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Friday, August 14, 2015

JACKFRUIT - THE BENEFIT


JACKFRUIT (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is one of its own kind of tropical fruits and recognized for its unique shape, size and fruity flavour. Jackfruit can be appreciated from a distance by the smell. The fruit is delicious sweet taste. Int wan a polupar fuits in Malaysia grown with other tropical fruits such as durian, banana and it is also rich in energy, dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins. The flesh are free from saturated fats or cholesterol and making it one of the healthy fresh ripen fruit to eat. Botanically, this popular Asian tropical fruit belongs to the family of Moraceae and is closely related to figs, mulberry, and breadfruit. There are about 6,200 hectare CHE of jackfruit grown in Malaysia especially in Pahang under Permanent Crop Area Project (TKPM). Jackfruit is a huge tree that grows to as high as 30 meters but the farmers manage to do pruning to maintain the height ablut 4 meters. It is believed to be indigenous to the South western rain forests of India. It is widely cultivated in the tropical regions of Indian subcontinent, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil for its fruit, seeds, and wood. The tree grows best under tropical humid and rainy climates but rarely survives cold and frosty conditions. During the season, each tree bears as many as 250 large fruits, supposed to be the largest tree-borne fruits in the world. The fruit varies widely in size, weigh from 3 to 30 kg, and has oblong or round shape measuring 10 cm to 60 cm in length, 25 to 75 cm in diameter. While unripe fruits are green, they turn light brown and spread a strong sweet, fruity smell once ripe. This article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" I share the info of nutritional value of jackfruit. 
The jackfruit also known as jack tree, jakfruit, or sometimes simply jack or jak is a species of tree in the Artocarpus genus of the mulberry under the family of Moraceae. It is native to parts of South and Southeast Asia and is believed to have originated in Asia. The jackfruit tree is well suited to tropical lowlands and its fruit is the largest tree-borne fruit, reaching as much as 35 kg in weight, 90 cm in length, and 50 cm in diameter. The jackfruit tree is a widely cultivated and popular food item in tropical regions of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka,Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Jackfruit is also found across Africa as well as throughout Brazil, west-central Mexico, and in Caribbean nations such as Jamaica. Jackfruit is the the national fruit of Bangladesh. The flesh of the jackfruit is starchy and fibrous and is a source of dietary fiber. The flavor is comparable to a combination of apple, pineapple, mango, and banana. Varieties are distinguished according to characteristics of the fruit's flesh. In Malaysia varieties that are widely grown are Tekam Yellow (J33), Mastura, Mantin, Subang dan the latest variety known as 'Subang Boy'. In Indochina the two varieties are the "hard" version (more crunchy, drier and less sweet but fleshier), and the "soft" version (more soft, moister, much sweeter with a darker gold-color flesh than the hard variety) are preferred for export market.
The jackfruit juice is extracted and either drunk straight or as a side with muri. The extract is sometimes condensed into rubbery and eaten as candies. The seeds are either boiled or roasted and eaten with salt and hot chillies. As in durian the outfits outer surface is covered with the blunt thorn-like projections, which become soft as the fruit ripe. Its interior consists of orange-yellow colored edible bulbs. Each bulb consists of sweet-flavored flesh (sheath) that encloses a smooth, oval, light-brown seed. There may be as many as 100 - 500 edible bulbs embedded in a single fruit interspersed between thin bands of fibers. Jackfruit seed is encased inside a thin, transparent outer cover. It largely compose of starch and white and crisp within. Each seed measures about 2 to 4 cm in length, and 1 to 3 cm in thickness. Almost all the parts of the tree secrete white sticky latex like milk (juice) upon infliction of injury.


Health benefits of jackfruit are great as fresh fruits consumed. Every 100 g of edible jackfruit bulbs provide 95 calories. The fruit is made of soft, easily digestible flesh (bulbs) with simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly. Jackfruit is rich in dietary fiber, which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps protect the colon mucous membrane by binding to and eliminating cancer-causing chemicals from the colon. Fresh fruit has small amounts of vitamin-A, and flavonoid pigments such as carotene-ß, xanthin, lutein and cryptoxanthin-ß. Together, these compounds play vital roles in antioxidant and vision functions. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining integrity of mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A, and carotenes has been found to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. Additionally, jackfruit is a good source of antioxidant vitamin-C, provides about 13.7 mg or 23% of RDA. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals. It is one of the rare fruits that is rich in B-complex group of vitamins. It contains very good amounts of vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid. Fresh fruit is a good source of potassium, magnesium, manganese, and iron. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Thanks!

