Information about Fruits: Banana

About bananas, information about the fruit, production, history and varieties in the world.



Native to tropical southern Asia, it was 1st established in the western hemisphere in Hispaniola, appearing in the U.S. markets in the 19th century. Chief sources of today's production are Central America, northern South America, South Africa, and the islands of the Caribbean. The U.S. is the largest importer (Americans eat an average of 18 1bs. per person a year, more than any other fresh or processed fruit). Forty percent of the people prefer green-tipped bananas, 32% prefer fully yellow bananas, 17% green but yellowing, 7% fully ripened (when there is no trace of green, and brown spots have begun to appear), and 4% green to greenish fruit for cooking.

Ripe bananas (1% starch and 21% sugar) are easier to digest than green (22% starch and 1% sugar). Ripe, they are richer in vitamins, have a high content of ash, are low in protein and fat, and are a good source of potassium and other minerals. Bananas are not allowed to ripen fully on the plant. Bananas are often gassed in order to turn the green skin yellow to make them attractive to the consumers, when in fact, they are not ripe or fit for easy digestion. Bananas are delicious fried in butter with nuts. Plantains, related to bananas, are eaten only when cooked.

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