Salient Features of Papaya
Asma Khalid, Mujahid Ali, Dr. Rashad Mukhtar Balal
(College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha)
There is much more blessing of Allah on us and life is one of those as a human, we are the great creatures among all other creatures. It is mechanism of the world that one living thing will feed on another living organism. Citrus, guava, date palm, mango, fruits etc. are cultivated in Pakistan. Papaya is best of them, but the cultivation area is not much more in Pakistan. Papaya is very important nutrional fruit. Papaya is a tropical fruit, which belong to family caricaceae and its botanical name is Carica papaya. It is found in Karachi and Thatta. Papaya has diocious flower. Its height is about 5-10 m. Single stem tree, berry type fruit. It starts bearing in 10-30 months. Male and female flower appear at separate plants. Female flower is large, yellow in color, 5 petals, and having large ovary. While in case of male flower it is smaller than female flower and born middle or end of the inflorescence stalk, it has 5 petals also. Papaya fruit is oblong, cylindrical, large, fleshy, berry, outer color green, yellow and orange. Small black seeds are present at the cavity of the fruit. Its fruit is ready to harvest when its skin color become yellow. Total annual production of papaya is 6 million tons. Papaya required fertile, heavily manured, light, well drained soils. Tropical region with warm humid climate is preferred for its cultivation. Temperature ranges about 38-40 oC in summer and temperature should not frequently go below 5oC in winter. Annual humidity should be 70%, largest yield can be obtained from earlier 2-3 years of age after this it can’t be used as economical purposes. Papaya harvesting is done when it’s still hard but turning yellow, particularly for distant market. Irrigate the papaya weekly in summer and fortnight in winter. Plants irrigated regularly because lack of irrigation will cause poor fruiting. Papaya can be propagated through seeds, sown directly in ground. Seedlings began flowering in 9-10 months after seed germination. Blooming start after 6 months. Planting distance should be 1.5m. There are many varieties of papaya e.g. red papaya, yellow papaya, green papaya, sunrise, solo, pusa delicious, pusa dwarf, CO-7, red lady, mega doll. Harvest the fruits at its right stage, depending upon the market requirement. For overseas market, harvest when it is 10-15% yellow, or when a yellow color begins to develop in the base of the fruits. The fruits should be hand-picked with the pickers by wearing gloves to prevent bruising by the fingers. The fruit can be twisted upwards to break it from the main stem or a short knife should be used to cut the fruit stem. Do not break the stem too close as this will damage the tissue of the stem at end of the fruit, and it will cause spoilage. The fruit should not be allowed to drop to the ground during picking, as it bruises resulting decay and ripening.
The papaya is highly perishable and should be handled carefully. Rough handling results in bruising and sometimes internal damage which lowers the market value. Throwing of papaya should not be practiced. This results in bruising and sometimes internal damage when the fruit is accidentally dropped. The fruit must be carefully placed in boxes. The bottoms of containers used to transport the fruit from the field to the pack houses, or to the fresh market, should be covered with banana leaves, or tissue-like paper. This is for protection from the problems found during transportation. When packing the fruits for the market, they should be placed in a single layer on their bases or apex point upwards. Remember these fruits should be packed with soft paper material to minimize the bruising, and so prolong the storage and shelf life of the fruits. Packing for export, only pack 8-16 per one piece of ventilated fiberboard carton of 4.5 kg net, that depends on the size of the fruit. If temporary storage is necessary, the packed fruits should be stored in a cool and well-ventilated environment. If longer storage is needed, then store at 10-13oC and 85-90 % R.H. which will extend the life of the fruit from 10 days to a maximum of 3 weeks. If stored at room temperature 25 oC fruits will ripen within 7-10 days. Only excellent quality produce should be placed on the export market to compete with other countries and obtain a decent price for its.
Papaya has good health benefits, such as it gives potential against heart disease. Papayas may be very helpful for the prevention of diabetes and heart disease. Papayas are an excellent source of the powerful antioxidants vitamin C and A. These vitamins help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Only when cholesterol becomes oxidized it stick to blood vessel walls, forming dangerous blocks that can eventually cause heart attacks or strokes.
Papaya promote digestion. The health nutrients found in papaya help to prevent from colon cancer. Papaya contain folate, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E helps to reduced risk of colon cancer. Papaya helps in inflammation. Papaya contains several unique protein digesting enzymes like papian and chymopapain. These enzymes help in inflammation and help to improve healing from burns. In addition, the antioxidant nutrients are also found in papaya.
Strong immune system through papaya. Vitamin C and vitamin A are present in papaya, these both are needed for the proper function of a healthy immune system. Papaya is therefore a healthy fruit choice for preventing illnesses as e.g. ear infections, colds and flu. Protection against arthritis. High doses of vitamin C makes osteoarthritis, a type of degenerative arthritis that occurs with aging, vitamin C-rich foods, such as papaya, provide humans with protection against inflammatory polyarthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis involving two or more joints.
Papaya can be used in various forms. It can be used as host salad and used in different other recipes. Best way to eat papaya is to eat it like a water melon. After washing it, cut the papaya into two halves and separate the seeds and eat it with spoon. For better taste we can squeeze lemon or lime juice on its top. It should be cut into smaller pieces for fruit salad and recipes. For this salad purpose papaya is peeled with a sharp knife and cut into desirable shape and size. Most of the people eat papaya’s seed as they have delightful peppery flavor. A few serving ideas for papaya are following. Sprinkle fresh lemon juice on papaya and enjoy it with sour taste. Slice papaya length wise and fill with fruit salad.in blender combine papaya strawberry and yogurt for cold soup treat.