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Saturday, 17 August 2013

Banana

Banana is the common name given to the large-leaved giant herb plants extending from the tribe Musaceae. Some species (Musa acuminata and M. balbisiana) produce consumption fruit which is also named the same: Banana.

The fruit is arranged in bunches with groups such as a fingers but formed double.

Almost all bananas have yellow skin when ripe, though some were colored orange, red, green, purple, or even almost black, bananas, as food is a source of energy (carbohydrates) and minerals, especially potassium.

Bananas today has become part of the world carbohydrate source, some nations in Africa have used bananas as a staple food.

However, it turned out to be the region's center of plant diversity is Malesia region (Indonesian Islands, South East Asia, Papua, and Tropical Australia). Moderate Region Tropical Africa is a region of diversity minor.

Bananas can be main agricultural trade commodities for Central American countries, Brazil, Indonesia, and the Pacific Islands, while the main consumers are African and Central American nations.

Characteristic of the tree:
Banana trees grow well in tropical to subtropical regions, bananas can be grown in soil that is rich in humus, containing lime or heavy soil, the voracious plant food that bananas should be planted in soil rich in humus or with good fertilization.

Banana trees relatively tolerant to location altitude and drought of the land, for the tropical trees can be grown from the lowlands to a height of 2000 m, depending on varieties, however, banana trees do not grow in soil with a salt content of 0.07% or more.

Plant height: Not all banana plants have the same height. Height of the banana plant is divided into dwarf and normal. Banana plant height less than one meter including dwarf plants, whereas when the height of the plant is more than one meter including normal.

Trunk: divided into two kinds of original trunk called tubers, and the pseudo-stem, tubers is apparent stem and under the ground surface, as well as having many buds which are candidates for puppies, tubers is where the growth of roots. Pseudo-stem-sheath composed of leaf midrib cover each other, grows tall and sturdy, and is above the soil surface.

Pseudo stem color is usually green to yellowish green with black splotches. Pseudo stem has high water content with small cavities in it.

Leaves: petiole edges can be divided into (a) winged and pinched the bridge, (b) winged and do not pinch the trunk, and (c) winged and bumpy. Banana leaf shape is generally long, oblong, with a width that is not the same, the end leaves a blunt, flat edge arranged. Location of scattered leaves and stalks are arranged in a relatively long-sized leaves are easily torn. Leaves elongated bone located in the middle of the leaf, as well as the shape stands out. Upper leaf color light green to dark green, while the underside that not directly exposed to the sun a little more white, covered by a kind of natural soft powder.

Root system: root generally grows from bongo, on the sides and bottom, fibrous roots, and do not have a taproot. Root growth in general flocking toward the side below ground level and leads into the soil reaches 4-5 meters long. However, a range of roots only penetrate the soil at a depth of between 150-200 cm.

Banana Flower

Banana flower also called as heart of banana, grown and out from the rod tip. Banana flowers classified as a compound flower. The flower when fresh out from trunk still united, the form of the flower structures look like the human heart, the size is depending on the species. After a few days, the flower buds begin to open up and show real flower. Outer skin of the flower is red and the flowers at first glance are looks like a shrimp whitish yellow with 4-7cm long and 1-2 cm wide. Each flower has a single sepal, one petal, one pistil with many ovarian, and four stamens with pollen stalks 3-4 cm long. Each flower produces a single fruit, and because there are many flowers then a single bunch of flowers can produce 77-250 pieces are divided into 6-14 bunches.

The Fruit:
Banana fruit has the shape, size, sweetness, fruit pulp character, and the outer skin varies depending on the type of varieties. Banana varieties themselves are so diverse, there are bananas that can be directly consumed as fresh as a fruit serving, some are better when the processing is done in advance, either by boiling, roasting, frying, fermenting etc.

Immature bananas will not necessarily have the typical rounded shape and may be angular. Generally, bananas can range in size from 2 ½ inches to 12 inches in length and ¾ inch to 2 inches in width.

One of the most famous varieties of banana in the world is the Cavendish banana, but actually, there are so many kinds of bananas that has quality taste, aroma and fragrance that is not inferior to Cavendish.

If you visit Indonesia, Malaysia or other South East Asia countries try to enjoy their local bananas, like Ambon Bananas, Raja Bananas, Kepok Bananas etc. in Indonesia or Mas Bananas, Berangan Bananas, Tanduk Bananas etc. in Indonesia.

Bananas fruit is one of carbohydrate source, bananas also rich with Vitamin C and fiber. Here is the details of nutrition of bananas fruit:
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy371 kJ (89 kcal)
Carbohydrates22.84 g
- Sugars12.23 g
- Dietary fiber2.6 g
Fat0.33 g
Protein1.09 g
Thiamine (vit. B1)0.031 mg (3%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2)0.073 mg (6%)
Niacin (vit. B3)0.665 mg (4%)
Pantothenic acid (B5)0.334 mg (7%)
Vitamin B60.4 mg (31%)
Folate (vit. B9)20 μg (5%)
Choline9.8 mg (2%)
Vitamin C8.7 mg(10%)
Iron0.26 mg(2%)
Magnesium27 mg(8%)
Manganese0.27 mg(13%)
Phosphorus22 mg(3%)
Potassium358 mg (8%)
Sodium1 mg (0%)
Zinc0.15 mg (2%)
Fluoride2.2 µg
Source: USDA database

Economic potential:
Bananas are part of the world food, however the banana tree can grow well only in tropical and sub-tropics regions.

Currently banana exports dominated by tropical countries that spread across various regions, from Asia, Africa up to South America, according to data released by the World Banana Forum - FAO, India is the major exporter of this agricultural products.  In 2011 India exported nearly 30 million tonnes of bananas (20% of world exports) to the world, then followed by China , Philippines, Ecuador, Brazil, and Indonesia.

Here is its statistical:
Source : World Banana Forum - FAO

From various sources, it is clear that production and world demand for tropical fruits is increasing from time to time, but in some major producing countries, production of the fruit is still relying on traditional agriculture, like in Indonesia, for example. On the other hand, the major industrial that played in banana cultivation tends to cultivating one or only a few types of bananas like Cavendish.

So, that is a possibility to develop an industrial scale to plant bananas to fulfill world demand and to offer more choice to world bananas consumers enjoying various kind of bananas varieties.

Scientific classification:

  • Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)
  •       Subkingdom: Tracheobionta (Vascular Plants)
  •           Super Division: Spermatophyta (Produces seeds)
  •               Division: Magnoliophyta (flowering plants)
  •                   Class: Liliopsida (dashed one / monocot)
  •                       Sub Class: Commelinidae
  •                           Order: Zingiberales
  •                               Family: Musaceae
  •                                   Genus: Musa
  •                                       Species: Musa paradisiaca, Musa acuminata, and Musa balbisiana