Let's know something more on the fruits

Let's know something more on the fruits The fruits constitute an indispensable group of food for our health and well-being, especially for his contribution of fibre, vitamins and minerals and substances of antirust action (vitamin C, Vitamin And, beta - caroteno, licopeno, luteína, flavonoides, antocianinas, etc.). Together with vegetables and vegetables, there are almost exclusive vitamin source C. The big species diversity, with his different properties organolépticas (those that we appreciate by means of the senses, like the flavor, aroma, color, texture...) and the different way of preparing them, do of them products of big acceptance on the part of the consumers, especially of the south of Europe.

Nevertheless, in Spain the consumption of fresh fruit has suffered a gradual descent from 1987 until 1997, year in which it became stable. From 2000 it experienced a considerable increase, although it is still below the quantity corresponding to 1990. This way, in this year 105,3 kilograms of fresh fruit were consumed by person and year, while in 2002 the consumption was 97 kilograms per cápita. The fruits of major demand, according to recent information, are the orange continued by the apple, the banana, the melon, the pear, the tangerine and the watermelon. It is necessary to highlight the increase that has experienced in the last years the consumption of exotic fruits. Nevertheless, we are still very far of the advisable scales to obtain a balanced diet; it is more, the established minimal quantity that they recommend the World Organization of the Health (WHO), experts in Nutrition and related Societies as for the consumption of fresh fruit it is 400 daily grams. Therefore, it occurs fundamental, from the sanitary and nutritional point of view, to achieve that even more fruit ingestion increases "to the native", since it is the best way of making use of all his virtues and nourishing properties.


Let's know something more on the fruitsand they handle classifications according to his nature, the state, composition and botanical characteristics. The fruits originate for the development of a part of the flower called ovary. Botánicamente, the first step in the classification of the fruits consists of differing if they come from only one flower or from several, giving place, in the latter case, to the infrutescencias. The fruits that come from only one flower split between those into those who in his formation have brought in organs or elements foreign to the proper ovary, what gives place to complex fruits, named knob and pepónide, or the simple ones formed only from the ovary. The simple fruits can be, in turn, dry or beefy.

- Infrutescencias: custard apple, grenade, fig, mulberry, pineapple...

- Complex fruits: knob (apple, pear, quince, medlar) and pepónide (melon and watermelon).

- Beefy simple fruits: berry (avocado, alquejenje, khaki, fruit of the passion, guava, kiwi, papaya, banana, strawberry, grape, raspberry, redcurrant...), drupe (apricot, cherry and morello cherry, plum, coconut, handle, peach, nectarine...), capsule (litchi) and hesperidio (kumquat, lime, lemon, tangerine, orange, grapefruit...).

Let's know something more on the fruitsThe composition of the fruits differs to a great extent according to the type of fruit and of his grade of maturation. The water is the majority component in all the cases. It constitutes, in general, more than 80 % of the weight of the eatable portion, ranging between 82 % in the grapes, 90 % in the strawberries and up to 93 % in the watermelon.

Energy value

The calories of the fruit depend almost exclusively on his carbohydrates content, with the exception of the case of the avocado and of the coconut, fruits in which the greasy content determines his energy value.

Carbohydrates: the sugar or simple carbohydrates (fructose, glucose, saccharose...) award the sweet flavor to the mature fruits and suppose 5-18 % of the weight of the eatable portion. The apples and the pears are rich in fructose. In the fruits others are also pretty and disacáridos like the xilosa, the arabinosa, the clever one and the maltosa. The plums and the pears contain relatively high quantities of sorbitol, a substance become related to the sugar, which possesses a well-known laxative effect. In minor they present complex carbohydrates (starch). The fruits you do not mature they possess between 0,5-2 % of starch, but the same way as they are maturing this percentage it diminishes even almost to disappear, except in the mature bananas, in which the starch can overcome 3 % of his entire weight.

Fats: his content is almost invaluable (0,1-0,5 %), except in the avocado, which 14 % of fat contributes, especially acid oleico, healthy (72 % of the whole of fat) and in the coconut, with 35 % of fat, for the most part saturated (88,6 % of the whole of fat), less healthy.

