catechin tannin and rosin, and ii can be used for tanning leather. It also yields as a black dye.

Applying mangosteen juice on cloths, that producing stubborn stains can be near impossible to remove.

Medicinal Uses

Mangosteen is a rich source of antioxidants.

The rind decoction can be taken to relieve diarrhea and cystitis, gonorrhea and gleet and is applied externally as an astringent lotion. The decoction of the leaves and bark as a febrifuge and can be used to treat thrush, diarrhea, dysentery and urinary disorders. The root decoction can be taken to regulate menstruation.

The dried mangosteen rind is powdered and administered to overcome dysentery. Making the rind into an ointment form, it is applied on eczema and other skin disorders. A portion of the rind is steeped in water overnight and the infusion given as a home remedy for chronic diarrhea.

In Malaya, an infusion of the leaves combined along with the unripe banana and a little benzoin is applied to the wound of circumcision.

The bark extract called as amibiasine and has been used for the treatment of amoebic dysentery.

Laboratory Tests and Findings

Mangosteen contains some unique chemicals called xanthones(a collective compound of alpha-mangostin, beta-mangostin, garcinone B, and garcinone E), which appear to have potent anti-inflammatory effects when tested in laboratory. Along with 'xanthones', the fully ripe fruits also contains gartanin, 8-disoxygartanin, and normangostin.

A derivative of mangostin, mangostin-e, 6-di-O-glucoside, is a central nervous system depressant and causes a rise in blood pressure.

Durian fruit

The matured durian fruit size about 30 centimetres (12 in) long and 15 centimetres (6 in) in diameter, and it weighs one to three kilograms (2 to 7 lb). Its shape ranges from oblong to round. The colour of its husk are green to brown, and its flesh pale-yellow to red, depending on the cultivars.

Durians become mature in 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 months from the time of fruit-set. They are fully ripe 2 to 4 days after falling and quickly lose eating quality in 5 to 6 days.

The fully matured and edible flesh emits a distinctive odour, strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. The immature durian is boiled whole and eaten as a vegetable. Some people regard the durian aroma as fragrant; others find the aroma overpowering and offensive as the odour has led to the fruit's banishment from certain hotels.

Durian fruit is being used to flavour a wide variety of sweet edibles such as the traditional Malay candy, ice kachang, milkshakes, dodol, rose biscuits, ice cream, mooncakes, Yule logs and cappuccino.

The fermented durian, which is usually made from lower quality durian that is unsuitable for direct consumption is called as Tempoyak. This fermented durian, Tempoyak can be eaten either by cooked or uncooked, and can be eaten with cooked-rice, and can also being used for making curry. A dish made from the fermented durian fruit(Tempoyak), coconut milk, and a collection of spicy ingredients known as sambal, and is popular in Sumatran dish.

A candy called boder is created by mincing the durian fruit with salt, onions and vinegar.

The durian seeds, which are in size similar to chestnuts, can be eaten after they has to be boiled or roasted or fried in coconut oil.

Durian fruit contains a high amount of sugar, vitamin C, potassium, and the serotonergic amino acid tryptophan, and is a good source of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

[image: durian fruit is now ready to eat]

Medicinal uses

The decoction of the leaves and roots used to be prescribed (to drink the decoction or using it as a poultice) as a medication that reduces fever. Also the durian leaf juice is applied on the head of a fever patient. The flesh can be served as a vermifuge.

The leaves are used in medicinal baths for people with jaundice. Decoctions of the leaves and fruits can be applied to swellings and skin diseases. The ash of the burned rind is taken after childbirth. The leaves are contain hydroxy-tryptamines and mustard oils. Some beleives, the durian flesh can act as an aphrodisiac(arousing or intensifying sexual desire).

Traditional Chinese medicine, consider the durian fruit to have warming properties and hence is liable to cause excessive sweating. So they suggests to eat durian along with mangosteen fruits which has good cooling properties. Also pregnant women and people with high blood pressure are advised not to consume durian. Another common belief is that the durian is harmful when eaten with coffee or any alcoholic beverages.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Palmyra fruit (aka. Nungu)

Palmyra trees are tall palms, capable of growing up to 30 m high. The leaves are long, hard, fan-shaped, 2 to 3 m in length. The flowers are small, in densely clustered spikes, followed by large, brown, collective roundish fruits.

When the immature fruit is tender the kernel inside the hard shell called 'Nungu Fruit' is like a jelly and tastes very delicious as well. Nungu fruits also prepared as nongu payasam, nongu ice cream and nongu fruit shakes. This fruit is well known for its amazing cooling effect.

