Banana - Wikipedia Banana From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to navigation Jump to search This article is about sweet bananas. For the genus to which banana plants belong, see Musa (genus). For starchier bananas used in cooking, see Cooking banana. For other uses, see Banana (disambiguation). edible fruit Banana Peeled, whole, and cross section Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked): Angiosperms (unranked): Monocots (unranked): Commelinids Order: Zingiberales Family: Musaceae Genus: Musa Fruits of four different banana cultivars A banana is an edible fruit – botanically a berry[1][2] – produced by several kinds of large herbaceous flowering plants in the genus Musa.[3] In some countries, bananas used for cooking may be called "plantains", distinguishing them from dessert bananas. The fruit is variable in size, color, and firmness, but is usually elongated and curved, with soft flesh rich in starch covered with a rind, which may be green, yellow, red, purple, or brown when ripe. The fruits grow in clusters hanging from the top of the plant. Almost all modern edible seedless (parthenocarp) bananas come from two wild species – Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. The scientific names of most cultivated bananas are Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana, and Musa × paradisiaca for the hybrid Musa acuminata × M. balbisiana, depending on their genomic constitution. The old scientific name Musa sapientum is no longer used. Musa species are native to tropical Indomalaya and Australia, and are likely to have been first domesticated in Papua New Guinea.[4][5] They are grown in 135 countries,[6] primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent to make fiber, banana wine, and banana beer and as ornamental plants. The world's largest producers of bananas in 2016 were India and China, which together accounted for 28% of total production. Worldwide, there is no sharp distinction between "bananas" and "plantains". Especially in the Americas and Europe, "banana" usually refers to soft, sweet, dessert bananas, particularly those of the Cavendish group, which are the main exports from banana-growing countries. By contrast, Musa cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit are called "plantains". In other regions, such as Southeast Asia, many more kinds of banana are grown and eaten, so the binary distinction is not useful and is not made in local languages. The term "banana" is also used as the common name for the plants that produce the fruit.[3] This can extend to other members of the genus Musa, such as the scarlet banana (Musa coccinea), the pink banana (Musa velutina), and the Fe'i bananas. It can also refer to members of the genus Ensete, such as the snow banana (Ensete glaucum) and the economically important false banana (Ensete ventricosum). Both genera are in the banana family, Musaceae. Contents 1 Description 2 Etymology 3 Taxonomy 4 Bananas and plantains 5 Historical cultivation 5.1 Early cultivation 5.2 Plantation cultivation in the Caribbean, Central and South America 5.3 Peasant cultivation for export in the Caribbean 5.4 East Africa 6 Modern cultivation 6.1 Cavendish 6.2 Ripening 6.3 Storage and transport 7 Production and export 7.1 Developing countries 8 Pests, diseases, and natural disasters 8.1 Panama disease 8.1.1 Tropical race 4 8.2 Black sigatoka 8.3 Banana bunchy top virus 8.4 Banana bacterial wilt 9 Nutrition 10 Culture 10.1 Food and cooking 10.1.1 Fruit 10.1.2 Flower 10.1.3 Leaves 10.1.4 Trunk 10.2 Fiber 10.2.1 Textiles 10.2.2 Paper 10.3 Cultural roles 10.3.1 Arts 10.3.2 Religion and popular beliefs 10.3.3 Racist symbol 10.3.4 Unicode 10.4 Other uses 11 References 12 Bibliography 13 Further reading 14 External links Description .thumbinner{width:100%!important;max-width:none!important}.mw-parser-output .tmulti .tsingle{float:none!important;max-width:none!important;width:100%!important;text-align:center}}]]>Banana 'tree' showing fruit and inflorescenceBanana inflorescence, partially openedWild banana with flowers and stem growing in reverse direction seen in RéunionFemale flowers have petals and other flower parts at the tip of the ovaryWild banana with flowers and stem growing in reverse direction seen in Kodagu, IndiaA banana corm, about 25 cm (10 in) acrossA banana farm in Chinawal, India Young banana plant The banana plant is the largest herbaceous flowering plant.[7] All the above-ground parts of a banana plant grow from a structure usually called a "corm".[8] Plants are normally tall and fairly sturdy, and are often mistaken for trees, but what appears to be a trunk is actually a "false stem" or pseudostem. Bananas grow in a wide variety of soils, as long as the soil is at least 60 cm deep, has good drainage and is not compacted.[9] The leaves of banana plants are composed of a "stalk" (petiole) and a blade (lamina). The base of the petiole widens to form a sheath; the tightly packed sheaths make up the pseudostem, which is all that supports the plant. The edges of the sheath meet when it is first produced, making it tubular. As new growth occurs in the centre of the pseudostem the edges are forced apart.[10] Cultivated banana plants vary in height depending on the variety and growing conditions. Most are around 5 m (16 ft) tall, with a range from 'Dwarf Cavendish' plants at around 3 m (10 ft) to 'Gros Michel' at 7 m (23 ft) or more.[11][12] Leaves are spirally arranged and may grow 2.7 metres (8.9 ft) long and 60 cm (2.0 ft) wide.[1] They are easily torn by the wind, resulting in the familiar frond look.[13]When a banana plant is mature, the corm stops producing new leaves and begins to form a flower spike or inflorescence. A stem develops which grows up inside the pseudostem, carrying the immature inflorescence until eventually it emerges at the top.