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Benefits of Tamarillo fruits
1. Tamarillo fruits
Tamarillo or tree tomato is a small ovalshaped fruit. It is closely related to other Solanaceae family vegetables and fruits such as tomato, eggplant, tomatillo, groundcherry, and chili peppers. Tree tomatoes are thought to originate in the semitropical high altitude Andes forests of Brazil and Peru. They are cultivated at the commercial scale in large orchards in northern parts of New Zealand and exported to USA, Australia, Japan and European countries.
The Tamarillo belongs to the solanaceaes family. This fruit is oval shaped, it is 79cm long and 100 to 150gr in weight. The crust is smooth, thin and red. The exterior part of the pulp is firm and fleshy. In the centre, the fruit has a soft and jelly like texture with small edible seeds. The crust is a little bitter but the pulp has a pleasant bittersweet flavour.
The tamarillo was first introduced to New Zealand from Asia in the late 1800s. Only yellow and purple fruited strains were produced from the original introductions, but the red type was developed by an Auckland nursery during the 1920s from seed sourced from South America. Other red strains, developed independently, appeared soon afterwards. Since then, continued reselection of these original red strains by growers has led to the large highquality varieties that are available today.
4. Tamarillo fruit features
Tamarillo fruit features oval shape with smooth shiny skin and can be of different colors depending up on the cultivar type. Red tamarillos are more common than orangeyellow varieties. Fully grown fruit feature an egg shape, measuring about 68 cm in length and 46 cm wide and weighs about 100 g. inside, cut section appears similar to that of in plumtomatoes. The flesh is juicy, deep in color, sweet yet tangy, flavorful, filled with numerous small flat, circular edible seeds that are slightly larger than in tomatoes.
5. Tamarillo is a shrub or small size tree
Tamarillo is a shrub or small size tree reaching about 515 feet in height with hairy stems and branches. Its evergreen leaves arebroader than in tomato. Well grown plant bears small fleshy palepink attractive flowers in the first year of plantation. However, fruiting is discouraged until the plant reaches second or third year.
6. Very low calorie fruits
Tamarillos are one of the very low calorie fruits. 100 g of fresh fruit contain just 31 calories. They contain slightly more calories, fat, and protein than tomatoes. (100 g tomato has 18 calories). Nevertheless, they have good amounts of health benefiting plant nutrients such as dietary fiber (3.3 mg or 9% of RDA), minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins.
7. Acidic flavor
Acidic flavor (sourness) oftree tomatoes mainly comes from citric acid. The other important acid in them is malic acid. Its flowers are pinky white through to lavender, and the fruits may be purplered, orange, yellow and some have stripes running down their skins. The sweetest are the yellow and orange ones, and when you slice them open they have black seeds inside, so they resemble passion fruit and have been mistaken for an eggshaped persimmon. The tree is fast growing and reaches peak production of fruit at four years old. The fruits hang from the branches and 16 of them come from a cluster of flowers that may be comprised of between 10 and 50. Leaves have a faintly musky smell and are evergreen.
8. The ORAC value
The ORAC value (antioxidant strength) of 100 g fresh tamarillos is 1659 TE (Trolex equivalents). Their antioxidant value largely derived from polyphenolic, flavonol and anthocyanidin compounds. Some of these phytochemicals include chlorogenic acid, kaempferol, and anthocyanin pigments such as cyanidin glycosides, especially concentrated in their skin. Scientificstudies suggest that chlorogenic acid help lower blood sugar levels in typeII diabetes mellitus.
9. Vitamin A
Yellow and gold variety tamarillo contains more vitamin A and carotenes than red varieties. However, red variety has more anthocyanin pigments. In addition, yellow tamarillos are a good source of carotenes, and xanthins. These compounds are known to possess antioxidant properties and, together with vitamin A, are essential for visual health. Further, vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
10. Source of B complex vitamins
Tree tomato is the average source of Bcomplex vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B6). Together, these vitamins help as cofactors for enzymes in metabolism as well as in various synthetic functions inside the body. Tamarillo fruits are oval and egg shaped with smooth skin. Cut section appears very much like tomatoes, with little water and more pulp. More than 85% of its weight I made of flesh and seeds. A fruit may contain over 130 black gelatinous seeds. Flesh is juicy, sweet and tangy in taste. The outer skin is tough and edible, but is astringent and acidic. Dark fleshed tamarillos are more acidic and stronger flavor than orange tamarillo. It is eaten raw as fruit, in salads or used in making juices, jams, jelly or desserts.
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