In Tamil Nadu, the southern state of India, the seeds of the palmyra tree are planted and made to germinate and the fleshy stems (below the surface) are boiled and eaten. It is very fibrous and nutricious, called as "Panai Kizhangu". The germinated seed's hard shell is also cut open to take out the crunchy kernel which tastes like a sweeter Water Chestnut. It is called "dhavanai" in Tamil.

In addition to quenching thirst, nunku fruit has nutritional and medicinal value too. It is packed with minerals. With almost no protein, fat, or carbohydrates, the fruit is a boon for those on a diet and patients. The fruit along with other edible parts of the palmyrah is used for treating stomach and skin disorders.

The riped fibrous outer layer of the palm fruits are also boiled or heated in fire and eaten.

A sugary sap, called Toddy, can be obtained from the young inflorescence either male or female ones. Toddy is fermented to make a beverage called arrack, and it is concentrated to a crude sugar called palm sugar or jaggery. When the crown of the tree is cut, we get an edible cake from which the leaves grow out.

The leaves are used for thatching, mats, baskets, fans, hats, umbrellas and verieties of decorative stuffs.
[image: the delicious inside immature Palmyra fruit (aka nunku)]

Sugar apple

The native region of the sugar apple is yet un clear. It is commonly cultivated in tropical South America, Central America, southern Mexico, the West Indies, Bahamas and Bermuda, and southern Florida. In Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Barbados, and in dry regions of North Queensland, Australia, it has escaped from cultivation and is found wild in pastures, forests and along roadsides.

The Spaniards probably carried seeds from the New World to the Philippines and the Portuguese are assumed to have introduced the sugar apple to southern India before 1590.

It was growing in Indonesia early in the 17th century and from there it has been widely adopted in southern China, Queensland, Australia, Polynesia, Hawaii, tropical Africa, Egypt and the lowlands of Palestine. The sugar apple is one of the most important fruits in the interior of Brazil and is conspicuous in the markets of Bahia.

Sugar apple fruit

Sugar apple(aka Sweetsop) are a small size about 2-4", knobby fruit with soft, creamy white, flesh custard-like pulp containing several shiny dark brown seeds (embedded in the pulp), often having a minty or custardy flavor. The ripe sugar apple is usually broken open and the flesh segments enjoyed while the hard seeds are separated in the mouth and spat out. It can be eaten fresh or used to make beverages and shakes.

The sugar apple tree ranges from 10 to 20 ft (3-6 m) in height with open crown of irregular and more branches, and some-what zigzag twigs. Leaves are aromatic when crushed.

Harvesting immature fruit will not ripen satisfactorily and will remain hard, turn brown, and slowly decay. When a green type sugar apple fruit mature, fruit color changes from green to yellowish green, the area between protuberances swells and becomes yellowish, and the fruit becomes covered with a white or bluish bloom. When a purplish-red colored sugar apples mature they take on a darker purple color and at maturity the color between protuberances becomes bright pink. Fruit should be picked at the mature stage and allowed to ripen (soften) at room temperature before being refrigerated. Ripe sugar apple may only be stored between 2 to 4 days.

Products from apple sugar

The seeds are acrid and poisonous. Bark, leaves and seeds contain the alkaloid, anonaine. Six other aporphine alkaloids have been isolated from the leaves and stems are: (1)corydine, (2)roemerine, (3)norcorydine, (4)norisocarydine, (5)isocorydine and (6)glaucine. Aporphine, norlaureline and dienone may also presents.

Powdered seeds, also pounded dried fruits serve as fish poison and used as insecticides in India.

A paste of the seed powder has been applied to the head to kill lice but must be kept away from the eyes as it is highly irritant and can cause blindness. If applied to the uterus, it induces abortion. Heat extracted oil from the seeds has been employed against agricultural pests. Studies have shown the ether extract of the seeds to have no residual toxicity after 2 days. High concentrations are potent for 2 days and weaken steadily, all activity being lost after 8 days.

In India and Mexico, the leaves are rubbed on floors and put in hen's nests to repel lice.

The seed kernels contain 14 to 49% of whitish or yellowish, non-drying oil with saponification index of 186.40. It has been proposed as a substitute for peanut oil in the manufacture of soap and can be detoxified by an alkali treatment and used for edible purposes. The leaves yield an excellent oil rich in terpenes and sesquiterpenes, mainly B-caryophyllene, which finds limited use in perfumes, giving a woody spicy accent.

Fiber extracted from the bark has been employed for cordage. The tree serves as host for lac-excreting insects.

Medicinal uses

In India the crushed leaves are sniffed to overcome hysteria and fainting spells; they are also can be applied on ulcers and wounds; and the leaf decoction is taken in cases of dysentery. Throughout tropical America, a decoction of the leaves alone or with those of other plants is imbibed either as an emmenagogue, febrifuge, tonic, cold remedy, digestive, or to clarify the urine. The leaf decoction is also employed in baths to alleviate rheumatic pain.