Plastic value

It is given according to his content in proteins, which usually represents less than 1 % of the fresh weight of the fruits. The proteins are composed by amino acids, ten of which (leucina, isoleucina, valina, treonina, triptófano, metionia, lisina, fenilalanina, histidina and arginina) are essential for the human being. The essential term alludes to which the organism cannot produce them for himself and, therefore, must obtain them necessary of the daily feeding. A protein that it should contain, in quantity and quality, ten essential amino acids is considered to be finished or of high biological value. In the fruits, the proteins are of low biological value. In the citrus fruits and strawberries there abound simple nitrogenous substances as the asparagina and the glutamina and the acids aspártico and glutámico. In the apples and the pears the asparagina abounds and the oranges are rich in prolina.

Regulatory value

The fruits are a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Vitamins: he emphasizes the vitamin content C (in citrus fruits, tropical fruits, melon, strawberries and black redcurrants) and of provitamina A (in apricots, cherries, melon and peach...), both of antirust action. In minor proportion, other vitamins of the group are B soluble in water, biotub and acid pantoténico (apricots, citrus fruits, figs...). In general, there are richer in vitamins the colored varieties, those of summer and the fruits exposed to the sun. As curiosity: inside the same tree, the fruits faced on the south are richer in vitamins that the faced ones to the north; those of the summit richer than those of the skirts and the location. richer than the interiors.

Minerals: in the fruits there abounds the potassium (necessary for the transmission of the nervous impulse and for the normal muscular activity, he contributes to the water balance inside and out of the cell). There are rich in potassium the banana, kiwi, nectarine, medlars, melon, black grape, cherries, apricots, plums, fresh coconut, avocado, pineapple, custard apples and papaya. Also they contribute magnesium (related to the functioning of the intestine, nerves and muscles, it is part of bones and teeth, it improves the immunity and the resistance before degenerative illnesses, it possesses a soft laxative effect and stress is anti).

Other not nourishing components but also important

Fibre: a part of the one that the fruits contribute there are pectins, a type of soluble fibre in water that plays a fundamental role in the consistency of the fruits and that, also, possesses beneficial effects for our health. The fibre in the fresh fruits is in a proportion between 0,7 % and 4,7 %. The fruits with a suppressed minor of water or which eatable portion contains seeds, have higher values of dietetic fibre. The fibre content turns out to be reduced with peeled of the fruit. This way in the apples, it diminishes in 11 % and in the pears, about 34 %.

Organic acids: (0,5 % - 6 %): they influence the flavor and aroma of the fruits. The citric acid (citrus fruits, strawberries, pears...), promotes the action of the vitamin C and exercises an action disinfectant and alcalinizadora of the urine. Other organic acids of the fruits are the málico (apples, cherries, plums, apricots) and the salicílico (strawberries and strawberries), the last one of anticoagulant and anti-inflammatory action.

Elements fitoquímicos (colourings, aromas and compounds fenólicos): in spite of being present in very low concentrations, they influence decisively the acceptance and craving for the fruits, and many of them are, also, antirust that help to reduce the risk of degenerative, cardiovascular illnesses and enclosed of the cancer.


The maturation of the fruits is tied to complex processes of transformation of his components. The fruits, on having been gathered, remain separated from his natural nutrients source, but his textiles still breathe and they are still active. The sugar and other components suffer important modifications, forming carbon dioxide (CO2) and it waters down. All these processes have big importance because they influence the changes that take place during the storage, transport and commercialization of the fruits, affecting also up to a point to his nourishing value. Phenomena especially out-standing that take place during the maturation are the respiration, the sweetening, the softening and the changes in the aroma, the coloration and the nourishing value.

The respiration: the respiratory intensity of a fruit depends on his development grade and measures itself like the quantity of CO2 (milligrams) that detaches one kilogram of fruit in one hour. Along the growth there takes place, first of all, an increase of the respiration, which is diminishing slowly up to the maturation state. Nevertheless, in certain fruits after the minimum is reached there takes place a new increase of the respiratory intensity up to reaching a maximum value, called climacteric peak, after which the respiratory intensity diminishes again; these fruits are called "climacteric fruits".