[14] Each pseudostem normally produces a single inflorescence, also known as the "banana heart". (More are sometimes produced; an exceptional plant in the Philippines produced five.[15]) After fruiting, the pseudostem dies, but offshoots will normally have developed from the base, so that the plant as a whole is perennial. In the plantation system of cultivation, only one of the offshoots will be allowed to develop in order to maintain spacing.[16] The inflorescence contains many bracts (sometimes incorrectly referred to as petals) between rows of flowers. The female flowers (which can develop into fruit) appear in rows further up the stem (closer to the leaves) from the rows of male flowers. The ovary is inferior, meaning that the tiny petals and other flower parts appear at the tip of the ovary.[17]The banana fruits develop from the banana heart, in a large hanging cluster, made up of tiers (called "hands"), with up to 20 fruit to a tier. The hanging cluster is known as a bunch, comprising 3–20 tiers, or commercially as a "banana stem", and can weigh 30–50 kilograms (66–110 lb). Individual banana fruits (commonly known as a banana or "finger") average 125 grams (0.276 lb), of which approximately 75% is water and 25% dry matter (nutrient table, lower right). The fruit has been described as a "leathery berry".[18] There is a protective outer layer (a peel or skin) with numerous long, thin strings (the phloem bundles), which run lengthwise between the skin and the edible inner portion. The inner part of the common yellow dessert variety can be split lengthwise into three sections that correspond to the inner portions of the three carpels by manually deforming the unopened fruit.[19] In cultivated varieties, the seeds are diminished nearly to non-existence; their remnants are tiny black specks in the interior of the fruit.[20]Bananas are naturally slightly radioactive,[21] more so than most other fruits, because of their potassium content and the small amounts of the isotope potassium-40 found in naturally occurring potassium.[22] The banana equivalent dose of radiation is sometimes used in nuclear communication to compare radiation levels and exposures.[23] Etymology The word banana is thought to be of West African origin, possibly from the Wolof word banaana, and passed into English via Spanish or Portuguese.[24] Taxonomy The Musa 'Nendran' cultivar grown widely in the Indian state of Kerala is a member of the AAB cultivar group The genus Musa was created by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.[25] The name may be derived from Antonius Musa, physician to the Emperor Augustus, or Linnaeus may have adapted the Arabic word for banana, mauz.[26] The old biological name Musa sapientum = "Muse of the wise" arose because of homophony in Latin with the classical Muses. Musa is in the family Musaceae. The APG III system assigns Musaceae to the order Zingiberales, part of the commelinid clade of the monocotyledonous flowering plants. Some 70 species of Musa were recognized by the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families as of January 2013[update];[25] several produce edible fruit, while others are cultivated as ornamentals.[27]The classification of cultivated bananas has long been a problematic issue for taxonomists. Linnaeus originally placed bananas into two species based only on their uses as food: Musa sapientum for dessert bananas and Musa paradisiaca for plantains. More species names were added, but this approach proved to be inadequate for the number of cultivars in the primary center of diversity of the genus, Southeast Asia. Many of these cultivars were given names that were later discovered to be synonyms.[28]In a series of papers published from 1947 onwards, Ernest Cheesman showed that Linnaeus's Musa sapientum and Musa paradisiaca were cultivars and descendants of two wild seed-producing species, Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana, both first described by Luigi Aloysius Colla.[29] Cheesman recommended the abolition of Linnaeus's species in favor of reclassifying bananas according to three morphologically distinct groups of cultivars – those primarily exhibiting the botanical characteristics of Musa balbisiana, those primarily exhibiting the botanical characteristics of Musa acuminata, and those with characteristics of both.[28] Researchers Norman Simmonds and Ken Shepherd proposed a genome-based nomenclature system in 1955. This system eliminated almost all the difficulties and inconsistencies of the earlier classification of bananas based on assigning scientific names to cultivated varieties. Despite this, the original names are still recognized by some authorities today, leading to confusion.[29][30]The accepted scientific names for most groups of cultivated bananas are Musa acuminata Colla and Musa balbisiana Colla for the ancestral species, and Musa × paradisiaca L. for the hybrid M. acuminata × M. balbisiana.[31]Synonyms of M. × paradisica include a large number of subspecific and varietial names of M. × paradisiaca, including M. p. subsp. sapientum (L.) Kuntze Musa × dacca Horan. Musa × sapidisiaca K.C.Jacob, nom. superfl. Musa × sapientum L., and a large number of its varietal names, including M. × sapientum var. paradisiaca (L.) Baker, nom. illeg.Generally, modern classifications of banana cultivars follow Simmonds and Shepherd's system. Cultivars are placed in groups based on the number of chromosomes they have and which species they are derived from. Thus the Latundan banana is placed in the AAB Group, showing that it is a triploid derived from both M. acuminata (A) and M. balbisiana (B). For a list of the cultivars classified under this system, see "List of banana cultivars". In 2012, a team of scientists announced they had achieved a draft sequence of the genome of Musa acuminata.