Passion fruit is a type of tropical plant cultivated for its edible fruit. It belongs to the Passifloera genus. It is commonly cultivated for its fleshy, sweet, and slightly acidic fruit. The fruit is commonly consumed fresh or used to prepare various types of preserves such as ice creams, sorbets, juices, jellies, and many more. It is a rich source of minerals and vitamins as well as various important compounds such as dietary fiber. The fruit is also low in calories. It has sedative and soothing effects and is recommended in a diet for those suffering from anxiety or insomnia.
The plant belongs to the Pasifloraceous family and commonly occurs in a variety of species. It is a perennial climbing plant that creates a slightly angular stem of a cylindrical shape. The stem is usually dark green and smooth. It also has a tendency to form rolled-up tendrils that reach up to 40 cm in length. The plant produces dark green, alternate leaves that have sewed edges. The leaves reach up to 16 cm in length and have three marked lobes. Passion fruit flowers are singular and solitary. They turn into ovoid or globose fruits that are varied depending on the species. Their colors vary from dark brown to yellow or purple. The fruit pulp is usually yellow or slightly greenish and juicy. It covers dozens of small, black grain-like seeds.
It is cultivated in tropical regions of the world. The name passion fruit was given to the plant by the Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century as they believed that the flower symbolizes Christ’s Passion. The fruit is commonly eaten raw or used to prepare various fruit salads and other desserts. It is commonly used in cocktails and other fruity beverages. It is also quite an important fruit for confectionery. The fruits’ skin in its dehydrated form is used as a nutritional food for animals.
The passion fruit is low in calories and is an excellent source of dietary fiber which improves the overall condition of the digestive track. The fruit also contains various vitamins and minerals. It is cultivated extensively in California and the tropical areas of South America. It is also an important crop for various tropical countries of Africa and Asia. The world’s largest producers of passion fruits are Kenya, Ecuador, Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa.