Edible Fruits

Fruits, Edible


Certain cultivated and wild plants yield edible fruits. There are various kinds of edible fruits, including pomes (apple, pear, quince), drupes (apricot, plum, cherry, peach), citruses (orange, lemon, mandarin, grapefruit), subtropical and tropical fruits (fig, mango, pomegranate, pineapple, banana, avocado), berries (currant, gooseberry, grape, cranberry), and melons (muskmelon, watermelon). Fruits are very important in human nutrition; their pleasant taste and biological value are due to the presence of a large quantity of useful substances (see Table 1).

Table 1. Chemical composition of various edible fruits
 Sugars (percent)Acids (percent)Vitamin C (mg percent)
Apples ...............6.5–11.82.5–5.51.0–5.30.2–1.65–30
Pears ...............6.0–9.71.0–3.70.4–2.60.1–0.55–10
Plums ...............1.0–7.01.5–5.21.5–9.20.4–3.515–20
Cherries ...............3.3–4.43.8–5.30–0.81.4–2.210–15
Peaches ...............3.9–4.44.2–6.94.8–10.70.2–1.05–10
Blackcurrants ...............3.3–4.83.3–3.90.2–0.42.5–3.7100–400
Grapes ...............7.2–9.07.2–9.00–1.50.3–2.15–10
Raspberries ...............2.5–3.42.3–3.20–0.21.0–2.010–30
Strawberries ...............1.6–3.81.8–3.10–0.11.3–3.030–100

Fruits are a source of readily assimilated carbohydrates. Pomes are particularly rich in fructose, and drupes in glucose and sucrose. Sucrose is least abundant in berries and most abundant in bananas, pineapples, oranges, and mandarins. Bananas are high in starch. Fruits contain carotene and many vitamins, including ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and vitamin P. Citruses have a vitamin content of 50–90 mg percent. They retain most of their original vitamins during storage; the enzymes that oxidize ascorbic acid are absent in citruses. Strawberries, raspberries, and gooseberries are high in vitamin C. Some fruits appear to be natural vitamin concentrates: for example, the dog rose contains about 1,500 mg percent vitamin C and 5 mg percent carotene; chokeberry, 50 and 8 mg percent, respectively; and the sea buckthorn, 120 and 8 mg percent. The black currant has a vitamin C content reaching 400 mg percent. The caloric content of fruits is low, averaging 50–70 kcal in 100 g (1 kcal = 4.19 kj). The Institute of Nutrition of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR has set the annual standard of fruit consumption at 106 kg per person. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the world production of fruits in 1974 was 213,276,000 tons, including 63,069,000 tons of grapes; the corresponding figures in the USSR were 12,441,000 tons and 4,760,000 tons.

The substances found in fruits play an important part in the digestive and metabolic processes. The organic acids are powerful stimulants of pancreatic secretion and intestinal activity. Of the tannic substances, tannin and the catechins have the most marked biological action. Whortleberries, pears, quinces, and cornels are rich in tannin. Many fruits are used as therapeutic agents (for example, raspberries) and in dietetics.

Many kinds of fruits remain tasty and fresh for a long time when properly refrigerated and exposed to a controlled gaseous atmosphere. Apples, pears, citrus, grapes, and bananas can be stored the longest. Fruits can be frozen, vacuum dried, or preserved (jam, compote).


Tserevitinov, F. V. Khimiia i tovarovedenie svezhikh plodov i ovoshchei, 3rd ed, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1949.
Spravochnik tovaroveda prodovol’s tvennykh tovarov, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1968–69.
Shirokov, E. P. Tekhnologiia khraneniia i pererabotki plodov i ovoshchei. Moscow, 1970.


References in classic literature ?
We have been living upon the fat of the land, Ahm, having shown us the edible fruits, tubers and herbs, and twice a week we go out after fresh meat.
However, there were trees, and among them we soon descried edible fruits with which we broke our long fast.
At present, Pakistan exports rice, kinnows, potatoes and meat, edible meat offal; edible fruits, nuts, melons, cotton, melons; cotton; paper and paperboard, and articles of pulp to Iran.
Bountiful Bonsai: Create Instant Indoor Container Gardens with Edible Fruits, Herb and Flowers" is a fascinating exploration of the possibilities of adaptive bonsai gardening techniques to produce indoor container gardens for sources of fruits, herbs, and flowers, in addition to the basic bonsai gift, living plant beauty.
edible fruits commonly |found in hedgerows include: crab apples; cherries; cherry plums; sloe; elderberries, and blackberries.
AyuFlex is derived from edible fruits of Terminalia chebula and standardized to high levels of bioactives chebulinic acid and chebulagic acid.
Gunders says that we could rescue millions of tons of perfectly edible fruits and vegetables--food that typically gets fed to livestock or is plowed under by farmers unable to sell it--if more markets followed Andronico's lead in selling less-than-perfect produce.
Once you have decided whether a shade tree, one with edible fruits, a native plant, or some other meaningful dimension is to govern your choice, then it is time to select the best site or sites to place the plant.
8 per cent share of the food re-exports were cereals; edible fruits and nuts; peel of citrus fruit or melons; miscellaneous edible preparations; sugars and sugar confectionary; edible vegetable and certain roots and tubers.
Mir Nasir Abbas, DG FPCCI suggested pharmaceuticals, precious and semiprecious gemstones, seafood, edible fruits and nuts, cereal (rice), cotton and leather as products which held immense export potential for the Russian market.
The leading member of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) decried as "sad the fact that even edible fruits in South Sudan['s] forests such as banana[s] and guava[s] are being imported and sold to people by foreigners.
Scientists from food, biology, chemistry, agriculture, and other fields present an extensive compendium of recent research results on both major natural beneficial phytochemical bioactives, and mycotoxic bioactives in edible fruits and cereals.