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The passion fruit is one of the oldest fruit grown since centuries and this fruit belongs to the family of “Passifloraceae”. The passion fruit is native to Brazil and in India, it is grown in the parts of Western Ghats (Coorg, Nilgiris, Kodaikanal, Malabar, Wynad and Shevroys). This fruit is commercially cultivated in Himachal Pradesh and the eastern states of India like Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland. Due to its aroma and flavouring property, this fruit is used to produce a quality squash along with excellent nutritious juice. The passion fruit juice is used in preparation of ice creams, cakes and pies. The passion fruits are nearly round to oval shape and this tree vines are perennial, shallow rooted, woody and climbing by means of tendrils. In the hills of north eastern India, the passion fruit tree leaves are used as a vegetable and tenders leaves are used for medicinal purpose. This fruit is mainly consumed as a juice rather than fresh table fruit.
Passion Fruit Local Names in India
Krishna Phal (Hindi), Krishna Kamalaa pandu (Telugu), Tatputpalam (Tamil), Utkatatene phala (Marathi), Doore hannu (Kannada), Utkata phala (Gujarati).
Commercial Varieties of Passion Fruits in India
There are many varieties of passion fruit available across the world. However, Yellow Passion fruit, Purple passion fruit and ‘Kaveri’ Hybrid fruit (Purple x Yellow) are famous varieties of commercial cultivation in India.
Yellow Passion Fruit
This cultivar is best for lower elevations and produce less yield at higher elevations as this is sensitive to low temperature conditions. The fruit is bigger in size than purple variety, each weighing about 60 to 65 grams, round in shape with yellow spots and turns golden yellow colour when ripe. This variety has good degree of tolerance for diseases and pests.
Purple Passion Fruit
This variety produce good yield at higher elevations. This variety fruits weigh about 35 to 50 grams and about 5 cm in diameter. They turn to deep purple colour when ripe. Average juice content in purple passion fruit is between 30 to 35 %. The purple variety is best known for its flavour & nutrient content.
Hybrid Kaveri Passion Fruit
It is the cross of purple and yellow passion fruit developed at Indian Institute of Horticulture Research in Karnataka. This is the best high yielding variety compared to purple and yellow passion fruits. Each Kaveri fruit weighs about 90 to 110 grams. These fruits are purple in colour and the quality is almost same as purple passion fruit. This variety has high degree of tolerance for common pests and diseases.
Health benefits of Passion Fruit
Passion fruits are round to oval in shape with a soft to firm juicy interior, filled with numerous seeds. There are generally two main varieties of passion fruit, yellow and purple. Yellow fruits are generally larger than the purple ones but the pulp of the purple fruit is less acidic and has a richer aroma and flavor.
Nutrients are found in Passion Fruit
Fresh passion fruit contains vitamin C (36%), dietary fiber (42%), B vitamins riboflavin (11%) and niacin (10%), iron (12%) and phosphorus (10%) in significant percentages of the Daily Value (right table).
Health Benefits of Passion Fruit:
1. Anti-cancer Properties
2. Promotes Relaxation and Cures Insomnia
3. Good for Digestive Health
4. Relieves Asthma
5. Relieves Osteoarthritis
Passion Fruit Images