[32] Bananas and plantains In regions such as North America and Europe, Musa fruits offered for sale can be divided into "bananas" and "plantains", based on their intended use as food. Thus the banana producer and distributor Chiquita produces publicity material for the American market which says that "a plantain is not a banana". The stated differences are that plantains are more starchy and less sweet; they are eaten cooked rather than raw; they have thicker skin, which may be green, yellow or black; and they can be used at any stage of ripeness.[33] Linnaeus made the same distinction between plantains and bananas when first naming two "species" of Musa.[34] Members of the "plantain subgroup" of banana cultivars, most important as food in West Africa and Latin America, correspond to the Chiquita description, having long pointed fruit. They are described by Ploetz et al. as "true" plantains, distinct from other cooking bananas.[35] The cooking bananas of East Africa belong to a different group, the East African Highland bananas,[12] so would not qualify as "true" plantains on this definition. Cavendish bananas are the most common dessert bananas sold An alternative approach divides bananas into dessert bananas and cooking bananas, with plantains being one of the subgroups of cooking bananas.[36]Triploid cultivars derived solely from M. acuminata are examples of "dessert bananas", whereas triploid cultivars derived from the hybrid between M. acuminata and M. balbinosa (in particular the plantain subgroup of the AAB Group) are "plantains".[37][38] Small farmers in Colombia grow a much wider range of cultivars than large commercial plantations. A study of these cultivars showed that they could be placed into at least three groups based on their characteristics: dessert bananas, non-plantain cooking bananas, and plantains, although there were overlaps between dessert and cooking bananas.[39]In Southeast Asia – the center of diversity for bananas, both wild and cultivated – the distinction between "bananas" and "plantains" does not work, according to Valmayor et al. Many bananas are used both raw and cooked. There are starchy cooking bananas which are smaller than those eaten raw. The range of colors, sizes and shapes is far wider than in those grown or sold in Africa, Europe or the Americas.[34] Southeast Asian languages do not make the distinction between "bananas" and "plantains" that is made in English (and Spanish). Thus both Cavendish cultivars, the classic yellow dessert bananas, and Saba cultivars, used mainly for cooking, are called pisang in Malaysia and Indonesia, kluai in Thailand and chuoi in Vietnam.[40]Fe'i bananas, grown and eaten in the islands of the Pacific, are derived from entirely different wild species than traditional bananas and plantains. Most Fe'i bananas are cooked, but Karat bananas, which are short and squat with bright red skins, very different from the usual yellow dessert bananas, are eaten raw.[41]In summary, in commerce in Europe and the Americas (although not in small-scale cultivation), it is possible to distinguish between "bananas", which are eaten raw, and "plantains", which are cooked. In other regions of the world, particularly India, Southeast Asia and the islands of the Pacific, there are many more kinds of banana and the two-fold distinction is not useful and not made in local languages. Plantains are one of many kinds of cooking bananas, which are not always distinct from dessert bananas. Historical cultivation Early cultivation See also: Musa acuminata Original native ranges of the ancestors of modern edible bananas. Musa acuminata is shown in green and Musa balbisiana in orange.[42] Farmers in Southeast Asia and Papua New Guinea first domesticated bananas. Recent archaeological and palaeoenvironmental evidence at Kuk Swamp in the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea suggests that banana cultivation there goes back to at least 5000 BCE, and possibly to 8000 BCE.[4][43] It is likely that other species were later and independently domesticated elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia is the region of primary diversity of the banana. Areas of secondary diversity are found in Africa, indicating a long history of banana cultivation in the region.[44] Actual and probable diffusion of bananas during Islamic times (700–1500 CE)[45] Phytolith discoveries in Cameroon dating to the first millennium BCE[46] triggered an as yet unresolved debate about the date of first cultivation in Africa. There is linguistic evidence that bananas were known in Madagascar around that time.[47] The earliest prior evidence indicates that cultivation dates to no earlier than late 6th century CE.[48] It is likely, however, that bananas were brought at least to Madagascar if not to the East African coast during the phase of Malagasy colonization of the island from South East Asia c. 400 CE.[49]The banana may also have been present in isolated locations elsewhere in the Middle East on the eve of Islam. The spread of Islam was followed by far-reaching diffusion. There are numerous references to it in Islamic texts (such as poems and hadiths) beginning in the 9th century. By the 10th century the banana appears in texts from Palestine and Egypt. From there it diffused into North Africa and Muslim Iberia. During the medieval ages, bananas from Granada were considered among the best in the Arab world.[45] In 650, Islamic conquerors brought the banana to Palestine. Today, banana consumption increases significantly in Islamic countries during Ramadan, the month of daylight fasting.