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Precint 11, Putrajaya,

Wilayah Persekutuan
Malaysia.
(13 Rejab 1436H)


Sunday, August 9, 2015

GUAVA - MAGNIFICIENT FRUIT

GUAVA (Psidium guajava) is another tropical fruit rich in high-profile nutrients. With its unique flavor, taste, and health-promoting qualities, the fruit easily fits in the new functional foods category, often called “super-fruits.” Guava is an evergreen, tropical shrub or low-growing small tree probably originated in the central Americas. Guavas actually thrive in both humid and dry climates and can tolerate brief periods of cold spells, but can survive only a few degrees of frost. Adaptability makes it a favorite commercial crop in some tropical areas.  Botanically, this wonderful fruit belongs within the family of Myrtaceae and able to produce flower and fruits all year round in tropical area. There about 3,100 hectare of guava grown in Malaysia reported in 2014 mostly in Johor, Selangor and Pahang.  The popular variety grown in Malaysia are Kampuchea (GU8), Lohan (GU16) and Pink Guava (GU6). Sime Darby Sdn Bhd plant about 500 hectare of pink guava at Perak State and processed for Pink Guava Juice. It was reported as one of the largest pink guava producers in the world. Most fresh guava are consumed as fresh fruit and processed as dried fruits as snacks. There are about 15 factory processed guava for dries snacks located in Johore and Selangor. This article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" I posted an article about the nutrition value of guava as tropical fruits.

During each season the guava tree bears numerous round, ovoid or pear-shaped fruits that are about 5-10 cm long and weigh around 50 - 200 g. Different cultivar types of guava grown all over the world which, vary widely in flavor, pulp color, and seeds. The fruit is soft when ripe with sweet musky aroma and creamy in texture. Internally, its flesh varies in color depending up on the cultivar and may be white, pink, yellow, or red. Ripe fruits have rich flavor with sweet-tart taste. Each fruit contains numerous tiny, semi-hard edible seeds, concentrated especially at its center. Pink Guava are unique due to the colour of the flesh contain huge nutrition components (See diagram) Sime Darby Bhd's (SDB) 500 ha pink guava plantation in Sungei Wangi Estate in Sitiawan, Perak is the world’s single largest pink guava plantation and it is currently the nation’s only pink guava producer. With an annual harvest of almost nine million kg since 2006, the plantation produces 15% of the world’s pink guava puree. Manufactured under the stringent manufacturing process requirements, the pink guava puree is well accepted by beverage and food manufacturers in Europe, the United States, Australia, Japan, Korea, Singapore and also local manufacturer. 
 

Health benefits of guava fruit are considered one of the the best fruits to consume. Guava is low in calories and fats but contain several vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant poly-phenolic and flavonoid compounds that play a pivotal role in prevention of cancers, anti-aging, etc. The fruit is very rich source of soluble dietary fiber (5.4 g per 100 g of fruit, about 14% of DRA), which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxins as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon. Guava-fruit is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin-C. 100 g fresh fruit provides 228 mg of this vitamin, more than three times the DRI (daily-recommended intake). The flesh just underneath its outer thick rind contains exceptionally higher levels of vitamin C than its inner creamy pulp. Scientific studies shown that regular consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge cancer causing harmful free radicals from the body. Further, it is required for collagen synthesis within the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in the human body required for maintaining integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones.

The fruit is a very good source of Vitamin-A, and flavonoids like beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and cryptoxanthin. The compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and therefore essential for optimum health. Further, vitamin-A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotene is known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. Every 100 g of pink guava fruit provides 5204 µg of lycopene, nearly twice the amount than in tomatoes. (100 g tomato contains 2573 µg of lycopene). Studies suggest that lycopene in pink guavas prevents skin damage from UV rays and offers protection from prostate cancer. Fresh fruit is a very rich source of potassium. It contains more potassium than other fruits like banana weight per weight. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Further, the fruit is also a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin E and K, as well as minerals like magnesium, copper, and manganese. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cell.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Prcint 11, Putrajaya,
Wilayah Persekutuan
Malaysia.
(14 Rejab 1436H)


Saturday, August 1, 2015

LEMON - THE BENEFITS

 

