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Rollinia: information on culinary uses, health benefits and more

Information on rollinia

Latin Name and family:

Rollinia Deliciousa, Rollinia mucosa. In the custard-apple or annona family (annonaceae). Other names: biriba, amazon custard apple, wild sugar apple.

Characteristics:

Rollinia “looks like a little alien fruit”. The flesh is a soft, gooey white pulp. It has a white core and several dark brown, elliptic or seeds. The inside is creamy and soft, with few fibers. Fruits vary greatly in size and can weigh up to 8 or so pounds.

rollinia weighing 3 pounds 2 ounces
rollinia weighing 3 pounds 2 ounces

Taste and culinary Use:

The taste is a lemony custard- flavor, like lemon meringue. It is eaten fresh but is also made into raw desserts, ice cream, smoothies, etc. In Brazil it is fermented to make wine. Once rollinia is cut the flesh oxidizes quickly, it will also temporarily stain white dishes. For a firmer texture eat rollinia while still a little bit green and before the soft nubs blacken. When it is completely yellow and the nubs blacken, the texture is softer and gooey, but it is still delicious. Importantly, research shows that the seeds have insecticidal properties and are poisonous to humans. Do not eat the seeds from rollinia or any other fruit in the Anonaceous (Annona) family. Be extremely careful when separating the flesh from the seeds for pureeing or putting in smoothies etc.

Harvest and storage:

Generally, rollinia is considered to have a short shelf life. The fruit ripens from green to yellow and can be picked early when they start to turn yellow. Clip the fruit leaving some stem. They still they may take approximately 4-7 days to ripen. Eat before the soft nubs blacken. Cooling the fruit after harvest can extend the shelf life but the skin will turn black. Fruits are vulnerable to bruising even under their own weight. Store at room temperature on top of cushioning such as bundled newspaper or bubble wrap. Additionally, you may store rollinia in the refrigerator to extend the shelf life a few more days.

Health benefits:

The rollinia fruit is a refrigerant and analeptic (stimulates the central nervous system). Also, due to its vitamin C content (73% RDI per 100g of Vitamin C) it is considered an antiscorbutic (effective against scurvy). The powdered seeds may be remedy for enterocolitis (inflammation of both the small intestine and the colon), but as mentioned above the seeds are also toxic to humans.  Still, research is being done on Rollicosin, a new Annonaceous acetogenin, to develop a potential antitumor agent. Additionally, in traditional medicine it is used as an anti-pyretic, a restorative and general tonic.

100 grams of rollinia has 80 calories, 2.8 grams of protein, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 2.1 grams of fat, 1.3 grams of fiber. It also contains Vitamin B1 and B2, Vitamin C, phosphorous, iron, niacin, and thiamine.

 

Growth patterns:

The first record of rollinia in Hawaii is from the 1930s. It is thought to have originated along the Amazon in Brazil, although it was also discovered in early Mexico, Peru, and Argentina. Now it grows in many tropical locations, and in Hawaii it thrives at 300 feet to 3,000 feet elevations. These trees grow fast, as much as 10 feet a year (up to about 40 feet) and fruits in as little as 2-3 years. Additionally, it is almost always propagated by seeds because they grow true to type, although grafting can ensure consistently high yielding varieties. Also, rollinia prefers heavy soil, full sun and an acid pH. Scale and mealy bugs may be problems, as well as fruit fly.

 

Resources:

  1. Love, Ken & and Paull, Robert E. Rollinia. Fruits and Nuts, June 2011. F_N-21. http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/oc/freepubs/pdf/F_N-21.pdf
  2. Morton, J. 1987. Biriba. p. 88–90. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.
  3. https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/biriba.html
  4. Chih-Chuang Liaw , Fang-Rong Chang , Ming-Jung Wu , and Yang-Chang Wu * Graduate Institute of Natural 5. Products, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan, Republic of ChinaJ. Nat. Prod., 2003, 66 (2), pp 279–281
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Harjeet_Khanna2/publication/265051238_Biofortification_of_Bananas/links/53fd28670cf2dca80003233a.pdf#page=210
  6. Morton, J.F., 1987. Fruits of warm climates, Miami, Florida, USA.
  7. http://vanveenorganics.com/product/brazilian-custard-apple-rollinia-sp/
  8. http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/content/biriba.htm
  9. http://www.fruitsinfo.com/Rollinia-Exotic-fruits.php
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Soursop fruits (gravioloa) are the new super fruit

Soursop or gravioloa tastes better than its sounds, and possibly even better than it looks. It’s quickly becoming one of my favorite fruits on our farm as it seems to fruit the majority of the year. Even our 3 year old tree puts out huge 8 lb fruits.

front of soursop

Latin Name and Family

The Latin name for soursop is Annona muricata. It is a species of the genus Annona and is in the custard apple tree family, Annonaceae. Other common names are Guanábana, Corossol, Graviola, Brazilian Cherimoya, and Brazilian Paw Paw.