[50]Bananas were certainly grown in the Christian Kingdom of Cyprus by the late medieval period. Writing in 1458, the Italian traveller and writer Gabriele Capodilista (it) wrote favourably of the extensive farm produce of the estates at Episkopi, near modern-day Limassol, including the region's banana plantations.[51]Bananas were introduced to the Americas by Portuguese sailors who brought the fruits from West Africa in the 16th century.[52]Many wild banana species as well as cultivars exist in extraordinary diversity in India, China, and Southeast Asia. There are fuzzy bananas whose skins are bubblegum pink; green-and-white striped bananas with pulp the color of orange sherbet; bananas that, when cooked, taste like strawberries. The Double Mahoi plant can produce two bunches at once. The Chinese name of the aromatic Go San Heong banana means 'You can smell it from the next mountain.' The fingers on one banana plant grow fused; another produces bunches of a thousand fingers, each only an inch long.— Mike Peed, The New Yorker[53] Plantation cultivation in the Caribbean, Central and South America Main article: History of modern banana plantations in the Americas Fruits of wild-type bananas have numerous large, hard seeds. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Portuguese colonists started banana plantations in the Atlantic Islands, Brazil, and western Africa.[54] North Americans began consuming bananas on a small scale at very high prices shortly after the Civil War, though it was only in the 1880s that the food became more widespread.[55] As late as the Victorian Era, bananas were not widely known in Europe, although they were available.[54]Jules Verne introduces bananas to his readers with detailed descriptions in Around the World in Eighty Days (1872). The earliest modern plantations originated in Jamaica and the related Western Caribbean Zone, including most of Central America. It involved the combination of modern transportation networks of steamships and railroads with the development of refrigeration that allowed more time between harvesting and ripening. North American shippers like Lorenzo Dow Baker and Andrew Preston, the founders of the Boston Fruit Company started this process in the 1870s, but railroad builders like Minor C. Keith also participated, eventually culminating in the multi-national giant corporations like today's Chiquita Brands International and Dole.[55] These companies were monopolistic, vertically integrated (meaning they controlled growing, processing, shipping and marketing) and usually used political manipulation to build enclave economies (economies that were internally self-sufficient, virtually tax exempt, and export-oriented that contribute very little to the host economy). Their political maneuvers, which gave rise to the term Banana republic for states like Honduras and Guatemala, included working with local elites and their rivalries to influence politics or playing the international interests of the United States, especially during the Cold War, to keep the political climate favorable to their interests.[56] Peasant cultivation for export in the Caribbean Main article: History of peasant banana production in the Americas The vast majority of the world's bananas today are cultivated for family consumption or for sale on local markets. India is the world leader in this sort of production, but many other Asian and African countries where climate and soil conditions allow cultivation also host large populations of banana growers who sell at least some of their crop.[57]Peasant sector banana growers produce for the world market in the Caribbean, however. The Windward Islands are notable for the growing, largely of Cavendish bananas, for an international market, generally in Europe but also in North America. In the Caribbean, and especially in Dominica where this sort of cultivation is widespread, holdings are in the 1–2 acre range. In many cases the farmer earns additional money from other crops, from engaging in labor outside the farm, and from a share of the earnings of relatives living overseas.[citation needed]Banana crops are vulnerable to destruction by high winds, such as tropical storms or cyclones.[58] East Africa Main article: East African Highland bananas This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (July 2018) Illustration of fruit and banana plant from Acta Eruditorum, 1734 Modern cultivation All widely cultivated bananas today descend from the two wild bananas Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. While the original wild bananas contained large seeds, diploid or polyploid cultivars (some being hybrids) with tiny seeds are preferred for human raw fruit consumption.[59] These are propagated asexually from offshoots. The plant is allowed to produce two shoots at a time; a larger one for immediate fruiting and a smaller "sucker" or "follower" to produce fruit in 6–8 months. As a non-seasonal crop, bananas are available fresh year-round.[60] Cavendish Main article: Cavendish bananas Cavendish bananas are the main commercial banana cultivars sold in the world market. In global commerce in 2009, by far the most important cultivars belonged to the triploid AAA group of Musa acuminata, commonly referred to as Cavendish group bananas. They accounted for the majority of banana exports,[59] despite only coming into existence in 1836.[61] The cultivars Dwarf Cavendish and Grand Nain (Chiquita Banana) gained popularity in the 1950s after the previous mass-produced cultivar, Gros Michel (also an AAA group cultivar), became commercially unviable due to Panama disease, caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum which attacks the roots of the banana plant.[59] Cavendish cultivars are resistant to the Panama Disease, but in 2013 there were fears that the Black Sigatoka fungus would in turn make Cavendish bananas unviable.