Let's know something more on the fruitsThe climacteric fruits normally are gathered before the said peak for his commercial distribution, so that they stop maturing out of the tree. This prevents from producing losses to him, since the period of conservation of the mature fruit is relatively short. During the respiration of all the fruits a compound gaseous called ethylene forms. This compound accelerates the maturation processes, therefore it is necessary to avoid his accumulation by means of ventilation, in order to increase the period of conservation of the fruits. If this gaseous compound produced by a mature fruit, accumulates in the outskirts of fruits you do not mature, it unleashes quickly his maturation, what helps to accelerate the deterioration of all of them.


Sugar: with the maturation there increases the content of simple carbohydrates and the typical sweetness of the mature fruits.

Acids: the acids are diminishing with the maturation. It eliminates the sour flavor and the astringency, to give place to the soft flavor and to the balance sweetness - acidity of the mature fruits.

Softening: the texture of the fruits depends to a great extent on his content in pectins; protopectina and soluble pectin in water. The protopectina catches the water forming a mesh species, and it is the one that it provides to the fruit she does not mature his particular texture. With the maturation, this substance diminishes and it is transforming in soluble pectin, which remains dissolved in the water that contains the fruit, producing to him the characteristic softening of the mature fruit. In someone like the apple, the consistency it diminishes very slowly, but in others, like the pears, the decrease is very rapid.

Changes in the aroma: during the maturation there take place certain volatile compounds that are those who provide to every fruit his aroma. The aromas formation depends to a great extent on external, such factors as the temperature and his changes between the day and the night. This way, for example, the bananas with a rhythm day / night of 30/20ºC, produce 60 more % of volatile compounds responsible for aroma than to constant temperature of 30ºC.

Changes in the color: the maturation of the fruits generally is joined to a change of the color. The most habitual transition, of green to another color, is related to the decomposition of the chlorophyll, so that there stay to the overdraft other colourings that earlier the above mentioned compound was masking. Also, there increases the production of red and yellow colourings typical of the mature fruits. The carotenos content, for example, increases hard in the citrus fruits and the handle during the maturation. The formation of other colourings like the antocianinas, is usually activated by the light.

Nourishing value:

Vitamin C: in general, the fruits lose vitamin C when they mature in the tree and during the storage; in this case, the loss depends to a great extent on the temperature, being much minor if this one is nearby to 0th C.

Provitamina A: this vitamin is very sensitive to the oxidation for contact with the oxygen of the air, for what the bare one, troceado and fruits batter, must be carried out just before his consumption.


Alteration for microorganisms: many microorganisms attack more easily to the damaged fruits mechanically than to the intact ones, so that it becomes necessary to take precautions during his collection, transport and manipulation to prevent a blow from being the point of initial attack of the microorganisms.

Light: It influences the loss of nourishing substances of indirect form, favoring a series of reactions that take place after the food is in contact with the air. It affects especially to certain vitamins hidrosolubles (especially the vitamin C) and liposolubles, like the provitamina A or beta - caroteno.

Oxygen: when the fruits are peeled, troceadas or crushed and his textiles are exhibited to the contact with the oxygen of the air, brown colorations take place. This alteration also can owe to blows for an inadequate manipulation and to the proper maturation process. There are different means that they can control or prevent the appearance of brown or dark areas, like the immersion of the fruits in water lightly acidulous (with lemon juice) immediately after bare or cut.

Heat: the heat produces loss of vitamins, especially of vitamin C and also of flavonoides, colourings of some fruits that behave like antirust.

Acidity: the acidity helps to reduce the losses of vitamins and to avoid the changes of color of bare, cut or crushed fruits.


In the buy:

At present it is possible to have most of the fruits in any season. Nevertheless, it is better to acquire in every moment the proper fruits of this station. This way, in spring and summer there can be bought on the market the most refreshing and richest in water like the strawberry, the watermelon or the melon. In autumn, fruits more energy and rich in sugar appear like the grape, increasing in winter the offer of citric fruits as the oranges rich in vitamin C.

