Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reducing the browning of avocados

Excerpts taken from a 12/20/10 blog post from DesiGrub

When exposed to air, avocados turn brown. The oxygen in the air reacts with enzyme polyphenol oxidase (PPO) to form brown pigmentation called melanoidin.

There are many theories on how to reduce this browning, such as: squirting lime or lemon over the avocado, adding oil, adding part of the avocado pit to guacamole (or leaving the pit in a whole avocado) and adding salt.

This blogger has done an impressive amount of testing to figure out that the most effective way to avoid browning is to add lime or lemon to the avocado. It's this act of adding ascorbic acid and citric acid - found in lemon and limes - that decreases the rate of browning. It does it by lowering the pH of tissue. Browning is most active in the neutral pH range of 6 to 7 while there is no browning, below pH of 3.

To make guacamole, the blogger suggests that you do the following:
  1. Cut open and mash the avocados as the last step in making guacamole, have all the other ingredients ready to combine with the avocados.
  2. Add lime or lemon juice right after mashing avocados. Cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Don't add salt until you're ready to serve

Fascinating nutritional secrets - starfruit

Excerpt from a 12/20/10 article by By Dr. Kenneth Woliner on HealthTalk.com

You may like the exotic taste of starfruit – sort of a tart cross between plums and pineapples – but you’ll love star fruit’s secret. It’s a type of plant pigment called proanthocyanidins.

These pigments are what make cranberries so good for urinary tract health. And star fruit is loaded with them.

Proanthocyanidins also support heart health… promote better blood sugar control… and may enhance your body’s ability to fight abnormal cell growth. Plus, they’re powerful antioxidants. (2)

Star fruit is also low in calories but provides decent nutrition. One serving (125 grams, or 4.4 oz.) has 45% of the adult requirement of vitamin C. It also provides good amounts of vitamin A (15%) and fiber (12%).All those healthy benefits make star fruit a great addition to your diet

Monday, December 20, 2010

Papayas touting 15% growth in sales

Excerpts taken from an 12/20/10 article in The Packer titled 'Papaya demand remains steady'

Higher prices and rough weather couldn't keep papayas down for long.

"It's been a turbulent hurricane season in Central America, but it's done with and we've been able to come though," said Mary Ostlund, director of marketing at Brooks Tropicals, Homestead FL.

"We've experienced a 15% growth in the papaya category in the last year," she said.

Mid-December prices on 35-pound maradol cartons were about $20-$23, up from $18 the year before.

"The trend will probably continue until fruit from post-hurricane planted papaya trees start coming into the market in the spring," Ostlund said.

Ostlund expects papaya sales to be buoyed by growth in produce sales across commodities.

"The growth should continue particularly since the appearance of a new trend," she said. "If websites and blogs are any indication, this holiday season U.S. consumers are paying closer attention to vegetable dishes, whether it's an attempt at healthier eating or a realization that there's only so much you can do to a bird."

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Papaya can reduce cancer rates

Excerpt from an article written by by Katherine Scott on the Here's the Evidence blog.

Summary: Papaya fruit contains high levels of a pigment called beta-cryptoxanthin that can reduce cancer rates even in high risk patients.

Papaya, a rich source of dietary fiber, potassium, vitamins A and C and folate, was described as “the fruit of the angels” by Christopher Colombus when he first discovered its juicy orange flesh in its native Central America. On top of all that, papaya may also help fight cancer.

What makes papaya flesh so vibrantly orange are naturally occurring pigments called carotenoids. The major dietary carotenoids in papaya are lutein, beta-carotene, lycopene and beta-crytoxanthin. The first three are more commonly known and have been associated with improving vision and reducing prostate cancer risk, but beta-cryptoxanthin is what makes papayas so special.

Remarkably, one of the actions of beta-cryptoxanthin is to inhibit new blood vessel formation, or angiogenesis, which is essential for new cancers to develop. If tiny clumps of cancer cells in the body cannot establish their own blood supply, they never grow into large, malignant tumors. Because beta-cryptoxanthin have the potential to stop cancers before they start, regular papaya consumption could reduce cancer rates in even high-risk populations.

Avocado consumption climbs

Avocado consumption in the United States has reached an estimated over 4.0 pounds per person for the first time in 2009/10 and still expected to continue to grow.

Sixth graders name starfruit their favorite fruit choice.

Excerpts from an article written in the Yorktown Press.

YORKTOWN INDIANA - Two sixth-grade classes participated in a fruits and vegetables taste-testing event.

The students sampled five fruits and five vegetables. After counting the 30 surveys, starfruit was named the favorite fruit choice, least favorite was mango. The most popular vegetable was summer squash, least favorite was turnips.