Edible fruits are fleshy structures with a pleasant aroma and flavours. Fruits are sources of many nutrients including potassium, dietary fiber, folic acid and vitamins.Depending on the climatic region in which fruit crops grow, they can be classified into temperate(apple, pear, plum) and tropical fruits (mango, jack, banana). In this chapter we will study some examples of tropical fruits.
Botanical name : Mangifera indica
The mango is the native to Southern Asia, especially Burma and Eastern India. It is the National fruit of India. Major mango producing States are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Karnataka.
Salem, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri are the major mango producing districts of Tamil Nadu. Some of the major cultivars of mango in India are Alphonsa, Banganapalli, neelam and malgova.
Mango is the major table fruit of India, which is rich in beta carotenes. It is utilized in many ways, as dessert, canned, dried and preserves in Indian cuisine. Sour, unripe mangoes are used in chutneys, pickles, side dishes, or may be eaten raw with salt and chili. Mango pulp is made into jelly. Aerated and non-aerated fruit juice is a popular soft drink.
Botanical name : Musa x paradisiaca
Bananas were domesticated in South East Asia. Tamil Nadu is the world’s No. 1 banana producer. Theni, Trichy, Erode,Thoothukudi, Coimbatore, Kanyakumari, Thanjavur and Dindigul are the prominent regions in Tamil Nadu where the crop is being cultivated. Major cultivars of banana are Chevazhai, Nentheran, Karpooravalli, Poovan and Peyan.
The banana fruit is loaded with potassium and essential vitamins, which can be eaten raw or cooked (deep fried, dehydrated, baked or steamed). The fruit can be processed into flour and can be fermented for the production of beverages such as banana juice, beer, vinegar and vine.
Botanical name : Artocarpus heterophyllus
The jackfruit has originated in the Western Ghats of India and it is the state fruit of Tamil Nadu. The major Jack fruit cultivating areas of Tamil Nadu are Cuddalore, Kanyakumari , Dindigul, Pudukottai, Namakkal, Tirunelveli and Nilgiris. Panruti and Coimbatore districts are the major marketing centres.
The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked. Unripe flake slices are deep-fried to make crispy chips. The seeds are either boiled or roasted and eaten. Unripe fruits are used as vegetables.