LEMONS (Citrus lemon) are thought to have originated in the Himalayan foothills of North-East India, and from where they spread all across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and as far as Americas. There are 200 hectare CHE of lemon planted in Malaysia as mixed crop with other fruit trees. Most lemon fruits are consue=med as fresh and small portion processed for lemon juice and cosmetic products. Limes are smaller in size and less sour in taste than lemons. Put together both of these tiny fruits are perhaps now the largest consumable among fruits all over the world. Likewise in other citrus plants, lemons too are small, spreading, evergreen trees, growing up to 10-12 feet in most cultivated plantations. They flourish well in temperate and tropical environments, whereas, cold and frosty conditions would affect their growth adversely. Stems and branches are often armed with sharp, stout thorns. Fully-grown plant bears fragrant, white flowers in short cymes. Fruits belonging to the citrus group are described as “hesperidium," (A hesperidium is a scientific term to describe the fruit structure belonging to the citrus group). In fact, the fruit is a modified berry with tough, leathery rind. Lemon's peel contains many volatile oil glands in pits. Interior flesh is composed of segments, called carpels, made up of numerous juice-filled vesicles that are actually specialized hair cells). Mature lemons turn yellow from green, measure about 5-8 cm in diameter, and weigh about 50- 80 gram in weight. This article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" I posted an this article for all blog readers.


Health benefits of lemon are discussed in this article. Lemons are packed with numerous health benefiting nutrients. The fruit is less in calories, carrying just 29 calories per 100 g, the value being one of the lowest for the citrus fruits group. They contains zero saturated fats or cholesterol, but are good source of dietary fiber (7.36% of RDA). Lemon is one of the very low glycemic fruits. Lemon's acidic taste is because of citric acid. Citric acid constitutes up to 8% in its juice. Citric acid is a natural preservative, aids in smooth digestion, and helps dissolve kidney stones. Lemons, like other fellow citrus fruits, are an excellent source of vitamin C (ascorbic acid); provides about 88% of daily recommended intake. Ascorbic acid is a powerful water soluble natural anti-oxidant. This vitamin is helpful in preventing scurvy. Besides, consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood.

 

Lemons, like fresh oranges contain a variety of phytochemicals. Hesperetin, naringin, and naringenin are flavonoid glycosides commonly found in citrus fruits. Componentssuch as Naringenin is found to have bio-active effect on human health as antioxidant, free radical scavenger, anti-inflammatory, and immune system modulator. This substance has also been shown to reduce oxidant injury to DNA in the cells in-vitro studies. Additionally, they also compose a minute levels of vitamin A, and other flavonoid anti-oxidants such as alpha, and ß-carotenes, ß-cryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is also essential for vision. Consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps the body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

 

Total ORAC value, which measures the anti-oxidant strength of 100 g of fresh lemon juice is 1225 µmol TE (Trolex equivalents). The fruit is also a good source of B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, and folates. These essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish. Further, they carry a healthy amount of minerals like iron, copper, potassium, and calcium. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Citrus fruits, as such, have long been valued for their wholesome nutritious and antioxidant properties. It is scientifically established fact that citrus fruits, especially lemons and oranges, by virtue of their richness in vitamins and minerals, have many proven health benefits. Moreover, it is now beginning to be appreciated that the other biologically active, non-nutrient compounds found in citrus fruits such as phyto-chemical antioxidants, and soluble as well as insoluble dietary fiber is helpful in reduction in the risk for cancers, many chronic diseases like arthritis, and from obesity and coronary heart diseases. Thanks.


By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Precint 11, Putrajaya,
Wilayah Persekutuan,
WP, MALAYSIA.
(9 Rejab 1436H)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

STAR FRUIT - THE NUTRITION VALUE

STAR FRUIT or CARAMBOLA (Avverhoa carambola) are popular fruit grown in Malaysia. Department of Agriculture reported in 2015 total area planted with star fruit estimated 1,500 hectare located mostly in Selangor, Perak and Johore. Malaysia are the largest fresh star fruit to Europe region since few decade ago. The most popular variety of star fruits in Malaysia are B10 and B2 and B17. B17 are elongated shape star fuuit with very sweet and mostly for domestic market. The B2 variety is for domestic and export quality.  Star fruit has a star shaped tropical fruit with sweet and sour flavor. Carambola is native to Malayan Peninsula and cultivated in many parts of Southeast Asia, Pacific islands and China for its fruits. Although abundant and plentiful, carambola is yet to gain popularity, especially in the western world.  The genus averrhoa includes two well-known sorrel (Oxalidaceae) families of fruiting trees, carambola and bilimbi (tree cucumber). The fruit is recognized as belimbing manis in many South East Asian regions.
 


