Guava popularity known as the “apple of the tropics“ has gained considerable prominence on account of its high nutritive value, availability at moderate prices, pleasant aroma and good flavor. Guava can be successfully grown under tropical and sub-tropical climate. Brazil, Mexico,India, Thailand, USA, the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Cuba, Java, Venezuela and Bangladesh are the leading commercial producers of guava
Family: Myrtaceae Scientific Name : Psidium guajava L. Origin: Tropical Americas
The guava tree is considered as one of the most important tropical fruit trees in the world, enriching the diet of hundreds of millions of people with its special characteristic odour and high nutritive value
Guava tree is a low evergreen tree and shrub 6 to 25 feet high, with wide spreading branches and downy twigs. The branches are very strong and highly tolerant to high winds. The fruit is yellow and lemon-shaped. Some fruits may be brownish yellow. The inside of the fruit has pink or cream-colored pulp and small hard seeds.
The crop is quite hardy, prolific bearer and highly remunerative even without much care. It is very popular in the Sudan and it grows in all parts of the country
Guava in Sudan
In Sudan, guava fruit is considered as one of the most popular and major fruits of the country coming after dates, citrus, mango and banana
The most popular guava cultivars are the pear and apple shaped fruit types which may be either with pink or white pulp. Both types are easily grown in any part of the country with high productivity (7.0 tons/feddan) and could be harvested 2-3 times in one year.
Guavas are often marketed as "super fruits" being rich in vitamins A and C with seeds that are rich in omega-3, omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and especially dietary fiber. A single apple guava fruit contains over four times the amount of vitamin C as a single orange (over 200 mg per 100g serving) and also has good levels of the dietary minerals, potassium, magnesium, and generally abroad, low-calorie profile of essential nutrients. However, nutritional value is greatly dependent on species, the strawberry guava notably containing only 30- 40mg of vitamin C per 100g serving, a fifth of the vitamin C found in more common varieties.
The fruits are used in a variety of ways. Sweet juicy fruits from suitable cultivars may be eaten fresh. They may be used to make preserved jam, the well known guava jelly or a paste known as guava cheese. The most important commercial use of guava is for the making of jelly and fruit, slices, juices and nectar. The canned product is widely sold and the shells can also be quick-frozen. They are often served with cream cheese. Sometimes guavas are canned whole or cut in half without seed removal
Guava fruit is still enjoyed as a sweet treat by indigenous peoples throughout the rainforest, and the leaves and bark of the guava tree have a long history of medicinal uses that are still employed today.
Guava leaves are used in the Dutch Pharmacopoeia for diarrhea, and the leaves are still used as a diarrhea treatment in Latin America, Central and West Africa, and Southeast Asia.
In Peruvian herbal medicine systems of today the plant is employed for diarrhea, gastroenteritis, intestinal worms, gastric disorders, vomiting, coughs, vaginal discharges, menstrual pain and hemorrhages, and edema.
In Brazil Guava is considered an astringent and diuretic. A decoction is also recommended as a gargle for sore throats, laryngitis and swelling of the mouth, and used externally for skin ulcers, and vaginal irritation and discharges.
Guava is rich in tannins, phenols, triterpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, saponins, carotenoids, lectins, vitamins, fiber and fatty acids.
Guava fruit is higher in vitamin C than citrus (80 mg of vitamin C in 100 g of fruit) and contains appreciable amounts of vitamin A as well. Guava fruits are also a good source of pectin, a dietary fiber. The leaves of Guava are rich in flavonoids, in particular, quercetin. Much of Guava's therapeutic activity is attributed to these flavonoids. The flavonoids have demonstrated antibacterial activity. Quercetin is thought to contribute to the anti-diarrhea effect of guava, relax the intestinal smooth muscle and inhibit bowel contractions. In addition, other flavonoids and triterpenes in Guava leaves show antispasmodic activity. Guava also has antioxidant properties which is attributed to the polyphenols found in the leaves.
The effective use of Guava in diarrhea, dysentery and gastroenteritis can also be related to Guava's documented antibacterial properties. Bark and leaf extracts have shown to have in vitro toxic action against numerous bacteria. In several studies Guava showed significant antibacterial activity against such common diarrhea-causing bacteria as Staphylococcus, Shigella, Salmonella, Bacillus, E. coli, Clostridium, and Pseudomonas. It has also demonstrated antifungal, anti-yeast (candida), anti-amebic, and antimalarial actions.
Currently, guava fruit are hand picked. Guavas require care when being picked and harvest cannot go on for more than 2 to 3 days during the height of the season because of potential losses from insects and overripe fruit.
The picked fruit should be placed in a cool place away from the sun. To maintain quality, it is best to process the fruits soon after harvest. The puree can be chilled, frozen, or aseptically packaged. If the fruits need to be stored overnight, the fruit boxes should be places in a covered well ventilated area. Clean green fruits can be set aside for later use and ripened with ethophon.
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