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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

PASSION FRUIT - THE BENEFITS

PASSION FRUITS (Passiflora endulis) plant requires well-drained fertile soil, and good moisture to flourish. Once established, it grows quickly and reaches about 15-20 feet per year. The plant has an average life span of about 5-7 years. Over five hundred cultivate types of passions exist; however, only two main types, purple and yellow cultivars, are widely cultivated. Banana passion fruit (P. tripartita var. mollissima), known locally as curuba de castilla, features small banana fruit like shape with rounded ends. During each season, the vine bears greenish-white fragrant flowers which subsequently develop into fruits. Golden yellow passion fruit. Note for thick rind. Inside view, showing pulpy juice with numerous tiny, dark brown or black, pitted seeds. Passion fruit features round to oval shape, 4 to 8 centimeters in diameter, have a tough outer shell (rind) as that of in mangosteen. Average weight is about 35-50 g. Inside, the fruit consists of membranous sacs containing light orange-color, pulpy juice with numerous small, hard, dark-brown or black, pitted seeds. Yellow passions are generally larger than the purple varieties, but the pulp of the purple fruit is less acid, richer in aroma and flavor, and has a higher proportion of juicy pulp. This article in "Anim Agriculture Technology" I will share an information about passion fruit nutritional value and their benefits.

Health benefits of passion fruit are delicious, passion fruit is rich source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. 100 g fruit contains about 97 calories. Passiflora edulis is a vine species of passion flower that is native to Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina. Its common names include passion fruit (US), passionfruit (UK and Commonwealth), and purple granadilla (South Africa). It is cultivated commercially in tropical and subtropical areas for its sweet, seedy fruit and is widely grown in several countries of South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Southern Asia, Israel, Australia, Hawaii and United States. The passion fruit is round to oval, either yellow or dark purple at maturity, with a soft to firm, juicy interior filled with numerous seeds. The fruit is both eaten and juiced; passion fruit juice is often added to other fruit juices to enhance aroma. Several distinct varieties of passion fruit with clearly differing exterior appearances exist. The bright yellow flavicarpavariety, also known as the Golden Passion Fruit, can grow up to the size of a grapefruit, has a smooth, glossy, light and airy rind, and has been used as a rootstock for the Purple Passion Fruit in Australia. The dark purple edulis variety is smaller than a lemon, though it is less acidic than the yellow passion fruit, and has a richer aroma and flavour. Several varieties of passion fruit are rich in polyphenol content and yellow varieties of the fruit were found to contain prunasin and other cyanogenic glycosides in the peel and juice.

The fruit is a very good source of dietary fiber. 100 g fruit pulp contains 10.4 g or 27% of fiber. Good fiber in the diet helps remove cholesterol from the body. Being a good bulk laxative, it also helps protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxic substances in the colon and wiping off cancer-causing toxic substances from the colon. Passion fruit is good in vitamin C, providing about 30 mg per 100 g. Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) 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. The fruit carry very good levels of vitamin-A (provides about 1274 IU per 100 g), and flavonoid antioxidants such as ß-carotene and cryptoxanthin-ß. Current research studies suggest that these compounds have antioxidant properties, and along with vitamin A are essential for good eye-sight. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A, and flavonoids may helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. Fresh granadilla is very rich in potassium. 100 g fruit pulp has about 348 mg of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cells and body fluids, and helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Furthermore, granadilla is a very good source of minerals. Iron, copper, magnesium and phosphorus are present in adequate amounts in the fruit. That's all folks!.

By,
M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Precint 11, Putrajaya,
Federal Teritory,
Malaysia.
)22 Rejab 1436H)

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