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Banana

Nutritional Information

1 cup mashed, banana

  • Calories 200
  • Calories from Fat 6.66
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 0.74g1%
  • Saturated Fat 0.252g1%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0.072g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.164g
  • Cholestreol 0mg0%
  • Sodium 2mg0%
  • Potassium 806mg23%
  • Total Carbohydrate 51.39g17%
  • Dietary Fiber 5.8g23%
  • Sugars 27.52g
  • Protein 2.45g5%
  • Calcium 1mg0%
  • Iron 3mg17%
  • Vitamin A 3%
  • Vitamin C 33%

When In Season:

    Florida: January (early) - December (late)

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Banana on Wikipedia:

For other uses, see Banana (disambiguation). Banana Peeled, whole, and cross section Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Monocots (unranked): Commelinids Order: Zingiberales Family: Musaceae Genus: Musa

Banana is the common name for herbaceous plants of the genus Musa and for the fruit they produce. They are native to the tropical region of Southeast Asia, and are likely to have been first domesticated in Papua New Guinea.[1] Today, they are cultivated throughout the tropics.[2]

Banana plants are in the family Musaceae. They are cultivated primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent to make fiber and as ornamental plants. As the banana plants are normally tall and fairly sturdy, they are often mistaken for trees, but their main or upright stem is actually a pseudostem. For some species, this pseudostem can reach a height of 2–8 metres (6.6–26 ft) with leaves of up to 3.5 meters (11 ft) in length. Each pseudostem can produce a bunch of bananas, which turn yellow or sometimes red when they ripen. After fruiting, the pseudostem dies.

The banana fruit grow in hanging clusters, with up to 20 fruit to a tier (called a hand), and 3–20 tiers to a bunch. The assembly of hanging clusters is known as a bunch, or commercially as a ``banana stem``, and can weigh from 30–50 kilograms (66–110 lb). The fruit averages 125 grams (0.28 lb), of which approximately 75% is water and 25% dry matter. Each individual fruit (known as a banana or 'finger') has a protective outer layer (a peel or skin) with a fleshy, edible inner portion. Both skin and inner part can be eaten raw or cooked. The fruit typically has numerous strings (called phloem bundles), which run between the skin and inner part. The inner part of the common yellow dessert variety splits easily lengthwise into three strips. Bananas are a valuable source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium.

'Cavendish' bananas are the main commercial cultivar

Bananas are grown in at least 107 countries.[3] In popular culture and commerce, ``banana`` usually refers to soft, sweet ``dessert`` bananas. The bananas from a group of cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit are called plantains. Bananas may also be cut and dried and eaten as a type of chip. Dried bananas are also ground into banana flour.

Although the wild species have fruits with numerous large, hard seeds, virtually all culinary bananas have seedless fruits. Bananas are classified either as dessert bananas (meaning they are yellow and fully ripe when eaten) or as green cooking bananas. Almost all export bananas are of the dessert types; however, only about 10–15% of all production is for export, with the United States and European Union being the dominant buyers.

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Botany

Banana 'tree' (Musa sapientum) from 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica

Bananas are in the genus Musa in the family Musaceae. The APG II system, of 2003 (unchanged from 1998), assigns Musaceae to the order Zingiberales in the clade commelinids in the monocotyledonous flowering plants.

The banana is a pseudostem that grows to 6 to 7.6 metres (20 to 25 ft) tall, growing from a corm. Leaves are spirally arranged and may grow 2.7 metres (8.9 ft) long and 60 cm (2.0 ft) wide.[4] The banana plant is the largest herbaceous flowering plant.[5] The large leaves grow whole, but are easily torn by the wind, resulting in the familiar frond look.[6]

Each stem normally produces a single, sterile, male banana flower, also known as the banana heart—though more can be produced; a single plant in the Philippines has five.[7] Banana hearts are used as a vegetable in Southeast Asia, steamed, in salads, or eaten raw.[8] The female flowers apppear further up the stem, and produce the actual fruit without fertilization. The fruit has been described as a ``leathery berry``.[9] In cultivated varieties, the seeds are diminished nearly to non-existence; their remnants are tiny black specks in the interior of the fruit. The ovary is inferior to the flower; because of stiff stems and the positioning of the ovary and flower, bananas grow pointing up, not hanging down.

Some sources assert that the banana's genus, Musa, is named for Antonio Musa, physician to the Emperor Augustus.[10] Others say that Linnaeus, who named the genus in 1750, simply adapted an Arabic word for banana, mauz.[11] The word banana itself comes from the Arabic banan, which means ``finger``.[11] The genus contains many species; several produce edible fruit, while others are cultivated as ornamentals.[12]

Properties

Banana, raw, edible parts Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz) Energy 371 kJ (89 kcal) Carbohydrates 22.84 g Sugars 12.23 g Dietary fiber 2.6 g Fat 0.33 g Protein 1.09 g Vitamin A equiv. 3 μg (0%) Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.031 mg (2%) Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.073 mg (5%) Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.665 mg (4%) Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.334 mg (7%) Vitamin B6 0.367 mg (28%) Folate (Vit. B9) 20 μg (5%) Vitamin C 8.7 mg (15%) Calcium 5 mg (1%) Iron 0.26 mg (2%) Magnesium 27 mg (7%) Phosphorus 22 mg (3%) Potassium 358 mg (8%) Zinc 0.15 mg (1%) One banana is 100–150 g. Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. Source: USDA Nutrient database

Bananas come in a variety of sizes and colors when ripe, including yellow, purple, and red. Bananas can be eaten raw, though some varieties are generally cooked. Depending upon cultivar and ripeness, the flesh can vary in taste from starchy to sweet, and texture from firm to mushy. Unripe or green bananas and plantains are ingredients in various dishes, such as curries and stews, and are the staple starch of many tropical populations. Banana sap is extremely sticky and can be used as a practical adhesive. Sap can be obtained from the pseudostem, from the peelings, or from the flesh.

