India is the second largest producer of fruits in the world. Though India is known for its production of common native fruits like Banana, Mango, Sapota, there are also certain fruits that are grown only overseas or cultivated only in a negligible scale in our country. These fruits are known as exotic fruits.
Increasing purchasing power and preference among urban consumers has aggravated its consumption among people. Hence, It becomes utmost necessity to know what we consume…
#1. Blue berries
Botanical Name: Vaccinium corymbosum syn. Cyanococcus corymbosum.
Blueberries are native to Canada and United States of America. These fruits are having a huge demand in India since this fruit has been a healthy choice for the people who are highly concerned about their health. Initially it was a wild species, but later on they were commercialized after knowing their health benefits. The fruits are small in size, weighing 5-7 grams in weight. This fruit is known for its purplish blue appearance and sweet taste. Blueberries are rich in Gallic Acid which makes the fruit with rich effective antioxidants and anti-ageing property. The Gallic Acid content in the fruit has anti-cancer properties. These are also said to improve focus and memory power in humans.
Botanical Name: Actinidia delicosa (Green kiwi) & Actinidia chinensis (Golden Kiwi)
Kiwifruit, native to china sometimes called as “Chinese gooseberry”. Even though the Kiwi fruit is the National fruit of China, the fruits are commercialized first in New Zealand. Now, the crop is grown commercially in European countries and the USA. It is a temperate fruit and in India the fruits are grown commonly in Himachal Pradesh. The fruit is large and egg-shaped with hairy dull brownish skin and is known for its unique flavor despite its sweet taste and soft greenish or golden pulp. There are numerous small edible black colored seeds arranged in a uniform round shape towards the center. The fruits are mostly given to the children for their healthy growth. Since the fruit is climatic, it is more sensitive to ethylene and hence should be stored separately in cool conditions.
Botanical Name: Fragaria anannasa
Strawberry is a hybrid species which is a cross between Fragaria and anannasa. Strawberries are native to United Kingdom and now, it is worldwide in cultivation. The fruits are extensively known for its premium characters like Aroma, Bright red color, juicy texture and sweetness. This fruit is most popular one among the Indian consumers. Since the skin of the fruit is very soft, it cannot be stored for long time even under cold temperature. It is cultivated in temperate regions wherein the runners are used as a propagating materials. Strawberries are eaten either raw or used in desserts.
#4. Dragon fruits
Botanical Name: Hylocerus undatus
Family : cactus
Even though there are different varieties of dragon fruits, the fruits with pink skin and white flesh (Hylocerus undatus) is most commonly referred to as Dragon fruit. The fruit is native to Mexico and now extensively cultivated in America. The fruit has a peculiar appearance with leathery pink skin, scaly outer leaf like structure with white color flesh wherein tiny seeds are embedded. The texture of the fruit is sometimes compared to Kiwi fruit since its crunchy seeds resemble the kiwi seeds. The pulp tastes mild sweet with a distinct flavor. Dragon fruit is rich source of vitamin C. they contain very low level of cholesterol and high antioxidants. It is also said that the fruit can prevent cardiac diseases since it contains high fiber in it.
Botanical Name: Prunus avium
Cherries are one among the most delicious fruits in the world. This fruit is native to Europe and Western Asia. The fruit is grown in temperate region and its property of getting damaged by rain and hail has made the fruit expensive for buyers. It is a drupe (stone fruit) with bright red color pulp which makes the fruit attractive. Cherries contain high antioxidants and vitamins. Cherries reduce the blood pressure level and regulate sleep.
Botanical Name: Garcinia mangostana
The purple mangosteen simply called as “Mangosteen” has its origin in Indonesia. The fruit is known for its sweet, juicy and fibrous white colored pulp with vesicles (like in citrus pulp). The hard endocarp of the fruit is fibrous reddish-purple color when ripened. It weighs approximately 50 grams in weight. The crop is commercialized in Thailand. Mangosteen has a significant health benefit for the skin problems. It is having high quantities of antioxidants and vitamin C, maintain blood pressure and prevent anemia. It also has properties that act against Cancer.
#7. Gala Apples
Gala apples are clonally propagated cultivar first identified in New Zealand. The Royal Gala apples are the best-selling fruits in the Indian market when the Shimla apple season ends in India. The fruit is crunchy with mild flavor and sweet taste. The Royal gala fruits do not have a distinct uniform color. The skin of the fruits has vertical stripes in it. It is the best apples of the world after red delicious. Though gala apples are grown in different countries like USA, Australia, etc the royal gala apples have a distinct and superior quality and having high demand in the market. They are rich in fiber and in vitamin C content.
Botanical Name: Diospyros kaki
Family : Ebenaceae
Persimmon, generally called as “Japanese Persimmon” is a native crop of Japan and also the National fruit of the country. The fruit is acidic and remain astringent until ripe and once it is ripened, it is the sweetest fruit ever. The color of the fruit is yellowish orange. Its shape is like pumpkin or a big sized tomato. The unripe fruit is bitter and acidic because of the high tannin content of the fruit. Persimmon is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. They also contain anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in it. Persimmon is also a rich source of fiber content.
(This article was originally published in ‘The Agraria’ e-Magazine. You can Subscribe it by clicking here)