Star fruit is a small and bushy evergreen tree that grows very well under hot, humid, tropical conditions. The plant bears small lilac colour, bell-shaped flowers in clusters, which subsequently develop into oblong shaped fruits with characteristic five angled edges (sides or ribs) that appear like a starfish in cross sections (See writer under the carambola tree). Both sweet and sour varieties begin to yield under cultivable orchards, and ready for harvesting when the plants reach about 3-4 years old. Carambola fruit features light-green to yellow with attractive smooth waxy surface and weighs about 70-130g. Inside, its crispy, juicy pulp can either be mildly sweet or extremely sour depending upon the cultivar type and amount of oxalic acid concentration. In some seed types, 2-5 tiny edible seeds found at the center of each angled cavitiy.
 

Health benefits of star fruit according to the scientific reports are amazing.
Star fruit is one of the very low calorie exotic fruits. 100 g fruit just provides 31 calories, which is much lower than for any other popular tropical fruits. Nonetheless, it has an impressive list of essential nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins required for well-being. The fruit along with its waxy peel provides a good amount of dietary fiber. Fiber helps prevent absorption of dietary LDL cholesterol in the gut. The dietary fibers also help protect the mucous membrane of the colon from exposure to toxic substances by binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon. Star fruit contains good quantities of vitamin-C. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant. 100 g of fresh fruit provides 34.7 mg or 57% of daily-required levels of vitamin C. In general, consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.



Star fruit is rich in antioxidant phyto-nutrients polyphenolic flavonoids. Some of the important flavonoids are quercetin, epicatechin, and gallic acid. Total polyphenol contents (Folin assay) in this fruit are143 mg/100 g. These compounds help protect from deleterious effects of oxygen derived free radicals by warding them off the body. In addition, the fruit is a good source of B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). Together, these vitamins help as co-factors for enzymes in metabolism as well as in various synthetic functions inside the body. It also contains small amount of minerals and electrolytes like potassium, phosphorus, and zinc and iron. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure; thus, counters bad influences of sodium. Medicinal uses of star fruit and its juice is often recommended in many folk medicine in Brazil as a diuretic (to increase urine output), expectorant, and to suppress cough. Try to buy fresh star fruit and eat as fresh cut fruit or as juice extract. Thanks.

By
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Precint 11, Putrajaya,
Malaysia.
(23 Rejab 1436H)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

SAPODILLA - NUTRITION FACT

 
SAPODILLA (Manilkara zapota or Manikara sapota) are one of the unique tropical fruits grown in Malaysia for fresh consumption. Sapodilla or sapota (locally called as 'Ciku' in Malaysia and 'Sawo' in Indonesia ) is another popular tropical fruit in line with mango, banana, jackfruit, pineapple and many others. Sapota composes of soft, easily digestible pulp made of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose (See photo above). Sapota is a tropical evergreen, fruit-bearing tree belongs to the family of Sapotaceae  and able to reach 20 meters in height. Sapote thought to have originated in the central American rain forests, probably in Mexico and Belize. Today its cultivation has spread all over the tropical belt and is being grown as a major commercial crop in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia. The tree is one of fast growing, wind and drought resistant, and it flourishes well even under dry arid regions receiving scanty rains. However, water irrigation during summer would results in good fruit yields. Each sapodilla fruit is a berry; round or oval, measures about 10 cm in diameter, and weigh about 150 g. A tree bears as many as 2,000 fruits per year all year round but normally has two peak seasons.



Sapota fruit has grey or brown, sandy and look like “kiwifruit” at glance but the outer surface but without the fuzziness. The young fruit are brown colour but it bwcome dark brown whe reach ripe stage. Unripe fruits possess white, hard, inedible pulp that secrete sticky latex containing toxic substance saponin. This milky latex gradually disappears and its white flesh turns brown as the fruit ripe. Once ripen, it becomes soft, aquires sweet taste and smooth or grainy texture with slight musky flavor. It contains about 3-10 black, smooth, shiny “biconvex or bean” shaped, inedible seeds, located at its center. The harvesting process of this fruit are critical due to the soft skin will damage upon drop to the dround. Therefore the farmers has to pluck manually each fruits. It was kept for few days for ripening process. Fresh sapota fruit process about RM 8.00 - RM10.00 per kilogram and worth eating as fresh fruit. The sweet taste and special aroma able to improve health. 