[62]Even though it is no longer viable for large scale cultivation, Gros Michel is not extinct and is still grown in areas where Panama disease is not found.[63] Likewise, Dwarf Cavendish and Grand Nain are in no danger of extinction, but they may leave supermarket shelves if disease makes it impossible to supply the global market. It is unclear if any existing cultivar can replace Cavendish bananas, so various hybridisation and genetic engineering programs are attempting to create a disease-resistant, mass-market banana.[59] One such strain that has emerged is the Taiwanese Cavendish, also known as the Formosana.[64] Ripening Export bananas are picked green, and ripen in special rooms upon arrival in the destination country. These rooms are air-tight and filled with ethylene gas to induce ripening. The vivid yellow color consumers normally associate with supermarket bananas is, in fact, caused by the artificial ripening process.[65] Flavor and texture are also affected by ripening temperature. Bananas are refrigerated to between 13.5 and 15 °C (56.3 and 59.0 °F) during transport. At lower temperatures, ripening permanently stalls, and the bananas turn gray as cell walls break down. The skin of ripe bananas quickly blackens in the 4 °C (39 °F) environment of a domestic refrigerator, although the fruit inside remains unaffected. Ripened bananas (left, under sunlight) fluoresce in blue when exposed to UV light. Bananas can be ordered by the retailer "ungassed" (i.e. not treated with ethylene), and may show up at the supermarket fully green. Guineos verdes (green bananas) that have not been gassed will never fully ripen before becoming rotten. Instead of fresh eating, these bananas can be used for cooking, as seen in Jamaican cuisine.[66]A 2008 study reported that ripe bananas fluoresce when exposed to ultraviolet light. This property is attributed to the degradation of chlorophyll leading to the accumulation of a fluorescent product in the skin of the fruit. The chlorophyll breakdown product is stabilized by a propionate ester group. Banana-plant leaves also fluoresce in the same way. Green bananas do not fluoresce. The study suggested that this allows animals which can see light in the ultraviolet spectrum (tetrachromats and pentachromats) to more easily detect ripened bananas.[67] Storage and transport Bananas must be transported over long distances from the tropics to world markets.[68] To obtain maximum shelf life, harvest comes before the fruit is mature. The fruit requires careful handling, rapid transport to ports, cooling, and refrigerated shipping. The goal is to prevent the bananas from producing their natural ripening agent, ethylene. This technology allows storage and transport for 3–4 weeks at 13 °C (55 °F). On arrival, bananas are held at about 17 °C (63 °F) and treated with a low concentration of ethylene. After a few days, the fruit begins to ripen and is distributed for final sale. Ripe bananas can be held for a few days at home. If bananas are too green, they can be put in a brown paper bag with an apple or tomato overnight to speed up the ripening process.[69]Carbon dioxide (which bananas produce) and ethylene absorbents extend fruit life even at high temperatures. This effect can be exploited by packing banana in a polyethylene bag and including an ethylene absorbent, e.g., potassium permanganate, on an inert carrier. The bag is then sealed with a band or string. This treatment has been shown to more than double lifespans up to 3–4 weeks without the need for refrigeration.[70][71][72] Production and export 2016 Production millions of tonnes Country Bananas Plantains Total  India 29.1   29.1  China 13.1   13.1  Philippines 5.8 3.1 8.9  Ecuador 6.5 0.6 7.1  Indonesia 7.0   7.0  Brazil 6.8   6.8  Colombia 2.0 3.5 5.5  Cameroon 1.2 4.3 5.5  Uganda 0.6 3.7 4.3  Ghana 0.09 4.0 4.1  Guatemala 3.8 0.3 4.1 World 113.3 35.1 148.4 Source: FAOSTAT of the United Nations[73] Note: Some countries produce statistics distinguishing between bananas and plantain production, but four of the top six producers do not, requiring comparisons using the total for bananas and plantains combined. In 2016, world production of bananas and plantains was 148 million tonnes, led by India and China with a combined total (only for bananas) of 28% of global production (table). Other major producers were the Philippines, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Brazil, together accounting for 20% of the world total of bananas and plantains (table). As reported for 2013, total world exports were 20 million tonnes of bananas and 859,000 tonnes of plantains.[74] Ecuador and the Philippines were the leading exporters with 5.4 and 3.3 million tonnes, respectively, and the Dominican Republic was the leading exporter of plantains with 210,350 tonnes.[74] Developing countries Bananas and plantains constitute a major staple food crop for millions of people in developing countries.[68] In most tropical countries, green (unripe) bananas used for cooking represent the main cultivars. Most producers are small-scale farmers either for home consumption or local markets. Because bananas and plantains produce fruit year-round, they provide a valuable food source during the hunger season (when the food from one annual/semi-annual harvest has been consumed, and the next is still to come). Bananas and plantains are important for global food security.[75] Pests, diseases, and natural disasters Main article: List of banana and plantain diseases Banana bunches are sometimes encased in plastic bags for protection. The bags may be coated with pesticides. While in no danger of outright extinction, the most common edible banana cultivar Cavendish (extremely popular in Europe and the Americas) could become unviable for large-scale cultivation in the next 10–20 years. Its predecessor 'Gros Michel', discovered in the 1820s, suffered this fate. Like almost all bananas, Cavendish lacks genetic diversity, which makes it vulnerable to diseases, threatening both commercial cultivation and small-scale subsistence farming.