Papaya power

01/02/2013 10:46:00 AM
Susie Cable

Demonstrations are good opportunities to show new uses for papayas. Consumers like to learn how to use papayas in any type of meal and in any course, Ostlund says.

Besides the typical uses in fruit salads and smoothies, papayas pair well with asparagus, cucumber and broccoli, Ostlund says. Brooks’ website, brookstropicals.com, features many recipes, including papaya and olive relish, and papaya mashed potatoes. HLB’s website, hlbspecialties.com, lists recipes too, including papaya and crab salad, and papaya quesadillas.

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While shoppers sample fresh papaya and new recipes, retailers can educate them about the fruit’s nutritional content.

“Papaya is one of the healthiest fruits in the world,” Hartmann de Barros says.

A small raw papaya contains 95.6 milligrams of vitamin C, which is more than the recommended dietary allowance for adults, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data Laboratory reports. Hartmann de Barros says papayas are especially for good sources of vitamin C for young children or other consumers who cannot tolerate the acidity of citrus.

Papayas contain an enzyme called papain, which digests proteins. The enzyme makes papaya a good ingredient for meat marinades. Papain also is used in medications, including digestive aids and anti-inflammatories.

Red-fleshed papayas have the added benefit of containing carotenoids, including lutein and lycopene.



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