Health benefits of sapodilla according to the lab test are valuable. Sapodilla is one of the high calorie fruits in which 100 g provides 83 calories (almost same as that of calories in sweet potato, and banana). Additionally, it is a very good source of dietary fiber (5.6 g/100g), which makes it an excellent bulk laxative. This fiber content helps relieve constipation episodes and help protect mucousa of colon from cancer-causing toxins. The fruit is rich in antioxidant poly-phenolic compound tannin. Tannins are a complex family of naturally occurring polyphenols. Research studies found that tannins have astringent properties and shown to have potential anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic effects. Hence, these compounds may found useful applications in traditonal medicines as anti-diarrheal, hemostatic (stops bleeding) and as a remedy for hemorrhoids. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory effect of tannins help limit conditions like erosive gastritis, reflux-esophagitis, enteritis, and irritating bowel disorders. Some other fruits that also rich in tannins include pomegranate, persimmon and grapes. Sapote contains a good amount of antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C (24.5% of recommended daily intake per 100 g of fruit), and vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for vision. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A has been known to offer protection from lung and oral cavity cancers. So also, consumption of foods containing vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and help scavenge harmful free radicals from the human body. Fresh ripe sapodilla is a good source of minerals like potassium, copper, iron and vitamins like folate, niacin and pantothenic acid. These compounds are essential for optimal health as they involve in various metabolic processes in the body as cofactors for the enzymes. That's all folks.


By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Precint 11, Putrajaya,
Malaysia.
(2 Rejab 1436H)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

BANANA - EATING ADVANTAGE


BANANA (Musa spp) is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows from the underground rhizome. It flourishes well under tropical, moisture-rich, humid, low-lying farmlands. Malaysia grow for more than 31,500 hectare of banana annually for domestic and export market. The popular variety planted by farmers are Pisang Berangan, Pisang Nipah, Pisang Rastali, Pisang Mas, Pisang Tanduk and many others. From DOA reported about 16 banana varieties are registered in National Plant Variety Listing. Banana has unique growth characteristics. In fact, the whole plant is a false stem (pseudostem). This pseudostem is consisting of broad leaves, together with their long petioles, overlapping each other in a disc-like fashion. The whole plant may reach upto 2 to 6 meters tall from the ground surface depending upon the cultivar types. At maturity, the rhizome gives rise to a flower (inflorescence) which is carried up along true core stem (smooth un-branched stem) which pass through the centre of pseudostem. The flower finally emerges out at the top in-between leaf clusters. The inflorescence subsequently develops to a huge hanging bunch, consisting of 3 to 20 hands (tiers), with each hand carrying at least 5-10 fingers (fruits). This article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" about banana nutrition value.

There are several cultivars of banana that comes in different size (4”-9”inch), color (yellow to brown), weight (70-150g) and taste. Structurally, it has a protective outer skin layer and delicious, sweet and tart, creamy-white edible flesh inside.  Plantains are other cultivar types more often known as cooking bananas. They closely related to familiar fruit banana or dessert banana. Plantains are used as a staple diet in many parts of tropical African and Caribbean regions as well as in Thailand, Laos, and other Southeast Asian parts. When a banana plant is mature, the corm stops producing new leaves and begins to form a flower spike or inflorescence. A stem develops which grows up inside the pseudostem, carrying the immature inflorescence until eventually it emerges at the top. Each pseudostem normally produces a single inflorescence, also known as the "banana heart". (More are sometimes produced; an exceptional plant in the Philippines produced five. After fruiting, the pseudostem dies but offshoots will normally have developed from the base, so that the plant as a whole is perennial. In the plantation system of cultivation, only one of the offshoots will be allowed to develop in order to maintain spacing.The inflorescence contains many bracts (sometimes incorrectly referred to as petals) between rows of flowers. The female flowers (which can develop into fruit) appear in rows further up the stem (closer to the leaves) from the rows of male flowers. The ovary is inferior, meaning that the tiny petals and other flower parts appear at the tip of the ovary.
The banana fruits develop from the banana heart, in a large hanging cluster, made up of tiers (called "hands"), with up to 20 fruit to a tier. The hanging cluster is known as a bunch, comprising 3–20 tiers, or commercially as a "banana stem", and can weigh 30–50 kg. Individual banana fruits (commonly known as a banana or "finger") average 125 gm of which approximately 75% is water and 25% dry matter.The fruit has been described as a "leathery berry". There is a protective outer layer (a peel or skin) with numerous long, thin strings (the phloem bundles), which run lengthwise between the skin and the edible inner portion. The inner part of the common yellow dessert variety can be split lengthwise into three sections that correspond to the inner portions of the three carpels by manually deforming the unopened fruit.[19] In cultivated varieties, the seeds are diminished nearly to non-existence; their remnants are tiny black specks in the interior of the fruit.

