Follow my blog with Bloglovin Worldwide Fruits List: Aubergine or eggplant or Solanum melongena

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Aubergine or eggplant or Solanum melongena

Aubergine or eggplant  is a plant belonging to the family of Solanaceae and genus Solanum. This plant is a native of India and Sri Lanka, and is closely related to tomatoes and potatoes. The fruit commonly used as a vegetable for cooking and has botanical name Solanum melongena.

Eggplant is a vegetable that is well known by most people, especially in the tropics regions. The fruit is composed of various types, but majority of them has two kinds of color, which is light green and purple. Eggplant can be enjoyed straight or other cooking materials. The fruit trees also have so many kinds of varieties.

Plant characteristics:
Eggplant is a green plant that generally cultivated annually especially in dry session.  This plant can grows about 40-150 cm (16-57 inches) in height. The leaves are large, with a rough lobe. The size is 10-20 cm (4-8 inches) long and 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) in width. The types of semi-wild bigger and grow to as high as 225 cm (7 feet), with leaves that exceed 30 cm (12 inches) and 15 cm (6 inches) in length. The trunk is usually spiked. Flower color between white to purple, with a crown that has five lobes.  Fruit contains flour, with a diameter of less than 3 cm in the wild, and even greater for the preferred species.

Eggplants are generally propagated by seeds, commonly eggplant can be harvested at the age of 3.5 months after planting.  When well cared the plant still well producing up to the age of 5-6 months, a  good harvest is late or early morning, especially during the dry season.  Eggplant fruit will be in the best quality  in the morning.

Terms grown: grown in the plains, temperatures 22 - 30 ° C, the best type of soil is sandy loam type, fertile, rich in organic matter, good drainage and a pH around 6.8 to 7.3 in the tropics is more suitable to be planted in the dry season.

According to botanical terms, this fruit classed into berry, which has many small seeds and has a soft flesh, the outer skin of the fruit have two main colors: green and dark purple, but some are pale white and yellow. However the flesh mostly white. Shape and type of fruit varies, from small or large round approach extends reach a weight of 4 ounces.

Eggplant fruit has been widely recognized and become part of the daily food, especially in Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia, there are dozens of kinds of traditional dishes made from eggplant fruit.

The fruit tends to tasteless, with a hint of sweetness; the fruit is generally consumed in middle age, not too old or young. Eggplant fruit cannot be stored long even in the refrigerator.

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz):
Energy 104 kJ (25 kcal), Carbohydrates 5.88 g,  Sugars 3.53 g, Dietary fiber 3 g, Fat 0.18 g, Protein 0.98 g, Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.039 mg (3%), Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.037 mg (3%), Niacin (vit. B3) 0.649 mg (4%), Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.281 mg (6%), Vitamin B6 0.084 mg (6%), Folate (vit. B9) 22 ?g (6%), Vitamin C 2.2 mg (3%),  Vitamin E 0.3 mg (2%), Vitamin K 3.5 ?g (3%), Calcium 9 mg (1%), Iron 0.23 mg (2%), Magnesium 14 mg (4%), Manganese 0.232 mg (11%), Phosphorus 24 mg (3%), Potassium 229 mg (5%), Zinc 0.16 mg (2%).  Source: USDA Nutrient Database.

Economic potential:
Currently, Eggplant fruit production globally has reached more than 42 million tons a year, China and India into two countries with the largest production in the world.

Although produced mainly by the Asian countries and the Middle East in minor, eggplant now also popular  in many other regions. Europe, especially France and Italy eggplant  became the basic ingredient cooking, France with eggplant ratatouille and Italia with parmigiana di melanzane, in Turkey and the Greek dishes made eggplant is also favored. Eggplant also become favorite in Middle East and of course South Asia Region.  With fact that global population is still growing, and taste culture become more opened globally so the need for this kind of fruit will be growing too. So far, the cultivation of eggplant generally done on a small-scale cultivation especially in Southeast Asia, fruit prices is likely to increase in line with growing demand.

Scientific classification :

  • Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)
  •    Subkingdom: Tracheobionta (Vascular Plants)
  •       Super Division: Spermatophyta (Produces seeds)
  •           Division: Magnoliophyta (flowering plants)
  •              Class: Magnoliopsida (dashed two / dicots)
  •                  Sub Class: Asteridae
  •                      Order: Solanales
  •                           Family: Solanaceae (tribe eggplants)
  •                               Genus: Solanum
  •                                    Species: Solanum melongena