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Soursop (Annona muricata) is a broadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree native to Mexico, Cuba, Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America: Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela. Soursop is also native to sub-Saharan African countries that lie within the tropics. Today, it is also grown in some areas of Southeast Asia as well as in some Pacific islands. It was most likely brought from Mexico to the Philippines by way of the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade.[citation needed] It is in the same genus as the chirimoya and the same family as the pawpaw.

The soursop is adapted to areas of high humidity and relatively warm winters; temperatures below 5 °C (41 °F) will cause damage to leaves and small branches, and temperatures below 3 °C (37 °F) can be fatal. The fruit becomes dry and is no longer good for concentrate.

Other common names include: guanábana (Spanish), graviola (Portuguese), Brazilian pawpaw, guyabano, corossolier, guanavana, toge-banreisi, durian benggala, nangka blanda, sirsak, zuurzak and nangka londa.[2] In Malayalam, it is called mullaatha, literally thorny custard apple. The other lesser known Indian names are shul-ram-fal and hanuman fal. In Sri Lankan mythology, Lord Rama and his disciple Hanuman are believed to have consumed this fruit on their way to Lanka.

Its flavor has been described as a combination of strawberry and pineapple with sour citrus flavor notes contrasting with an underlying creamy flavor reminiscent of coconut or banana.

Cultivation and uses

The plant is grown as a commercial crop for its 20–30 cm (7.9–12 in) long, prickly, green fruit, which can have a mass of up to 2.5 kg (5.5 lb).

Away from its native area, there is some limited production as far north as southern Florida within USDA Zone 10; however, these are mostly garden plantings for local consumption. It is also grown in parts of Southeast Asia and abundant on the Island of Mauritius. The soursop will reportedly fruit as a container specimen, even in temperate climates, if protected from cool temperatures.[citation needed]

The flesh of the fruit consists of an edible, white pulp, some fiber, and a core of indigestible, black seeds. The species is the only member of its genus that is suitable for processing and preservation.[citation needed] The sweet pulp is used to make juice, as well as candies, sorbets, and ice cream flavorings.

In Mexico and Colombia, it is a common fruit, often used for dessert as the only ingredient, or as an agua fresca beverage; in Colombia, it is a fruit for juices, mixed with milk. Ice cream and fruit bars made of soursop are also very popular. The seeds are normally left in the preparation, and removed while consuming.

In Indonesia, dodol sirsak, a sweetmeat, is made by boiling soursop pulp in water and adding sugar until the mixture hardens. Soursop is also a common ingredient for making fresh fruit juices that are sold by street food vendors. In the Philippines, it is called guyabano, obviously derived from the Spanish guanabana, and is eaten ripe, or used to make juices, smoothies, or ice cream. Sometimes, they use the leaf in tenderizing meat. In Vietnam, this fruit is called mãng cầu Xiêm in the south, or mãng cầu in the north, and is used to make smoothies, or eaten as is. In Cambodia, this fruit is called tearb barung, literally “western custard-apple fruit.” In Malaysia, it is known in Malay as durian belanda and in East Malaysia, specifically among the Dusun people of Sabah, it is locally known as lampun. Popularly, it is eaten raw when it ripens. Usually the fruits are taken from the tree when they mature and left to ripen in a dark corner, whereby they will be eaten when they are fully ripe. It has a white flowerwith a very pleasing scent, especially in the morning.While for people in Brunei Darussalam this fruit is popularly known as “Durian Salat” , widely available and easily planted.

Health benefits

Nutritionally, the fruit is high in carbohydrates, particularly fructose. The fruit also contains significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B1, and vitamin B2.[citation needed] The fruit, seeds, and leaves have a number of herbal medicinal uses among indigenous peoples of regions where the plant is common.

There is evidence indicating that the fruit’s extracts selectively inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells by downregulating expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in vitro and in a mouse model,[3] but the effect has not been studied in humans.

Health risks

Research carried out in the Caribbean has suggested a connection between consumption of soursop and atypical forms of Parkinson’s disease due to the very high concentration of annonacin.[4][5][6][7]

According to Cancer Research UK, Annona muricata is an active principle in an unlicensed herbal remedy marketed under the brand name Triamazon.[8] Triamazon is not licensed for medicinal use and the sale of the product resulted in a conviction on four counts of selling unlicensed medical products, and other charges, for a vendor in the United Kingdom.[9]

Written on June 20th, 2012 , Fruits Tags:

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COMMENTS
    Sara commented

    Great write up! I will give you a site where I got real fruit on powder form, I mix it with milk and ice cream to go healthy. they have soursop, mango, papaya, berries, etc. A lot of fruits and veggies. Enjoy guys! http://www.freshlydried.com

    Reply
    06 July 2012 at 00:26

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