1. Agriculture World

Innovative Edible-Skin Bananas ‘KIREI’ Produced by Japan

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

While eating Banana, generally we throw away the Banana Peel. Banana peels, or any peels for that matter, are usually discarded before eating the fruit. But have you ever stopped to wonder why fruits have peels in the first place?

Why fruits are have skin or peels? Peels are developed by the fruit to prevent microbial infections and other harms. This means that peels of fruits like the banana have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, it is as good as a weapon to attack deadly microbes. The Peel of fruits has traditionally been used as a medicinal treatment for ailments like burns, anaemia, diarrhoea, ulcers, inflammation, diabetes, cough and even snakebites. 

Now Japan has come out with an innovative way of producing bananas, of which one can eat the peel also. It is not available in all the regions, but in some regions, such as the Prefecture of Fukushima, are already producing innovative edible skin bananas, named Kirei, which, in Japanese, means beautiful. These bananas won't be cheap, as they will cost about 300 yen (almost 3 dollars) per unit. Even though everything seems fine in Fukushima, the Prefecture has established a system for measuring radiation in agricultural products to guarantee their distribution and consumption.

“The prefectural governments have been carrying out the monitoring of environmental radiation of first necessity agricultural, forestry, and marine products following the 'Concepts of the implementation and lifting of objects and areas subject to the inspection and restrictions on shipments plan' established by the Response to Nuclear Emergencies Headquarters (whose general director is the prime minister),” according to the website of the prefecture of Fukushima.

In addition to the edible skin banana, Japan has also presented a banana variety that is grown at temperatures of -60 ºC and then replanted in warmer climates, at a temperature of nearly 30 ºC, where they defrost.

Japan intends to start producing its own bananas as it currently has to import them, mainly from the Philippines. In fact, Japan imported 605,492 tons of bananas worth $ 277 million in 2015.

They have been baptized as Mongee Banana and their development has been carried out by the scientists of the D&T company, who have decided to imitate the cold climate on Earth 20,000 years ago when the first plants began to sprout after the winter thaw. Most banana plants need two years to reach full maturity, while the Mongee variety only needs four months.

An additional advantage is that they don't require any pesticides. In addition, researchers didn't have to perform any genetic modifications to produce them. According to the D&T Farm website, the Mongee banana peel may contain tryptophan, which some studies relate to the creation of serotonin, vitamin B6, and magnesium.

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