[76][77] Some commentators remarked that those variants which could replace what much of the world considers a "typical banana" are so different that most people would not consider them the same fruit, and blame the decline of the banana on monogenetic cultivation driven by short-term commercial motives.[56] Panama disease Panama disease is caused by a fusarium soil fungus (Race 1), which enters the plants through the roots and travels with water into the trunk and leaves, producing gels and gums that cut off the flow of water and nutrients, causing the plant to wilt, and exposing the rest of the plant to lethal amounts of sunlight. Prior to 1960, almost all commercial banana production centered on "Gros Michel", which was highly susceptible.[78] Cavendish was chosen as the replacement for Gros Michel because, among resistant cultivars, it produces the highest quality fruit. However, more care is required for shipping the Cavendish,[citation needed] and its quality compared to Gros Michel is debated.[79]According to current sources, a deadly form of Panama disease is infecting Cavendish. All plants are genetically identical, which prevents evolution of disease resistance. Researchers are examining hundreds of wild varieties for resistance.[78] Tropical race 4 Tropical race 4 (TR4), a reinvigorated strain of Panama disease, was first discovered in 1993. This virulent form of fusarium wilt has wiped out Cavendish in several southeast Asian countries and has recently spread to Australia, India and Mozambique.[citation needed][timeframe?] It has yet to reach the Americas; however, the soil-based fungi can easily be carried on boots, clothing, or tools. This is how TR4 travels and will be its most likely route into Latin America. Cavendish is highly susceptible to TR4, and over time Cavendish will almost certainly be eliminated from commercial production by this disease.[80] The only known defense to TR4 is genetic resistance. This is conferred either by RGA2, a gene isolated from a TR4-resistant diploid banana, or by the nematode-derived Ced9.[81] Black sigatoka Black sigatoka is a fungal leaf spot disease first observed in Fiji in 1963 or 1964. Black Sigatoka (also known as black leaf streak) has spread to banana plantations throughout the tropics from infected banana leaves that were used as packing material. It affects all main cultivars of bananas and plantains (including the Cavendish cultivars[62]), impeding photosynthesis by blackening parts of the leaves, eventually killing the entire leaf. Starved for energy, fruit production falls by 50% or more, and the bananas that do grow ripen prematurely, making them unsuitable for export. The fungus has shown ever-increasing resistance to treatment, with the current expense for treating 1 hectare (2.5 acres) exceeding $1,000 per year. In addition to the expense, there is the question of how long intensive spraying can be environmentally justified. Banana bunchy top virus This section is empty. You can help by adding to it. (July 2018)Banana bacterial wilt Banana bacterial wilt (BBW) is a bacterial disease caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum.[82] After being originally identified on a close relative of bananas, Ensete ventricosum, in Ethiopia in the 1960s,[83] BBW occurred in Uganda in 2001 affecting all banana cultivars. Since then BBW has been diagnosed in Central and East Africa including the banana growing regions of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, and Uganda.[84] Nutrition Bananas, raw (Daily Value)Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)Energy 371 kJ (89 kcal) Carbohydrates 22.84 gSugars 12.23 gDietary fiber 2.6 g Fat 0.33 g Protein 1.09 g Vitamins Quantity %DV†Thiamine (B1) 3% 0.031 mgRiboflavin (B2) 6% 0.073 mgNiacin (B3) 4% 0.665 mgPantothenic acid (B5) 7% 0.334 mgVitamin B6 31% 0.4 mgFolate (B9) 5% 20 μgCholine 2% 9.8 mgVitamin C 10% 8.7 mg Minerals Quantity %DV†Iron 2% 0.26 mgMagnesium 8% 27 mgManganese 13% 0.27 mgPhosphorus 3% 22 mgPotassium 8% 358 mgSodium 0% 1 mgZinc 2% 0.15 mg Other constituents QuantityWater 74.91 g Link to USDA Database entry values are for edible portion Units μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams IU = International units †Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults. Source: USDA Nutrient DatabaseRaw bananas (not including the peel) are 75% water, 23% carbohydrates, 1% protein, and contain negligible fat (table). In a 100 gram amount, bananas supply 89 Calories and are a rich source of vitamin B6, providing 31% of the US recommended Daily Value, and contain moderate amounts of vitamin C, manganese and dietary fiber (table). Potassium Although bananas are commonly thought to supply exceptional potassium content,[85] their actual potassium content is relatively low per typical food serving at only 8% of the US recommended Daily Value (table). Vegetables with higher potassium content than raw dessert bananas (358 mg per 100 grams) include raw spinach (558 mg per 100 grams), baked potatoes without skin (391 mg per 100 grams), cooked soybeans (539 mg per 100 grams), grilled portabella mushrooms (437 mg per 100 grams) and processed tomato sauces (413–439 mg per 100 grams). Raw plantains contain 499 mg potassium per 100 grams. Dehydrated dessert bananas or banana powder contain 1491 mg potassium per 100 grams.[86]Allergens Individuals with a latex allergy may experience a reaction to bananas.