Thursday, June 28, 2007

mmm..what a quench!

Dragon fruits are not only consumed as fresh but could be turned into straight drinks. It could be mixed with ice and a little bit of sugar. Muawh! What a taste!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Yellow Dragon Fruit

Yellow dragon fruits are one the varieties planted here.However, only it is planted in a small scale.I have tasted and it is very sweet but the seeds are larger than the white and red varieties. The skin colour looks yellow and the fruits are quite small between 150 to 250 g compared to the red varieties which easily weighs up to 600-800g.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Red and White flesh Dragon fruits.

It very interesting to note that the popular dragon fruits in this country is red and white flesh varieties eventhough there are yellow ones. From reports that the red pigment is made up of betanin , betacyanin and lycopene. These are anthocyanins group which are antioxidants good for the body metabolisme.

Betanins are " An anthocyanin that contains nitrogen and constitutes the principal pigment of garden beets.

Report says that Betanin, or Beetroot Red, is a red glycosidic food dye obtained from beetroot; its glycone, obtained by hydrolyzing away the glucose molecule, is betanidin. As a food additive, its E number is E162. Betanin degrades when subjected to light, heat, and oxygen; therefore, it is used in frozen products, products with short shelf life, or products sold in dry state. [1]

Betanin can survive pasteurization when in products with high sugar content. Its sensitivity to oxygen is highest in products with high content of water and/or containing metal cations (eg. iron and copper); antioxidants like ascorbic acid and sequestrants can slow this process down, together with suitable packaging. In dry form betanin is stable in presence of oxygen.

Betanin is usually obtained from the extract of beet juice; the concentration of betanin in red beet can reach 300-600 mg/kg. Other dietary sources of betanin and other betalains include the opuntia cactus, Swiss chard, and the leaves of some strains of amaranth.

While , lycopene is a red, fat-soluble pigment found in vegetables, and most commonly found in tomatoes. It is one of a family of pigments called carotenoids. Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments responsible for the brightly colored fall leaves and the vivid colors of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. In fruits and vegetables, these pigments range in hue from bright yellow in squash, to orange in carrots, to bright red in tomatoes and peppers.

Lycopene (as well as other carotenoids such as lutein and beta-carotene) may also help prevent macular degenerative disease, the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65.

Lycopene is the only micronutrient whose serum level was shown to be inversely related to the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Nutritional values of dragon fruits

It seems that dragon fruits had high carotene contents compare with pineapple and mango.

Visit to Dragon Fruits Farm

Last week I had the opportunity to visit dragon fruit farms (40 acres); one hour drive from my office. Besides, dragon fruits this farm had bananas; coconut, jackfruit, anona and papaya.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Lecture on Dragon Fruits Growing

This week I had the chance to give lecture series on "Dragonfruit Growing: Cultivation and Technology" to growers alike.That this moment I am waiting and ready. I have had also many requests from interested parties to set up dragon fruit growing in a large scale. I also managed to do some economic analysis esp IRR and NPV which I have left before.