 

Health benefits of banana fruit as one of the most popular fruit throughout the world are well known. Banana is one of the high calorie, tropical fruits. 100 grams of fruit carry 90 calories. Besides, it contains good amount of health benefiting anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Banana fruit is composed of soft, easily digestible flesh made up of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that upon consumption instantly replenishes energy and revitalizes the body. Thus, for these qualities, bananas are being used by athletes to get instant energy and as supplement food in the treatment plan for underweight children. The fruit holds a good amount of soluble dietary fiber (7% of DRA per 100 g) that helps normal bowel movements; thereby reducing constipation problems. It contains health promoting flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin, ß and a-carotenes, albeit, in small amounts. These compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.

Banana is good source of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine); provides about 28% of daily-recommended allowance. Pyridoxine is an important B-complex vitamin that has beneficial role for the treatment of neuritis, and anemia. Further, it helps decrease homocystine (one of the triggering factor in coronary artery disease (CHD) and stroke episodes) levels within the human body. The fruit is also a moderate source of vitamin-C (about 8.7 mg per 100g). Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.  Fresh bananas provide adequate levels of minerals like copper, magnesium, and manganese. Magnesium is essential for bone strengthening and has a cardiac-protective role as well. Manganese is utilized as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Fresh banana is a very rich source of potassium. 100 g fruit provides 358 mg potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure, countering bad effects of sodium.

Once ripen, bananas are very fragile and start decaying in short span of time. In the field, mature bananas generally harvested while they are still raw green and firm which makes them easier for transportation. In order to ripen, they usually subjected to ethylene spray or kept in close proximity with other ripe fruits. In the stores, choose banana fruits based on when you want to use them; greener ones should last for more days, while yellow and brown-spotted bananas should be eaten in a few days. Ready to eat bananas should be bright yellow, and emanate rich fruity aroma. Ripe banana peels off easily. Ripe, fresh fruits are nutritionally enriched and sweeter in taste than unripe, raw green ones. Avoid mushy or damaged bananas, as they are un-appealing. Bananas come with nature gifted protective outer layer of skin, and therefore, less likely to be contaminated by germs and dust.


Eat banana fruit as it is without any additions. Just discard its peel and enjoy. Fresh "banana-milkshake" with sugar syrup is a refreshing drink. Bananas have also been used to prepare fruit jams. Grilled banana fruit can be served on cake/ ice cream in the Caribbean style dessert. Banana chips (plantain) enjoyed as snack (produced from dehydrated or fried banana or plantain slices). Mashed ripe banana fruits can be added to cakes, casseroles, muffins, bread-pudding, etc. Plantains and raw unripe banana can be employed as vegetable in recipes. Safety profile fpr consume banana, oftentimes, banana fruits known to cause skin and systemic allergic reactions in sensitive persons. The fruit may be the cause of "oral allergy syndrome" in which the symptoms may include itching and swelling around the mouth or throat within hours after ingestion. The condition may be related to birch tree and other pollen allergies. The other type of allergic reaction is related to latex. The symptoms may include urticaria and sometimes potentially serious gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. That all folks!.