[87]Culture Food and cooking See also: Cooking plantain and List of banana dishes Fruit Bananas are a staple starch for many tropical populations. Depending upon cultivar and ripeness, the flesh can vary in taste from starchy to sweet, and texture from firm to mushy. Both the skin and inner part can be eaten raw or cooked. The primary component of the aroma of fresh bananas is isoamyl acetate (also known as banana oil), which, along with several other compounds such as butyl acetate and isobutyl acetate, is a significant contributor to banana flavor.[88][89][90]During the ripening process, bananas produce the gas ethylene, which acts as a plant hormone and indirectly affects the flavor. Among other things, ethylene stimulates the formation of amylase, an enzyme that breaks down starch into sugar, influencing the taste of bananas. The greener, less ripe bananas contain higher levels of starch and, consequently, have a "starchier" taste. On the other hand, yellow bananas taste sweeter due to higher sugar concentrations. Furthermore, ethylene signals the production of pectinase, an enzyme which breaks down the pectin between the cells of the banana, causing the banana to soften as it ripens.[91][92]Bananas are eaten deep fried, baked in their skin in a split bamboo, or steamed in glutinous rice wrapped in a banana leaf. Bananas can be made into jam. Banana pancakes are popular amongst backpackers and other travelers in South Asia and Southeast Asia. This has elicited the expression Banana Pancake Trail for those places in Asia that cater to this group of travelers. Banana chips are a snack produced from sliced dehydrated or fried banana or plantain, which have a dark brown color and an intense banana taste. Dried bananas are also ground to make banana flour. Extracting juice is difficult, because when a banana is compressed, it simply turns to pulp. Bananas feature prominently in Philippine cuisine, being part of traditional dishes and desserts like maruya, turón, and halo-halo or saba con yelo. Most of these dishes use the Saba or Cardaba banana cultivar. Bananas are also commonly used in cuisine in the South-Indian state of Kerala, where they are steamed (puzhungiyathu), made into curries,[93] fried into chips, (upperi)[94] or fried in batter (pazhampori).[95]Pisang goreng, bananas fried with batter similar to the Filipino maruya or Kerala pazhampori, is a popular dessert in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. A similar dish is known in the United Kingdom and United States as banana fritters. Plantains are used in various stews and curries or cooked, baked or mashed in much the same way as potatoes, such as the pazham pachadi dish prepared in Kerala.[93] Banana with Lemon curry made in a house in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, IndiaKilawin na pusô ng saging, a Filipino dish using banana flowersNicaraguan Nacatamales, in banana leaves, ready to be steamedKaeng yuak is a northern Thai curry made with the core of the banana plantPisang goreng fried banana coated in batter, popular snack in IndonesiaBanana in sweet gravy, known as pengat pisang in Malaysia Flower Banana hearts are used as a vegetable[96] in South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine, either raw or steamed with dips or cooked in soups, curries and fried foods.[97] The flavor resembles that of artichoke. As with artichokes, both the fleshy part of the bracts and the heart are edible.[98] Leaves Main article: Banana leaf Banana leaves are large, flexible, and waterproof. They are often used as ecologically friendly disposable food containers or as "plates" in South Asia and several Southeast Asian countries. In Indonesian cuisine, banana leaf is employed in cooking method called pepes and botok; the banana leaf packages containing food ingredients and spices are cooked on steam, in boiled water or grilled on charcoal. In the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala in every occasion the food must be served in a banana leaf and as a part of the food a banana is served. Steamed with dishes they impart a subtle sweet flavor. They often serve as a wrapping for grilling food. The leaves contain the juices, protect food from burning and add a subtle flavor.[99] In Tamil Nadu (India) leaves are fully dried and used as packing material for food stuffs and also making cups to hold liquid foods. Trunk The tender core of the banana plant's trunk is also used in South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine, and notably in the Burmese dish mohinga. Fiber Textiles Banana fiber harvested from the pseudostems and leaves of the plant has been used for textiles in Asia since at least the 13th century. Both fruit-bearing and fibrous varieties of the banana plant have been used.[100] In the Japanese system Kijōka-bashōfu, leaves and shoots are cut from the plant periodically to ensure softness. Harvested shoots are first boiled in lye to prepare fibers for yarn-making. These banana shoots produce fibers of varying degrees of softness, yielding yarns and textiles with differing qualities for specific uses. For example, the outermost fibers of the shoots are the coarsest, and are suitable for tablecloths, while the softest innermost fibers are desirable for kimono and kamishimo. This traditional Japanese cloth-making process requires many steps, all performed by hand.[101]In India, a banana fiber separator machine has been developed, which takes the agricultural waste of local banana harvests and extracts strands of the fiber.[102] Paper Main article: Banana paper Banana fiber is used in the production of banana paper. Banana paper is made from two different parts: the bark of the banana plant, mainly used for artistic purposes, or from the fibers of the stem and non-usable fruits. The paper is either hand-made or by industrial process.