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PERSEA AMERICANA Mill. Laurus Persea Linn. Persea Gratissima Gaertn.

PERSEA AMERICANA Mill. Laurus Persea Linn. Persea Gratissima Gaertn.

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Published by: dniesse_asis on Dec 05, 2009
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Laurus persea
Persea gratissima
Gaertn.Local names:
alligator pear 
(Engl.).Avocado is an introduced species, which is now extensively cultivated inthe Philippines for its edible fruit. It was introduced from tropical America beforethe end of the sixteenth century.Avocado is a medium sized tree reaching a height of 10 meters. Theleaves are alternate, oblong to oval or obovate, and about 20 centimeters long.The flowers are small and borne in naked, panicled, hairy cymes. The perianth-segments are 4 to 5 millimeters long. The fruit is large, fleshy, elongated, of various shapes but often somewhat resembling a pear, 8 to 18 centimeters long,soft, and edible.The fruit varies greatly in size and shape; some avocados may weigh upto two kilos. It contains a single, large, pear-shaped seed surrounded byabundant, soft, yellowish or yellowish-green flesh, which is highly prized. Theleaves are used as a substitute for tea.The fruit is eaten with dressing as a salad. It makes an excellent ice-cream and dessert. It is added to soup also at the time of serving. According toMarañon it has a high fat content (8.13 per cent); but is deficient in calcium andonly fair in iron. Hermano says that it is good source of vitamins A and B.Wehmer records that the leaves contain volatile oil, 0.5 per cent, withmethyl-chavicol, d-d-pinene and paraffin.Stoneback and Calvert state that the fat content increases with thematurity of the fruit. The total dry matter in the edible portion of the avocado isgreater than that in any other fresh fruit, the one nearest approaching it being thebanana, which contains about 25 per cent of dry matter. The avocado containsan average of 30 per cent. The protein content, which averages 2 per cent, ishigher than that in any other fresh fruit. The percentage of carbohydrates is nothigh compared with many fruits, because the avocado contains almost no sugar.These two authorities quotes LaForge, who has found a new sugar in theavocado, called d-Mannoketoheptose, believed to be present in varying amountsfrom 0.5 to 1 per cent. They continue by affirming that the amount of mineralmatter present is much greater than that in other fresh fruits. Salts of sodium,potassium, magnesium and calcium compose more than one-half of the ash.This fact places the avocado among the foods, which yield an excess of thebase-forming elements, as opposed to nuts, which furnish an excess of acid-forming elements. The chief value of the avocado as a food is due to its high

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