Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tropical Fruit: Pomerac or Rose Apple

Small Pomerac
The Pomerac (Rose Apple) fruit is oblong or pear shaped with a dark red skin or light red/pinkish skin and white flesh. The flesh has a semi crisp but smooth texture. Despite, the firm feel, the outer skin of the pomerac is very delicate and bruises easily. Post-harvest, the fruit can be stored at room temperature for up to 6 days. (Sankat, C.K,  et. al. 1999)  Unlike, other tropical fruits the ripe fruit does not have a strong aroma. The fruit can be consumed raw when ripe or in other ways such as fermented, cooked, pickled and candied. Disclaimer: I do not like cooked fruit with the exception of pineapple so I would dare not eat this in the cooked state. 
Inside flesh of a Pomerac
The low caloric value and low carbohydrate content (see Table1. below for more) accounts for the pomerac's mild to watery to tart taste; it is rare to find one that is sweet. Generally, those with dark red skins tend to have the tartest flavour, whilst those with the lighter/pinkish skin tends to be watery or bland.

Edible Portion of the plant:
  • Flesh of the fruit
  • Flower of the tree
  • Young leaves and shoots
The fruit is found in many Tropical territories such as South East Asia, parts of South America and within the Caribbean. They are in season from May to June, August to September and or November to December, depending on the country. (Morton, J. 1987)
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In some countries, various parts of the plant are used in alternative medicine because of its homoeopathic benefits. E.x
  • Diuretic and tonic for the brain and liver - parts of India 
  • A treatment for thrush - Spice Islands
  • A cracked tongue - Malaysia
  • Febrifuge (reducing fever) - Cambodia
  • Treating constipation, diabetes, coughs and headaches - Brazil
Read more about the homoeopathic uses: Botanical-Online and  Hort-Purdue
* Values Not stated
NOTES: 
All values and weight are for 100 grams of  the edible portion of fruit
* Honeydew melon: 3/4 cup, diced equals about 13 pieces   * Cantaloupe melon: 1/8 wedge of large melon
SOURCE: The Nutrient Data Laboratory, USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24 > last accessed 10 th  June 2012

In all, whether you call it pomerac or rose apple, it is a great fruit for persons interested in losing weight, persons on a diabetic/ low glycaemic diet amongst others. Consuming 4 pomeracs (small) provides about 100 calories, 100 % Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C, 10% DV calcium amongst others. Therefore, it is fair to say pomeracs provide more nutritional value than most imported fruits e.g. apple or pear (see table above). When in season, please do not be afraid to choose the locally grown and harvested pomeracs over the imported fruits.
* I used the spelling pomerac but it could also be spelled like pommerac.
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Thank you for reading! 
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Reference:
Morton, J. 1987. Malay Apple. p. 378–381. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.
Sankat,C.K., Basanta, A,Maharaj, V. 1999. Light mediated red colour degradation of the pomerac(Syzygium malaccense) in refrigerated storage. p. 253–257. Postharvest Biology and Technology 18 (2000) 

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