The green fruit, very astringent, is employed against diarrhea in El Salvador.

In India, the crushed ripe fruit, mixed with salt, is applied on tumors. The bark and roots are both highly astringent. The bark decoction is given as a tonic and to halt diarrhea. The root, because of its strong purgative action, is administered as a drastic treatment for dysentery and other ailments.


However there are seedless type sugar apples 'Cuban Seedless' and 'Brazilian Seedless' introduced, the fruit split when nearing maturity, and the fruit quality and yield is reported to be inferior to seedy types.

Indian horticulturists have studied the diverse wild and cultivated sugar apples of that country and recognize 10 different types. and they are:

Red — red-tinted foliage and flowers, deep-pink rind, mostly non-reducing sugars, insipid, with small, blackish-pink seeds; poor quality; comes true from seed.

Red-speckled — having red spots on green rind.

Crimson — conspicuous red-toned foliage and flowers, deep-pink rind, pink flesh.

Yellow, White-stemmed, Mammoth — pale yellow petals, smooth, broad, thick, round rind segments that are light russet green; fruits lopsided, pulp soft, white, very sweet; comes true from seed.

Balangar — large, with green rind having rough, warty [tuberculate], fairly thick rind segments with creamy margins; sweet; high yielding.

Kakarlapahad — very high yielding.

Washington — acute tuberculate rind segments, orange-yellow margins; high yielding; late in season - 20 days after others.
Barbados, British Guiana — having green rind, orange-yellow margins; high-yielding; late.

cultivars from Alexandria and Egypt:
Beni Mazar — nearly round, large, 5 1/4 to 6 1/2 oz (150-180 g); 56-60% flesh; 15 30 seeds.
Abd El Razik — light-green or reddish rind; nearly round, large, maximum 8 1/3 oz (236.3 g); 69.5% flesh; 14 seeds.


The Coconut Tree
Coconut palms have been used since the ancient daya as a source of food, fiber, fuel, water, and shelter. Coconut oil was one of the first, and was the leading vegetable oil until 1962 when eclipsed by soybean oil.

In World wide, 18 billion pounds. coconuts are produced in 92 countries on about 26 million acres with an average yield of 4457 lbs/acre.

Products from Coconut

The primary product from coconut is a dried or fresh endosperm or "meat" of coconutis called copra, the white "meat" found adhering to the inner wall of the shell. It is commonly used in several type of cakes and candies.

The raw copra can be grated and squeezed to obtain coconut milk which can be used for making several candies.

Coconut water is obtained from immature coconuts, providing a welcome source of fresh, sterile water in hot, tropical environments. Coconut oil is expressed from dried or dehydrated copra, which is used in a wide variety of cooked foods and margarine.

Coconut oil can be obtained from a dried copra. In 2002, the coconut oil production was slightly more than the popular olive oil production. The residue left after pressing oil from copra is Coconut cake and is used as livestock feed(animal, fish and farm feed).

When a coconut germinates, a spongy mass forms inside the cavity, so there is no longer water and albumen, but a solid white ball with traces of buttery yellow exterior. It is called as 'coconut apple'. It taste deliciously of coconut, but the texture is moist and yielding, nothing like the hard endosperm it replaces.
[image: Coconut Apple]

The fiber from the husk is called as Coir and is used as packing material, rope, matting, fuel, and in potting mixes.

The leaves of the coconut tree provide materials for baskets, effective roofing materials. The husk and the shells can be used for fuel and are a good source of charcoal. Drained coconuts can be filled with gunpowder and used as Improvised explosive devices.

The sap from the cut-end of an coconut-inflorescence, produces up to a gallon of brown liquid per day, are rich in sugars and vitamin C. It can be boiled down into a brown sugar called "jaggery", and it is being used as a sugar substitute in many areas. Left to ferment, the sap makes an alcoholic toddy, and later vinegar. "Arrack" is made by distilling the toddy, and is a common, potent alcoholic spirit.

The outer part of the trunk of the coconut palm furnishes, a construction of lumber, known as porcupine wood for houses and furniture. The swollen base of the trunk, when hollowed, can be turned into a hula drum that the Hawaiians use for entertainment.

Medicinal Uses

Immature coconut water can be used as an intravenous fluid.

Coconut is commonly used as a traditional home remedy in Pakistan to treat bites from rats.

The monolaurins in the coconut oil have been found to be very powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents in Ayurveda.

The coconut milk can be used as a laxative and also used for healing mouth ulcers (In a study with rats, two coconut based preparations one 'the crude warm water extract of coconut milk' and another the 'coconut water dispersion' were studied for their protective effects on drug-induced gastic ulceration. Both substances offered protection against ulceration, with coconut milk producting a 54% reduction vs. 39% for coconut water.)

