you think banana is only a fruit?
December 27, 2006 6:40am CST
Processed banana food products Through the proccessing of bananas it is possible to obtain dried bananas, also called banana "chips", banana puree as the basis for baby food or for dairy products, banana flour and powder, banana juice or even banana alcohol . Apart from being a very important food product, banana products and by-products have other many different uses and applications:Banana fiber It is used for handicraft and art in baskets, carpets and so on. The fiber is also used for the manufacturing of banana paper. Animal feeding Bananas which do not arrive to fulfill quality requirements for export and banana waste may be used for animal feeding. Banana leaves They are used for wrapping food when cooking in many countries. Intercropping In some cases, banana cultivation is used to give shade to other crops that need it, such are coffee or cocoa. Tourism Banana production areas can be shown for tourism interests. Medicinal use Bananas are considered to be good for the treatment of gastric ulcer and diarrhoea. Because they contain vitamin A, bananas and plantains act as an aid to digestion. Due to their high content of B6 vitamin, they help to reduce stress and anxiety. They are also considered benefitial for cancer prevention and heart diseases. The high content of carbohydrates makes of them a very good source of energy, for example, for people practising sports. Potassium helps to better brain fonctioning. The change in consumer eating habits has given place to new preferences as consumers in developed countries have become more sophisticated and more exigent with the bananas they demand, as it has happened with produce and food consumption in general. At present consumers are interested in many additional issues. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the health and nutritive benefits of eating more fresh fruit. They are also more interested in dietary issues, consuming more low fat and sugar food, what favours consumption of fruits. The campaign 5 a day launched by Produce for Better Health Foundation in USA, and extended later all over the world, is trying to encourage the consumption of fruit on health grounds following this trend towards healthy products . However, the potential for fruit consumption increases based on health reasons is still high since the intake of fruit is still bellow the recommended levels.