Most production for local sale is of green cooking bananas and plantains, because ripe dessert bananas are easily damaged in transport. Ripe bananas suffer a high rate of damage and loss, even when moving only short distances.[citation needed]

The commercial dessert cultivars most commonly eaten in temperate countries (species Musa acuminata or the hybrid Musa × paradisiaca, a cultigen) are imported from the tropics. They are popular in part because they are a non-seasonal crop, available fresh year-round. In global commerce, by far the most important cultivar is 'Cavendish', which accounts for the majority of tropical banana exports. The Cavendish gained popularity in the 1950s after the previously mass produced cultivar, Gros Michel, became commercially unviable due to Panama disease, a fungus which attacks the roots of the banana plant.

The properties making the 'Cavendish' the main export banana are related to transport and shelf life rather than taste; major commercial cultivars rarely have superior flavor[citation needed]. Export bananas are picked green, and ripen in special rooms upon arrival in the destination country. These rooms are air-tight and filled with ethylene gas to induce ripening. Bananas can be ordered by the retailer ``ungassed``, however, and may show up at the supermarket fully green. While such bananas ripen more slowly, the flavor is notably richer[citation needed], and the banana peel can be allowed to reach a yellow/brown speckled phase, continuing to protect firm flesh within, and extending shelf life.

The vivid yellow color normally associated with supermarket bananas is in fact a side-effect of the artificial ripening process. ``Tree-ripened`` Cavendish bananas have a greenish-yellow appearance which changes to a brownish-yellow as they ripen further. Although both flavor and texture of tree ripened bananas is generally regarded as superior to any type of green-picked fruit, this reduces shelf life to only 7–10 days, making commercial distribution impractical. For most people the only practical means of obtaining such fruit is to grow it themselves, however this is also problematic, because all the bananas tend to ripen at once and spoil quickly.

The flavor and texture are also affected by ripening temperature. Bananas are refrigerated to between 13.5 and 15 Â°C (56 and 59 Â°F) during transportation. At lower temperatures, ripening permanently stalls, and turning the bananas gray as cell walls break down. The skins of ripe bananas quickly blackens in the 4°C environment of a domestic refrigerator, although the fruit inside remains unaffected.

Bananas' flavor is due, amongst other chemicals, to isoamyl acetate which is one of the main constituents of banana oil.

It should be noted that Musa × paradisiaca is also the generic name for the common plantain, a coarser and starchier variant not to be confused with Musa acuminata or the Cavendish variety.

Banana leaves are large, flexible, and waterproof. They have many uses, including as umbrellas and to wrap food for cooking or storage.[13] Food is served on banana leaves in India and other Asian countries.

Banana chips are a snack produced from sliced dehydrated or fried banana or plantain, which have a dark brown color and an intense banana taste. Extracting juice is difficult because when a banana compressed simply turns to pulp.

Seeded bananas (Musa balbisiana), the forerunner of the common domesticated banana,[14] are sold in markets in Indonesia.

In India, juice is extracted from the corm and used as a home remedy for jaundice, sometimes with the addition of honey, and for kidney stones.[15]

Ripened bananas (left, under sunlight) fluoresce in blue when exposed to UV light.

A 2008 study reported that ripe bananas fluoresce when exposed to ultraviolet light. This property is attributed to the degradation of chlorophyll leading to the accumulation of a fluorescent product in the skin of the fruit. The chlorophyll breakdown product is stabilized by a propionate ester group. Banana-tree leaves also fluoresce in the same way. Green bananas do not fluoresce. The study suggested that this allows animals which can see light in the ultraviolet spectrum to detect ripened bananas.[16]

Culinary usage

M. acuminata x balbisiana inflorescence, partially opened. Banana blossoms coming out of a banana heart. Banana flowers and leaves for sale at Thanin market in Chiang Mai, Thailand

The flower

The flower of the banana plant (also known as banana blossom or banana heart)[citation needed] is used in Southeast Asian, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, and Malay cuisine, either raw or steamed with dips or cooked in soups and curries. The flower's flavor resembles that of artichoke's. As with artichokes, both the the fleshy part of the petals and the heart are edible.

The trunk

The tender core of the banana plant's trunk is also used in Telugu, Bengali and Kerala cooking, and notably in the Burmese dish mohinga. The juice extract prepared from the tender core is used to treat kidney stones and high blood pressure.

The fruit

Bananas fried with batter is a popular dessert in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Banana fritters can be served with ice cream as well. Bananas are also eaten deep fried, baked in their skin in a split bamboo, or steamed in glutinous rice wrapped in a banana leaf. In Burma, bunches of green bananas surrounding a green coconut in a tray form an important part of traditional offerings to the Buddha and the Nats.

Bananas have been used in the making of jam. Plantain bananas are used in various stews and curries or cooked, baked or mashed in much the same way as potatoes. Banana pancakes are popular amongst backpackers and other travelers in South Asia and Southeast Asia. This has elicited the expression Banana Pancake Trail for those places in Asia catering to this group of travelers.

The leaves

Banana leaves are often used as ecologically friendly disposable food containers or as ``plates``. Steamed with dishes it imparts a subtle sweet flavor. It is often also seen used as a wrapping for grilling food and as such it contains the juices and protects food from burning and adds a subtle flavor.

Trade

Banana output in 2005 This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (June 2009) This section's factual accuracy may be compromised because of out-of-date information. Please help improve the article by updating it. There may be additional information on the talk page. (June 2009) Top banana producing nations - 2007 (in million metric tons)  India 21.77