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Loquat fruit

Introduction of Loquat fruit

            Scientific name - Eriobotrya japonica

The loquat is a large evergreen shrub with a scientific name of Eribotrya japonica. Indigenous to south-central China, it is a species of flowering plant which has its roots from Rosaceae. Commercially grown for its yellow fruit, this small tree is also cultivated as an ornamental plant. In the past, it was thought to be closely related to the species Mespilus and it is still sometimes known as the Japanese medlar. Popularly known by different names such as Japanese and Chinese plum, it is called a Biwa in Japan and as Lo Guat in china. It is recognized as Nespoli in Italy. Even though called the Japanese Plum, it is not native to Japan nor is it a plum. They are very popular in Japan and it has been cultivated there for at least 1,000 years.

loquat fruit 2

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About Fruit

It has handsome lustrous leaves that are 20cm in length, brown-felted underneath. With a width of 2cm, they exude a scented smell and share the same features of hawthorn. The edible fruits are 4cm and features like a yellow apricot.

When the fruit is consumed at its soft and orange stage, they will be very sweet and it gives out a blend of peach, citrus and mild mango flavor. These edible fruits grow in clusters and are oval, rounded or pear-shaped. With just about 3-5 centimetres (1-2 in) long they are smooth and feathery and are sometimes red-blushed skin type.

Among fruit trees, Loquats are quite unusual and in that the flowers appear in the autumn or early winter, also the fruit ripens during the late winter or early spring. Either acid or sub acid, the luscious tangy flesh is white, yellow or orange in color, however, it all depends on the cultivar. Containing one to ten ovules, just about three to five are most common in each fruit. It is uncertain to predict as of how many ovules mature into large brown seeds. It has a very thin skin which can be peeled easily if the fruit is ripe.

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Nutritional Value of Loquat fruit

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 197 kJ (47 kcal)
Carbohydrates 12.14 g
Dietary fiber 1.7 g
Fat 0.2 g
Protein 0.43 g
Carbohydrate 75.0(75.0-75.0)
Vitamin A equiv (10%) 76 g
Thiamine (B1) (2%) 0.019 mg
Riboflavin (B2) (2%) 0.024 mg
Niacin (B3) (1%) 0.18 mg
Vitamin B6 (8%) 0.1 mg
Folate (B9) (4%) 14 g
Vitamin C (1%) 1 mg
Trace metals
Calcium (2%) 16 mg
Iron (2%) 0.28 mg
Magnesium (4%) 13 mg
Manganese (7%) 0.148 mg
Phosphorus (4%) 27 mg
Potassium (6%) 266 mg
Sodium (0%) 1 mg
Zinc (1%) 0.05 mg

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Loquat fruit Uses

Containing high amount of sugar, acid and pectin, the fruit goes well with other fruits when mixed with fruit salads and they can be eaten fresh as well. Because of the seed size, it has a higher waste ratio. Apart from using it for salads, they are also used to make jam, jellies and syrups. The fruit is canned occasionally and processed into confectionaries as well. They are also used in making wine. The sour and unripe fruits of loquat are used to make sauces and chutneys.

Easy to grow, apart from being cultivated for fruits, they are used as a specimen plant and as a shade tree for terrace or patio. Not only that, they does well in containers.

loquat fruit 3

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Health benefits of Loquat

The fruit contains high amount of pectin which is a dietary fibre and this helps to truss and clean toxins from the colon, thereby reducing the effects of toxins present in colon ultimately protecting us from colon cancer.

Nourishes the skin. It contains Vitamin A which boosts up the moisture content while promoting healthy skin. The antioxidants present in the fruit helps in early ageing as well.

Defends lung and oral cavity cancer. As aforesaid, the fruit contains vitamin A which protects the body from free radicals and oxidative stress. Along with antioxidants, it contains flavonoid that shields the body from free radical damage while ultimately protecting from oral and lung cancer.

A good source of potassium and this will help to maintain sodium level. Thus it maintains high blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Helps in weight loss- Low in calories; it contains high fibre that suppresses appetite and increase metabolism and by this means it promotes healthy weight loss.

Improves eye vision.

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Selection and storage

The season for this fruit begins by June in Japan. As soon as the skin of the fruit turns yellow they are ready for harvesting. Its flesh having a soft tenure is also an indication of harvesting. In order to avoid injuries, it is suggested that the fruits are carefully picked up from the bunch.

In order to enjoy the fruits flavor at its best, you should shop for them with certain considerations. Fresh fruits featuring smooth surface that are bright yellow in color should be selected. This is because; you will be able to enjoy a mild yet sweet aroma. Avoid fruits that have wrinkles, cuts and patches. Soften fruits with spots should also be avoided because they have a tendency to perish very premature.

When stored in the refrigerator, they can come up to two weeks, however, ensure that you store them in the fruit/vegetable compartment.

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Preparation and serving method

Compared to the central part pulp, the fruit's pulp underneath the skin is said to be sweeter. Seeing that they are best served with other fruits in form of salads, mango, banana and orange goes well with it

Before you do away with any surface dirt or pesticide residue, wash them in cool running water.

Here are some serving tips:

They are best served as fruit salads and goes very well with other fruits

Chopped and cooked into sauce-making, they are used as pie-fillers.

They are best served with desserts

Poached in sugar syrup with a pinch of cinnamon, the fruit is used to make jam, jelly and some delicious loquat fruit syrup.

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