[103] Cultural roles Coconut, banana and banana leaves used while worshiping River Kaveri at Tiruchirappalli, India.Banana flowers and leaves for sale in the Thanin market in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Arts The song "Yes! We Have No Bananas" was written by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn and originally released in 1923; for many decades, it was the best-selling sheet music in history. Since then the song has been rerecorded several times and has been particularly popular during banana shortages.[104][105] A person slipping on a banana peel has been a staple of physical comedy for generations. An American comedy recording from 1910 features a popular character of the time, "Uncle Josh", claiming to describe his own such incident:[106]Now I don't think much of the man that throws a banana peelin' on the sidewalk, and I don't think much of the banana peel that throws a man on the sidewalk neither ... my foot hit the bananer peelin' and I went up in the air, and I come down ker-plunk, jist as I was pickin' myself up a little boy come runnin' across the street ... he says, "Oh mister, won't you please do that agin? My little brother didn't see you do it."The poet Bashō is named after the Japanese word for a banana plant. The "bashō" planted in his garden by a grateful student became a source of inspiration to his poetry, as well as a symbol of his life and home.[107] The cover artwork for the debut album of The Velvet Underground features a banana made by Andy Warhol. On the original vinyl LP version, the design allowed the listener to "peel" this banana to find a pink, peeled phallic banana on the inside.[108]Religion and popular beliefs Nang Tani, the female ghost of Thai folklore that haunts banana plants In all the important festivals and occasions of Hindus, the serving of bananas plays a prominent part. In Thailand, it is believed that a certain type of banana plants may be inhabited by a spirit, Nang Tani, a type of ghost related to trees and similar plants that manifests itself as a young woman.[109] Often people tie a length of colored satin cloth around the pseudostem of the banana plants.[110]In Malay folklore, the ghost known as Pontianak is associated with banana plants (pokok pisang), and its spirit is said to reside in them during the day.[111] Racist symbol There is a long racist history of describing people of African descent as being more like monkeys than humans, and due to the assumption in popular culture that monkeys like bananas, bananas have been used in symbolic acts of hate speech.[112][113] In April 2014, during a match at Villarreal's stadium, El Madrigal, Dani Alves was targeted by Villareal supporter David Campaya Lleo, who threw a banana at him.[114] Alves picked up the banana, peeled it and took a bite, and the meme went viral on social media in support of him.[115] Racist taunts are an ongoing problem in football.[116][117] Bananas were hung from nooses around the campus of American University in May 2017 after the student body elected its first black woman student government president.[118] Unicode The Unicode standard includes the emoji character U+1F34C 🍌 BANANA (HTML &#127820;).[119] Other uses The large leaves may be used as umbrellas.[99] Banana peel may have capability to extract heavy metal contamination from river water, similar to other purification materials.[120][121] In 2007, banana peel powder was tested as a means of filtration for heavy metals and radionuclides occurring in water produced by the nuclear and fertilizer industries (cadmium contaminant is present in phosphates). 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Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry (PDF). Hōlualoa, Hawai'i: Permanent Agriculture Resources (PAR). Retrieved 2013-01-10.  Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (2008). The Biology of Musa L. (banana) (PDF). Australian Government. Retrieved 2013-01-30.  Ploetz, R.C.; Kepler, A.K.; Daniells, J. & Nelson, S.C. (2007). "Banana and Plantain: An Overview with Emphasis on Pacific Island Cultivars". In Elevitch, C.R. Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry (PDF). Hōlualoa, Hawai'i: Permanent Agriculture Resources (PAR). Retrieved 2013-01-10.  Stover, R.H. & Simmonds, N.W. (1987). Bananas (3rd ed.). Harlow, England: Longman. ISBN 978-0-582-46357-8.  Valmayor, Ramón V.; Jamaluddin, S.H.; Silayoi, B.; Kusumo, S.; Danh, L.D.; Pascua, O.C. & Espino, R.R.C. (2000). Banana cultivar names and synonyms in Southeast Asia (PDF). Los Baños, Philippines: International Network for Improvement of Banana and Plantain – Asia and the Pacific Office. ISBN 978-971-91751-2-4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2013-01-08.  Further reading Harriet Lamb, "Fighting The Banana Wars and other Fairtrade Battles", ISBN 978-1-84604-083-2External links Kew plant profile: Musa acuminata (banana) Articles on banana trade at AgritradevteLists of countries by agricultural output rankingsCereals Barley Buckwheat Maize Millet Oats Rice Rye Sorghum Triticale Wheat exportsFruit Apples Apricots Bananas Citrus Oranges Plums Pear Grapes Mango TomatoesVegetables Artichoke Onion Potato Rapeseed Soybean CucumberOther Cacao Cassava Coffee Cotton Fish Garlic Milk Sugar beet Sugar cane Sunflower seed Tea Tobacco WineRelated Irrigation Land use List of international rankings List of top international rankings by country Lists by country vteBananas and plantainsCulinary usage Banana beer Banana bread Banana cake Banana chips Banana cue Banana custard Banana flour Bananas Foster Banana fritter Banana ketchup Banana leaf Banana powder Banana pudding Banana split Banana wine Banania Bánh chuối Frozen banana 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