Coconut Cultivation

Coconut tree can be adaptable to many soil types, and can be grown inland provided adequate drainage and the pH between 5.0 to 8.0. They grow best in areas with mean temperatures of 70-80F. They needs 40-60" of water per year, and will perform better in a high humidity nature.

Coconut trees are typical single trunked palms, reaching up to 80 to 100 ft in height, but generally 20-50 ft in cultivation. Leaves are among the largest of any plant (up to 20 ft), pinnately compound with 200 or more leaflets, and borne in a spiral arrangement at the apex of the trunk. Leaf life span may be less than 3 years. A mature and healthy palms have about 30 leaves and would form a new one each month and let drop the oldest one.

Fully mature fruit require about one year to ripen, and are colored brown or dark yellowish, depending on cultivar. The endosperm, from which the copra and oil are derived, is mature at 10 months after bloom. For coir production, fruit must be harvested about 1 month before full maturity, since the mesocarp fiber turns brittle and dark at maturity.

The young water coconuts are harvested when about 7 months old, just after fruit reaches its full size and prior to mesocarp starts drying.

Coconut Cultivars

Two major classes of coconuts are typically recognized on the basis of stature: tall and dwarf. The ones most commonly planted for commercial purposes are the tall varieties, which are slow to mature and the first flower will come within six to ten years after planting. They produce medium-to-large size nuts and have a life span of sixty to seventy years. The dwarf varieties may have originated as a mutation of tall types. The dwarf variety shall grow to a height of twenty five to thirty feet and begin flower after three years, being only about three feet tall. Their life span is only about thirty years. Although highly difficult to grow, the dwarf varieties are valued because they bear early and are highly resistant to lethal yellowing disease.

In worldwide there are a considerable number of varieties among tall and dwarf coconut trees. Each major coconut has its own dominant tall variety: Here is a few list: Ceylon Tall, Indian Tall, Jamaica Tall, Malayan Tall, Java Tall, and Laguna (which is a widely grown tall type in the Philippines). There are also many dwarf varieties: Malayan Dwarf, Dwarf Green, and Dwarf Orange from India.

There are also some unusual types of coconut palms in different parts of the world. The Macapuno coconut of the Philippines is famous for having no milk cavity. The jelly-like flesh fills the middle and can be eaten with a spoon. The San Ramon variety from the Philippines produces one of the largest nuts known.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Cashew is an evergreen tree native to Brazil. Top 10 countries cultivating Cashew are (1)Viet Nam 28%, (2)India 25%, (3)Nigeria 10%, (4)Brazil 8%, (5)Tanzania 6%, (6) Indonesia 4%, (7)Guinea-Bissau 4%, (8)Cote D'Ivoire 4%, (9)Mozambique 3%, (10)Benin 2%.

Cashew tree produces a bat-dispersed and edible red or yellow false pedicel fruit (the 'cashew apple'), below which is attached the true shell-fruit in which the cashew nut is located. The inner part of the nuts can be eaten after the nuts must be roasted by burn off and remove the toxic protective shell.

The cashew apple can be consumed fresh, but contains high quantities of tannins yielding a bitter taste and dry mouth feel. It is eaten more often by cooked, partially dried, or candied, as in India. In india, they make the alcoholic drink, Feni from fermented cashew apple juice. This wine made from the juice is said to be the finest made from tropical fruits. But failure to remove the tannin from the juice may account for the nutritional deficiency in heavy imbibers of cashew apple wine, for tannin prevents the body's full assimilation of protein. Cashew nut shell liquid also having commercial value as the cashew nuts.

Medicinal uses

In Cuba and Brazil the cashew apple juice, without the removal of tannin, is being used as a home remedy for sore throat and chronic dysentery.

Cashew apple juice as fresh or distilled, it is a potent diuretic and is said to possess sudorific properties.

The brandy is applied as a liniment to relieve the pain of rheumatism and neuralgia.

Nutritional values

Cashew nut Cashew apple
Water (%)3-7 86
Calories 578---
Protein (%) 18-22 0.1
Fat (%) 46 0.3
Carbohydrates (%) 27 9-15
Crude Fiber (%) 1.1 0.75


Pineapple are native to southern Brazil and Paraguay (especially the Parana-Paraguay River) area where wild relatives occur, the pineapple was first domesticated by the Indians and carried by them up through South and Central America to Mexico and the West Indies long before the arrival of Europeans. Christopher Columbus and his shipmates saw the pineapple for the first time on the island of Guadeloupe in 1493 and then again in Panama in 1502. Top 10 countries cultivating pineapple are (1)Thailand 11%, (2)Philippines 11%, (3)Brazil 10%, (4)China 10%, (5)India 9%, (6)Nigeria 6%, (7)Costa Rica 5%, (8)Mexico 5%, (9)Indonesia 3%, (10)Kenya 4%.