Soursop taste and culinary uses:

Soursop tastes likes guava and pear, and has the aroma of pineapple. The fresh fruit is ideal to eat “as is” or raw, but it is also great for use in drinks, cocktails, and sorbets. You can eat the immature fruits fried or boiled, in soups etc. Alternatively, for the ripe flesh of the fruit popular recipes include soursop punch, soursop smoothies, ice creams, and even pies.

Check out this site for a few ideas: https://www.thedailymeal.com/best-recipes/soursop.  Furthermore, new leaf shoots can be boiled and added to other meat or vegetable dishes. However, please use caution to remove all seeds, especially before blending the pulp as the seeds of annona trees are toxic if ingested. Also, the leaves are used to make a tea which is gaining scientific recognition for helping prevent and reduce cancer.

2016-05-05 11.59.08.jpg

 

Harvest and storage:

You can pick graviola once starts to turn soft and change from shiny dark green to dull light green and their spines are set further apart. If it ripens on the tree it will drop and bruise too much be salvaged for food. It must be handled with extreme care. The unripe light green fruits can be kept a few days at room temperature. Then, once they yield to a little pressure of your thumb they can be kept a few more days in the fridge.  In the fridge the skin will blacken but the flesh is still unspoiled. Hawaii scientists have shown that it is ideal for consumption for 5-6 days after picking it from the tree.

Health benefits:

Soursop is high in pectin and vitamin C and B. It is antiviral, anti parasitic, and scientific evidence is beginning to show that it may slow the growth of cancer cells and help to kill cancer cells. It helps with stomach distress, relieves cough and respiratory illness, depression, arthritis.

Soursop is known to contain alkaloids that may account for the relaxing effect people feel after consumption (Bourne, 1979), (Hasrat, Pieters, De Backer, Vauquelin, & Vlietinck, 1997). In Nigeria, they use the fresh juice as an anti-pyretic (reduces fevers). Additionally, in Dominica people eat the fruit to induce lactation. Furthermore, in Trinidad and Tobago soursop is used to provide useful quantities of a range of electrolytes to combat dehydration caused by acute diarrhea (Fisheries, 2008). For more information on the scientific evidence of soursops visit: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/graviola-fruit-for-cancer/amp/.

Characteristics of the soursop fruit:

The fruit varies in shape from somewhat oval, to heart shaped, and equally it is irregular, lopsided or curved. It ranges from 4 to 12 in (10-30 cm) long and up to 6 in (15 cm) wide, and averages around 4.5 lbs but may weigh up to 15 lbs (6.8 kg).

inside of a soursop

Soursops have a reptilian appearance, with soft, short and curved spines. The skin is dark-green when the fruit is under-ripe or immature. As it ripens it becomes slightly yellowish-green and soft. Soursop’s inner surface is off-white cream-colored. In the center is a soft-pithy core and inside it has smooth, hard, oblong-ish black seeds about the size of beans.

Growth patterns:

Although soursop is a relative of cherimoya,  it grows in the tropical lowlands (for example, less than 1,000 feet). They grow to about 25-30 feet tall. Most people select seed from delicious and ideal fruits for propagation, although some people prefer to air layering, budding or grafting. Soursops begin to bear fruit at 3-5 years old. The fruit may ripen year round but tends to peak in the middle of summer.

Other related articles:

If you like soursop you should try other fruits from the Annona family like my favorite fruit, the lemon meringue pie fruit, Rollinia.  Also, equally as famous as soursop although in a different family is the queen of fruits, Mangosteen.

Resources:

1.Permacopia Book II. D. Hunter Beyer Dr. Franklin Martin.

2. Hawaiian Organic growing Guide, Shunyam Nirav. (1992)Oasis Maui /inc.

3.https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/soursop.html

4. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-soursop-4285.html

5. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/cancer-questions/can-graviola-cure-cancer

6. Bourne, R.K. and Egbe, P.C. (1979). Preliminary study of the sedative effects of annona muricata (sour sop). A West Indian Medical Journal, 28, 106–110.

7.Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries. (2008). Proceedings of the tropical fruits in human nutrition and health conference 2008.

8. Hasrat, J.A., Pieters, L., De Backer, J.P., Vauquelin, G. , & Vlietinck, A.J. (1997). Screening of medicinal plants from Suriname for 5-HT1A ligands: Bioactive isoquinoline alkaloids from the fruit of Annona muricata. Phytomedicine, 4(133–140)

9. Morton, J.F. . (1987). Fruits of warm climates. Miami, Florida, USA.

 

 

 

 

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