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.
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