Pineapples are seedless and have a thick, scale-like skin that is various shades of yellow, green, greenish brown, or reddish brown. Usually the yellowish flesh is fibrous, sweet, and juicy. The flesh near the base of the fruit is even sweeter and more tender, and has a darker color.

The pineapple fruit is not really a fruit at all but is a mass of individual berries fused to the central stalk. In other words, the pineapple is an example of a multiple fruit: multiple, spirally arranged flowers along the axis each produce a fleshy fruit that becomes pressed against the fruits of adjacent flowers, forming what appears to be a single fleshy fruit. This is why the fruit has leaves on top. Also the fruit of a pineapple are arranged in two interlocking spirals, eight spirals in one direction, thirteen in the other; each being formed a Fibonacci number. They are actually the continued growth of the stalk beyond where the berries are attached.

Pineapples are 15% sugar along with the malic and citric acids. A pineapple wine can be fermented in areas near where it is grown. Pineapples also contain bromelain enzyme, similar to pepsin which is a protein digesting and milk clotting enzyme. Bromelain is used commercially to tenderize meat and chill proof beer. Since the bromelain enzyme, pineapples are beleived to be good for our digestion.

Pineapple cultivation

The best soil for pineapple culture is a well drained, sandy loam with a high content of organic matter and it should be friable for a depth of at least 2 ft (60 cm), and pH range would be between 4.5 to 6.5 and the temperature remains warmest. If the soil that are not sufficiently acid then can be treated with sulfur to achieve the desired level. The plant cannot stand waterlogging and any drainage needs to be improved.

Nitrogen is essential to the increase of fruit size and total yield. Fruit weight can be considerably increased by the addition of magnesium. Fruit size and total yield have been enhanced by applying chelated iron with nitrogen; also, where chlorosis is conspicuous, by accompanying nitrogen with foliar sprays of 0.10% iron and manganese. The most common method of determining maturity is identifying the color change of the fruit exterior from green to yellow. Generally for canning purposes, fruits are allowed to reach a more advanced stage prior to harvest, about 1/2 to 3/4 yellow.

Food value (per l00 g of edible portion)

Moisture - 81.3-91.2 g
Ether Extract - 0.03 0.29 g
Crude Fiber - 0.3-0.6 g
Nitrogen - 0.038-0.098 g
Ash - 0.21-0.49 g
Calcium - 6.2 37.2 mg
Phosphorus - 6.6-11.9 mg
Iron - 0.27-1.05 mg
Carotene -0.003 0.055 mg
Thiamine - 0.048 0.138 mg
Riboflavin -0.011-0.04 mg
Niacin - 0.13-0.267 mg
Ascorbic Acid - 27.0-165.2 mg

Medicinal uses

Pineapple juice can be taken as a diuretic and to expedite labor, also as a gargle in cases of sore throat and as an antidote for seasickness. The flesh of very young (toxic) fruits is deliberately ingested to achieve abortion (a little with honey on 3 successive mornings); also to expel intestinal worms; and also used as a drastic treatment for venereal diseases.

The root and fruit are either eaten or applied topically as an anti-inflammatory and as a proteolytic agent.

In Africa the dried, powdered root is used as a remedy for edema. The crushed rind can be applied on fractures and the rind decoction with rosemary is applied on hemorrhoids.

Indians in Panama using the leaf juice as a purgative, emmenagogue and vermifuge.

Pineapple varieties

Smooth Cayenne (Cayenne or Cayena Lisa) - This plant near freedom from spines except for the needle at the leaftip and the size 4 to 10 lbs (1.8 4.5 kg), cylindrical form, shallow eyes, orange rind, yellow flesh, low fiber, juiciness and rich mildly acid flavor. Mainly, it is prized for canning, having sufficient fiber as well as excellent flavor.

Hilo - Hilo is a variant of Smooth Cayenne. The plant is more compact, the fruit is smaller, weighs from 2 to 2 3/4 lbs (1-1 1/2 kg) and more cylindrical.

St. Michael - This is another strain of Smooth Cayenne and is the famous product of the Azores. The fruit weighs 5 to 6 lbs (2.25-2.75 kg), has a very small crown, a small core, is sweet with low acidity, and some regard it as insipid when fully ripe.

Giant Kew - This Variety pineapples are well-known in India, bears a large fruit averaging 6 lbs (2.75 kg), often up to 10 lbs (4.5 kg) and occasionall up to 22 lbs (10 kg). The core is large and its extraction results in too large a hole in canned slices.

Charlotte Rothschild - Charlotte Rothschild pineapples are almost similar or second to 'Giant Kew' in size in India, tapers toward the crown, is orange-yellow when ripe, aromatic, very juicy. The crop comes in early.