By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Precint 11, Putrajaya,
Malaysia.
(4 Rejab 1436H)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

MANGOSTEEN - BENEFITS OF IT

 MANGOSTEEN (Garcinia mangostana) it is the fruit belonging to the family of Clusiaceae and native to Malaysia and Indonesia.This tree are  in the genus of Garcinia. There are about 7,450 CHE hectare of mangosteen grown in  2014 reported by DOA Malaysia especially in state of Johore, Perak, Selangor and Pahang respectively. The unique for its appearance and flavour of mangosteen is often revered as 'queen of the tropical fruits' especially in the oriental regions. This fruit are considered as the companion of the durian fruit so called 'king of the fruits'. This exotic, purple color fruit is quite popular for its snow-white, juicy, delicious arils all over the Asian countries, and in recent years by the European and American fruit lovers as well.  Mangosteen plant is an evergreen, erect tree reaching about 20- 60 ft in height. It commonly found in tropical rainforests of Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines as well as in some cultivated orchards in Sri Lanka and India, where annual precipitation and relative humidity are favourable for its growth. Fresh purple fruits are available in the markets from June until October. This article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" the readers able to read information about the magnificent nutrition value for mangosteen.

Each tree bears several deep purple colored round shaped fruits, capped with light green calyx at the stem end. Completely matured fruit measures about 3-7 cm in diameter (See figure ). Its outer tough rind is about 7-12 mm thick, contains bitter yellow latex that stains clothes black. The mature fruits internally the fruit features 4 to 10 compartment and juicy, snow-white color, soft, fleshy, triangular segments as in oranges. Each segment may contain 1 - 4 off-white colored seeds. Seeds are inedible and bitter in taste. The flavor of the fruit can be described as sweet, fragrant and delicious.  Different species of Garcinia genus are grown all around the Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America all along the tropical belt. Cherapu or Button mangosteen (Garcinia prainiana) is native to Malaysia. It features somewhat flat, mandarin orange-like shape with thin rind that can be peeled very easily by hand, again as in oranges. Mesta are another varieties normally grown in Pahang State referred as better quality from local varieties. Lemon drop mangosteens (Garcinia madruno) are small size (2-4 cm diameter) fruits, native to Malayan peninsula. African mangosteen or Imbe (Garcinia livingstonei) is native to West Africa. They are slightly larger than lemon drop type.
 

Health benefits of mangosteen are rare discussed as this fruit are limited production due to their short perishability.  Delicious and juicy, mangosteen is one of the popular tropical fruits. It comprises an impressive list of essential nutrients, which are required for normal growth and development and overall nutritional well-being. This fruit is very low in calories (63 calories per 100 g) and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol. Nonetheless, it is rich in dietary fiber (100 g provides about 13% of RDA), which can be very important for individuals who are concerned about putting on excess body weight. Mangosteen is good in vitamin C and provides about 12% of RDA per 100 g. Vitamin-C is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against flu-like infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
Fresh fruit is a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, niacin and folates. These vitamins are acting as cofactors the help body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Further, it also contains a very good amount of minerals like copper, manganese and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and helps control heart rate, and blood pressure; thus, it offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.
Mangosteens are available fresh during summer months. Completely matured, deep purple color fruits are picked up either by hand or hook-and-basket method as in mangoes, without damaging them. Injury to outer skin results in percolation of bitter-latex into the edible flesh, which makes the whole fruit bitter and inedible. Mangosteen is now readily available in the supermarkets across the United States. While buying, look for fresh fruits that feel heavy in hand with firm green calyx at the stem end, and bright purple color skin as they indicate fresh arrivals from East Asian orchards. Avoid those appearing dry and blotched skins as they may indicate an old stock. At home, ripe fruits should be placed in cool well-ventilated place where they keep well for up to two weeks. For extended keeping quality store them inside the refrigerator.

Preparation and Serving tips by washing the fruit in water to remove surface dust. Fresh fruit has a thick soft rind, quite like in pomegranate but thicker in size. In general, the fruit is scored through the rind around an equatorial circumferential fashion using paring knife, and its upper half pulled up gently using the thumb to expose delicious arils inside. Prolonged exposure to hot conditions may cause its outer skin dry, brittle and may pose problems while peeling. The serving tips for fresh mangosteens are wonderfully delicious. Enjoy this exotic juicy fruit all alone without any additions. The fruit segments complement well with other fruit sections like papaya,watermelon, pineapple, grapes, etc. Mangosteen juice is very tasty thirst quenching cool drink to beat summer heat. Mangosteen clafouti prepared using corn flour and coconut milk is a delicious dessert. Thanks.


By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomists,
Precint 11, Putrajaya,
WP, MAlaysia.
(9 Rejab 1436H)