Friday, May 24, 2013

Papaya Fruit


Botanical name;  Carica papaya L.

Local Names; Gaslabu, Papol; Sinhala Pappasi; Tamil

Recommended varieties

       Local selections and Rathna


Nutritional Value (Per 100 g edible portion)




However, this nutritional information may vary depending on variety, climatic conditions, nutrients available for growth of papaya etc. 

Medicinal Values / Uses


Ripe fruit: Facilitates digestion, relives constipation. Useful in treatment for splenetic, hemorrhoids, skin diseases, gastro intestinal disorders, hepatic disorders and diseases of upper respiratory tract (throat)

Unripe fruit: Proteolysis activity, good source of papa in, used as meat tenderizer.

Major Growing Areas

Papaya is cultivated in Sri Lanka primarily as a home garden crop. However, there is limited extent under commercial scale and this extent is steadily increasing but there is no significant increase in production. The reasons for these reductions may be due to some districts which are infected with virus under wet zone. Rathna is mainly recommended for Dry and Intermediate Zones. Kurunegala district is the highest producer in the country. Kaluthara, Rathnapura, Gampaha, Galle, Anuradapura, Puttalam, Hambanthota and Badulla districts also have higher extents. 

Fruiting Season in Sri Lanka 


Generally papaya yields throughout the year. However, month following warm temperature or moisture stress causes skip in production. There is no marked price fluctuation in wholesale and retail prices except during April to June. A considerable quantity of production is lost in the postharvest phase. The highest percentage of postharvest loss is found in papaya (46%) compared to banana and pineapple.

Papaya Cultivation

Storage


The fresh fruit can be kept for 3-4 days at room temperature (25-30 0C)

Why are they unique? 


Papaya is well adaptive to Sri Lanka and cultivated everywhere. It is cultivated as large, medium and small scale orchards as well as home gardens. Unlike other countries,  Sri Lankan people eat unripe papaya as a vegetable and it is used for cooking purposes. Currently papaya is cultivated in entire Sri Lanka except very high elevation. Almost all the varieties of papaya are very sweet and have special texture, flavor and aroma. 

Potential for papaya fruit processing industry


Papaya fruit processing industry in Sri Lanka is still not properly developed. Currently few exporters engage in papaya exportation. However, papaya can be used to produce different value added products such as Fruit bars, dehydrated fruit for confectionery. These value added products can be produced by either cottage level or large scale level. In addition to that research and development activities should initiate to identify maturity index for different types of papaya, storage methods, environmental and consumer friendly ripening methods, development of value added products with enhanced shelf life and preserve nutritional quality etc.

Reference

  • Tropical fruits of Sri Lanka, Department of Agriculture, Sri Lanka


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