Baron Rothschild - is a smaller fruit 1 3/4 to 5 lbs (0.8-2 kg) in weight.

Perolera (Tachirense or Capachera or Motilona or Lebrija) - The plant is entirely smooth with no spine at the leaftip. The fruit is yellow, large-7 to 9 1bs (3-4 kg) and cylindrical.

Bumanguesa - The fruit is red or purple externally, cylindrical with square ends, shallow eyes, deep-yellow flesh, very slender core

Monte Lirio - The fruit is rounded, white-fleshed, with good aroma and flavor

Valera - It is a small to medium plant with long, narrow, spiny, purple green leaves. The fruit is conical cylindrical, weighing 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 lbs (1.5-2.5 kg); is purple outside with white flesh.

Valera Amarilla - he fruit is broad cylindrical and tall with a large crown; weighs 4 1/2 to 9 lbs (2-4 kg); is yellow externally with very deep eyes, about 72 to 88 in number. The flesh is pale-yellow and very sweet in flavor.

Valera Roja - is a small-to-medium plant with cylindrical fruit 1 1/2 to 2.2 lbs (0.6-1 kg) in weight, reddish externally, with 100 eyes. It has pale-yellow flesh.

Castilla - is a 'Red Spanish' strain grown in Colombia and El Salvador.

Cumanesa - is a medium-sized plant, very spiny, producing an oblong fruit with a large crown. It is orange-yellow externally; weighs 2 to 3 3/4 lbs (0.9-1.70 kg). and has yellowish-white flesh.

Morada - The plant is large, with long, narrow, purple-red leaves. The fruit is broad-cylindrical, purple-red externally, with white flesh.

Monte Oscuro - The fruit is barrel-shaped, large, weighing 6.6 lbs (3 kg); has 160-180 medium-deep eyes; is yellow outside with deep-yellow, fibrous flesh.

Abacaxi - The plant is spiny and disease-resistant. Leaves are bluish-green with red-purple tinge in the bud. The fruit weighs 2.2 to ll lbs (1-5 kg), is tall and straight-sided.

Sugarloaf - The leaves of the plants and crowns pull out easily. The fruit is more or less conical, sometimes round; not colorful; weighs 1 1/2 to 3 lbs (0.68-1.36 kg). Flesh is white to yellow, very sweet, juicy.

Brecheche - is a small fruit with small, spineless crown. Average weight is 1 1/2 to 2.2 lbs (0.7-1 kg). The fruit is yellow externally. Flesh is yellow, with little fiber, small core, very fragrant, very juicy.

Caicara - is a large fruit weighing 4 to 5 1/2 lbs (1.8-2.5 kg). with a large, spiny crown. It is cylindrical conical with deep eyes; yellow externally with white flesh, a little fiber, very juicy, with large core.

Congo Red - is a plant with bright red, has long lasting flowers. The fruit bends over and cracks in hot or dry weather. It weighs up to 5 lbs (2.25 kg), is waxy, and having yellow flesh of good flavor.

Panare - The fruit is bottle shaped, small, 1 to 1 l/2 lbs (0.45-0.70 kg), with small crown; ovate, with deep eyes; orange externally with deep yellow flesh; slightly fragrant, with little fiber and small core.

Mauritius (European Pine or Malacca Queen or Red Ceylon or Red Malacca) - The leaves are dark green with broad red central stripe and red spines on the margins. The fruit is small, 3 to 5 lbs (1.36-2.25 kg), yellow externally; has a thin core and very sweet flesh.

Singapore Red (Red Jamaica or Singapore Spanish or Singapore Queen or Singapore Common) - The leaves are usually all green but sometimes have a small reddish stripe near the margins; they are rarely spiny except at the tips. The fruits, cylindrical, reddish, with deep eyes, are small 3 1/2 to 5 lbs (1.6-2.25 kg) with slender core, fibrous, golden yellow flesh; insipid raw but valued for canning. The plant is highly disease-reistant and pest-resistant.

Queen - The fruit is conical, deep-yellow, with deep eyes; weighs 1 to 2 1/2 lbs (0.45-1.13 kg); is less fibrous than 'Smooth Cayenne', but more fragrant; it is juicy, of fine flavor with a small, tender core.

Natal Queen - The fruit weighs 1 1/2 to 2 lbs (0.75-0.9 kg).

MacGregor - The fruit is cylindrical, size medium to large, with firm flesh and flavor resembling 'Queen'.

James Queen - It has larger fruit with square shoulders.

Ripley (Ripley Queen) - The fruit weighs 3 to 6 lbs (1.36-2.7 kg); is pale copper externally; flesh is pale yellow, non fibrous, rich in sweet.