1. In the boxes or tags it must appear:

- Denomination of the product and variety (example: apple Golden)

- Origin (place of cultivation)

- Category: extra (red); 1st category (green); 2nd category (yellow) and 3rd category (target). The category is determined, between other aspects, by the size, the uniformity of the pieces, the percentage of imperfection, the rugosity, the changes in the color, etc.

- Denomination of the product and variety (example: apple Golden)

2. To choose well colored fruits, without blows, bruises, spots or soft parts. Therefore, to verify his state it is preferable to acquire those copies that are at sight and not packagings.

3. When the fruit is not going to be consumed immediately it is convenient to buy it lightly immature, to allow her to mature at home to temperature ambience. Nevertheless, the mature fruit will have to survive in fresh places or in the icebox and be consumed as soon as possible.

Conservation and storage

Let's know something more on the fruits1. The fresh fruits do not need special conditions of conservation (there are enough fresh, dry places protected from the solar light), although we can keep them in the least cold part of the icebox, always isolated from other food to increase his useful life.

- Delicate fruits: up to 2 days (strawberries, mulberries, etc.)

- Fruits with bone: up to 7 days (plums, apricots...)

- Citrus fruits: up to 10 days (oranges, tangerines, lemon and lime, etc.)

- The bananas turn black if we keep them in the icebox, of course, without losing his nourishing quality. The darkening of the skin can be avoided if we wrap them in newsprint.

2. · We must not keep together fruits of short conservation (bananas, peach, pears...) with those of long conservation (citrus fruits, apples...), since strange flavors can take place and deteriorate more easily.

3. When he gets ready of more fruit of which it is possible to consume or it is desirable to taste a period fruit in another season, we can resort to the freezing. The fruits most adapted for the freezing are: pineapple, apple, apricot, grapefruit, strawberry and dark cherry (not more than 6 months). On the contrary there are no suitable cherries and plums of clear color, the grapes and almost all the tropical fruits. With regard to the maturation grade, generally the fruit is considered to be suitable for the freezing when it has reached the moment adapted for his fresh consumption.


Let's know something more on the fruitsTo stay healthy it is convenient to continue a diet rich in fruits. Nevertheless, the fresh products sometimes turn in the base of food poisonings, by what a few simple basic hygiene norms must be respected. On having consumed raw fruits, there runs the risk of consuming any residue that has stayed in them on having remained in contact with some dirty surface or poisonous substance; microorganisms that are in the organic fertilizers, in the water of irrigation and that of the first rinse, the present microbes in the hands of those who gather the product, in the containers where it is stored and in the vehicles where it is transported, as well as the remains of the animals that are on the breeding grounds.


1. On having come to house, it is necessary to liberate the fruits of any bag or bundle of plastic so that they could breathe.

2. He advises to himself to manipulate them carefully in order not to cause breaks that accelerate his decomposition.

3. To eliminate the copies that the fruits are spoiled, for example, with beginnings of rottenness, to prevent from infecting to the rest.

4. It is necessary to wash them very well under a jet of clean water, especially when hangovers are going to eat up and they are not peeled.

5. The smallest and most delicate, like strawberries, raspberries, mulberries, etc., have to be rinsed in a colander.

6. Before trocear and to serve the raw fruits that take resistant skin as the melons and the watermelons (when it serves these fruits in a compound plate), wash them to conscience with a brush destined exclusively for this use and with abundant water.

7. To wash well his/her/its hands before touching the fruit. If raw food has been manipulated earlier, asegurémonos of that the surface and the tools that have been used and our hands are perfectly clean before communicating them with the fruit.

8. To cover carefully the receptacles that contain cut fruit. To keep the fruit salad of fruits or any fruit cut in the fridge up to minutes before serving it.

9. · To read and to continue the indications of the bundle of the stiff, such fruits as "Survive in cold", "to Consume preferably before...", or "It Expires...".


Peeled, troceado, batter...

To avoid in possible the loss of vitamins it is convenient:

1. Not to realize a bare deep one: the most external part of the fruits (under the skin), is the one that concentrates major vitamins quantity, therefore a bare deep one drives to important losses of these nutrients.

2. To prepare the fruit salads, the juices, the batters or the fruits purées shortly before his consumption. To add a little of juice lemon and to use tools of rustproof materials for his bare one or troceado.