Alexandria - The fruit is conical, tender, with 'Ripley Queen' flavor.

Egyptian Queen - It was popular at first, later abandoned. The fruit weighs 2 to 4 lbs (0 9-1.8 kg).

Kallara Local - is a little known cultivar from India.


Grape is an excellent fruit that can be eaten raw or used for making wine, grape seed extracts, jam, jelly, vinegar, juice, raisins, and grape seed oil.

Grapes are grown commercially in 90 countries worldwide on more than 19 million acres. Top 10 grape cultivating countries are (1) Italy 13%, (2) France 12%, (3) Spain 10%, (4) USA 8%, (5) China 8%, (6) Turkey 6%, (7) Iran 4%, (8) Argentina 4%, (9) Australia 3%, (10) Chile 3%.

Grapes can be adapted to a wide variety of soil conditions, from high pH and slightly saline, to acidic and clayey. Deep, well-drained, light textured soils are best for good-wine grapes. Highly fertile soils are unsuited to high quality wine production, since vigor and yield must be controlled. Irrigation can be detrimental to grape internal quality, and is sometimes illegal for wine grapes, but is beneficial for table and raisin grapes where high yields are desired.

Nutrition contents (per 100 gram edible portion)

GrapesRaisinsWine (100 gm = 4 oz)
Water (%)811890
Calories 6728970
Protein (%)0.62.5Trace
Fat (%)0.30.20
Carbohydrates (%)17771-2
Crude Fiber (%)< 1

Grape varieties

See all grape varieties here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_grape_varieties


Bananas are native to the tropical region of Southeast Asia. Nowadays bananas are cultivated throughout the tropics about 107 countries and are the 4th largest fruit crop of the world. Bananas were introduced to the American public at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, the same expo that introduced Alexander Graham Bell's telephone.

Banana cultivation

Banana plant needs 9 to 15 months of frost-free conditions to produce a flower stalk. Banana cultivation require wind protection for best appearance and maximum yield. The first flowers grow rapidly and develop parthenocarpically (without pollination) into clusters of fruits, called fruit hands. The number of fruit hands varies between plant varieties. Occasionally, cross-pollination with wild types will result in a number of seeds in a normally seedless variety. Bananas will grow in most soils, but to thrive, they should be planted in a rich, well-drained soil. The best possible location would be above an abandoned compost heap. They prefer an acid soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. The banana cultivation is not tolerant of salty soils.

Banana fruit

Bananas are a valuable source of vitamin vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium. Banana is easily digestible, contains no cholesterol and also a very good energizer. One banana finger, when munched with some groundnuts, or cashew nuts, can quickly restore lost energy to the body. Bananas are having a variety of sizes and colors like yellow, green, purple, and red.

The ripe banana is utilized in a multitude of ways in the human diet; from simply being peeled and eaten out of-hand to being sliced and served in fruit cups and salads, sandwiches, custards and gelatins; being mashed and incorporated into ice cream, bread, muffins, and cream pies.

In the islands of the South Pacific, unpeeled or peeled, unripe bananas are baked whole on hot stones, or the peeled fruit may be grated or sliced, wrapped, with or without the addition of coconut cream, in banana leaves, and baked in ovens. Ripe bananas are mashed, mixed with coconut cream, scented with Citrus leaves, and served as a thick, fragrant beverage.

In Polynesia, there is a traditional method of preserving large quantities of bananas for years. A pit is dug in the ground and lined with banana and Heliconza leaves. The peeled bananas are then wrapped in Heliconza leaves, arranged in layer after layer, then banana leaves are placed on top and soil and rocks heaped over all. The pits remain unopened until the fermented food, called "masi", is needed.

In Costa Rica, ripe bananas from an entire bunch are peeled and boiled slowly for hours to make a thick sirup which they called is "honey".

Dried green plantains, ground fine and roasted, have been used as a substitute for coffee.

Banana chips are also a kind of snack produced from dehydrated or fried banana, which have a dark brown color and an intense banana taste.

Banana peel, flowers and leaves

The flower of the banana plant is used in Southeast Asian, Tamil, Bengali, and Kerala cuisine, either served raw with dips or cooked in soups and curries. The inner most part of the flower can be eaten raw.

Few type of banana flower also has sweet honey in it. Honey bee keeping is a good business around banana cultivation plants.

The leaves of the banana plant are large, flexible, greeny and waterproof. They are used to lining cooking pits, wrapping up food for cooking and storage and also to serve food in India and other Asian countries.

In the Philippines, fiber from the pseudostem is woven into a thin, transparent fabric called "agna" which is the principal material in some regions for women's blouses and men's shirts. It is also used for making handkerchiefs and in Ceylon, it is fashioned into soles for inexpensive shoes and used for floor coverings.

Dried banana peel having 30 to 40% tannin content and are mainly used to blacken leather. The ash from the dried peel of bananas and plantains is rich in potash and used for making soap. The burned peel of unripe fruits of certain varieties is used for dyeing.

[image: south Indian cuisine served in banana leaf]

Medicinal Uses

The juice extract prepared from the tender core of the banana tree is also used to treat kidney stones.

In Indian aurvedic medicine, juice is extracted from the corm and used for the treatment of jaundice, sometimes with the addition of honey.

Cooked flowers are given to diabetics

Young leaves are placed as poultices on burns and other skin afflictions

The astringent ashes of the unripe peel and of the leaves are taken in dysentery and diarrhea and used for treating malignant ulcers; the roots are administered in digestive disorders, dysentery and other ailments;

Banana seed mucilage is given in cases of catarrh and diarrhea in India.

See also Nutrition value of banana and banana products

Anti fungal and antibiotic principles are found in the peel and pulp of fully ripe bananas. The antibiotic acts against Mycobacteria. A fungicide in the peel and pulp of green fruits is active against a fungus disease of tomato plants. Norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin are also present in the ripe peel and pulp. The first two elevate blood pressure; serotonin inhibits gastric secretion and stimulates the smooth muscle of the intestines.

Banana cultivars

Apple, Silk, or Manzana
Dessert type, pleasant sub-acid apple flavor when fully ripe. Fruit: 4 to 6 inches. Grows to 10 to 12 feet. The fruit is not ripe until some brownish specs appear on the skin. From planting until harvest is approximately 15 months.

Resistant to Panama Wilt disease. Clones of this variety are distinguished by the size of the pseudostem. The largest is Lacatan (12 to 18 feet) followed by Robusta and Giant Cavendish (10 to 16 feet). The smallest is the Dwarf Cavendish (4 to 7 feet).

Cuban Red
Very tall (up to 25 feet), very tropical. Skin dark red, with generally reddish pseudostem. Fruit is especially aromatic with cream-orange pulp. 20 months from planting until harvest.

Gros Michel
Commercially, the most important and considered by many to be the most flavorful. Because of its susceptibility to Panama Wilt disease it is being replaced with resistant varieties. Although there is no Panama Wilt in California, it does poorly here as the plant seems to need more heat and it tends to grow more slowly than other varieties.

Ice Cream or Blue Java
Medium-tall (15 to 20 feet), bluish cast to the unripe fruit. Fruit: 7 to 9 inches, quite aromatic and is said to melt in the mouth like ice cream. Bunches are small with seven to nine hands. 18 to 24 months from planting until harvest.

Lady Finger
Tall (20 to 25 feet), excellent-quality fruit, tolerant of cool conditions. 15 to 18 months from planting to harvest.

The Goldfinger banana
The Goldfinger banana (FHIA-01) is a banana variety developed in Honduras. The variety, developed at the Honduran Foundation for Agricultural Research (FHIA) by a team of scientists let by Philip Rowe and Franklin Rosales, has been bred to be pest-resistant (specifically against the black sigatoka) and crop-yielding.

Commonly grown in California for years as a landscape plant. Grows to 16 feet, more cold hardy than any other. 15 to 18 months from planting to harvest. Flavor is good, texture is less than perfect, but when properly grown and cultivated it can produce enormous stalks of fruit. Excellent in banana bread. Sometimes called horse, hog or burro banana, it can be purchased at most nurseries.

A Hawaiian variety with short, salmon-pink flesh, plump fruit that may be cooked or eaten fresh. A slender plant preferring a protected area with high humidity and filtered light. Grows to about 14 feet tall.

A Cavendish clone resembling the Robusta. Some believe them to be the same. The Dwarf Cavendish is the most widely planted as it is better adapted to a cool climate and is less likely to be blown over.

The same as Giant Cavendish. Originated from a mutation of Dwarf Cavendish found in Queensland, Australia. A commercial banana grown in many countries that does well in California. 10 to 16 feet in height and has a distinctive long, very large bud. The Del Monte is a Williams.

Controlled ripening and storage

Gibberellin A4A7, applied by any of these methods(either by spraying or in the form of a lanolin paste, on the stalk just above the first fruit hands, or by injection of a solution, powder or tablet into the stalk) about 2 months before time of normal ripening, had the effect of delaying ripening from 10 to 19 days. If applied too early, the gibberellin treatment has no effect.


In Indian cultures the banana plant because of its continuous reproduction, regarded as a symbol of fertility and prosperity, and the leaves and fruits are deposited on doorsteps of houses where marriages are taking place. Banana plants are often installed in the entrance of the home during marriage functions in Tamilnadu. Malay women bathe with a decoration of banana leaves for 15 days after childbirth. Early Hawaiians used a young plant as a truce flag in wars.