Preface

Fruits are particularly vulnerable to postharvest losses and are also transported to long distances for sale. Insufficient and inadequate postharvest handling and storage will deteriorate their quality before they reach market or consumers. There has been a tremendous amount of research on new emerging techniques to maintain the quality of fruits from farm to table. These teclmiques help to maintain the quality parameters and enhance demand and presence of such fruits in the market. To maximize their quality, postharvest management is essential, and there have been many recent advances in this area.

The unique feature of this book includes a focus on technological interventions involved in the postharvest management of fruits. This book will provide insight of fruits with emphasis on the emerging technologies used for maintaining their quality. This book considers the fundamental issues and will serve as a standard reference material for shelf-life extension of fruits. We believe that this comprehensive collection will benefit students, researchers, scientists, academicians, and professionals in the fruit industry. We are grateful to all the contributors for promptly submitting their chapters.

Diversity of Fruits

A. RAOUF MALIK', RAFIYA MUSHTAQ, Z. A. BHAT, and MUMTAZ A. CANIE

Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir, Shalimar, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir 191121, India

'Corresponding author. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

ABSTRACT

The diversity of genetic resources provides the sustainable basis for food supply and security. A wide range of fruit species like grapes, loquat, mango, guava, citrus, banana, apple, pear, peach, plum, apricot, grapes, and nuts like almond, pistachio nut, pecan nut, and walnut are grown worldwide. These fruit species have been diversified through human selection, hybridization, and other processes of fruit improvement over hundreds of years. Hundreds and thousands of clones/local cultivars of different fruit crops are grown in particular ecological regions of the world with different characteristics. Wide variation exists in fruit size, shape, color, taste, seed size, quality of the cultivars of particular fruit crop. Many of these species are also important nutritional resources for local people. The adaptation pattern of different species varies from the arid diy to the humid regions to temperate and tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

INTRODUCTION

Fruit tree and tree crop diversity is crucial for nutrition, livelihoods, and ecosystem resilience. Growing both domesticated and wild species on farms diversifies the crop production options. Farmers have developed a range of agricultural practices to sustainably use and maintain a wide diversity of crop species in many parts of the world. Fruits are considered an important proxy for healthy eating and determinant of health. A diet low in fruit has been found to be the most important dietary contributor to mortality and lost years of healthy life (Forouzanfar et al., 2015). Despite its importance to health, fruit consumption worldwide is still far below the recommended levels.

Tropical fruit tree species such as mango, rambutan, and mangosteen are excellent sources of crucial vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants and thus essential as supplemental food for a nutritionally balanced diet. They are important resources for the well-being of many people around the world and can play a major role to enhance both household income and national revenue. Central Asia is the center of origin and of diversity for many globally significant fruit and nut tree species

The major preventable risk factor contributing to the burden of disease worldwide is a poor diet, including inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption. In many low-income and middle-income countries, under nutrition, —that is, not having enough food—has been a major concern. However, the diet-related burden of disease in these regions is shifting toward non- communicable diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Improving nutrition in all countries now requires both interventions to reduce the intake of harmful foods high in saturated fat, added sugar, and salt, and interventions to increase consumption of healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables. WHO recommends a minimum intake of 400 g (i.e., five servings) of fruits and vegetables (excluding potatoes and other starchy tubers) per person per day. Interventions to improve diets require a greater understanding of the social, economic, and political determinants of healthy eating.

Horticultural crops (fruit crops, vegetables, plantation crops, spices, medicinal and aromatic plants etc.) are a base for nutritional and livelihood security of any countiy including India. They occupy 9% of gross area under cropping, contributing 24.5% of gross value of agricultural output and 54.6% of export earnings in agriculture. India ranks first in production of mango, banana, cauliflower, coconut, cashew, tea, and spices. If India has to achieve 8% of growth in GDP, growth rate in horticulture has to be 6%. For realizing the goal of doubling the farmers’ income by 2022, horticulture has to play an important role. National Horticultural Mission launched by Government of India envisages higher productivity, clean and environment friendly production, value addition, and above all sustainability of natural resources especially biodiversity and water. Horticultural genetic resources include improved and obsolete varieties, populations, landraces, genetic stocks, and breeding materials of crop plants and their wild and weedy relatives. Many fruit crops like mango, citrus, and banana have their centers of diversity in tropical India/South East Asia. The temperate fruit crops have their centers of origin outside India but have a considerable diversity in India. The temperate fruit crops like apple, pear, cherry, peach, and so on are an important part of the Indian diet while other crops like walnut and almond help in earning foreign exchange. Further, minor fruits like bael, Indian gooseberry, papaya, jackfmit, custard apple, karonda, cordia, phalsa, kokam, mangosteen, ber, strawberry, blackberry and raspberry, currant, and kiwifruit have potential for cultivation. The domestication of seabuck thorn in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir has proven to be a boon for consumers and farmers alike owing to its economic and nutritional benefits. The collection, characterization, evaluation, conservation, and utilization of Horticulture Genetic Resources (HGR) are important for India which has a vast heritage of these bio resources. The present national network is coordinated by National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), New Delhi and its Regional Stations. There are 13 All India Co-ordinated Research Projects under the Division of Horticulture, ICAR, 29 National Active Gennplasm Sites (NAGS), several Departments of Horticulture/Vegetable Crops/Fruit Crops/Ornamentals/Plantation Crops and Medicinal Plants under 34 State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) and many State Departments of Agricul- ture/Horticulture, involved in this network. The diversity for horticultural crops has mainly been managed by local farmers. Considerable diversity exists among the regional horticultural species including variation in plant type, morphological and physiological characteristics, reactions to diseases and pests, adaptability, and distribution. Apart from the nutritional value, the horticultural crops are used for medicinal purposes, income generating, and poverty alleviation programs in the rural areas.

IMPORTANCE OF FRUITS IN NUTRITION

Fruits have been recognized as a good source of vitamins and minerals and for their role in preventing vitamin C and vitamin A deficiencies. People who eat fruit as part of an overall healthy diet generally have a reduced risk of chronic diseases. USDA’s MyPlate encourages making half your plate fruits and vegetables for healthy eating. Fruit are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid). Blueberries, citrus fruit, cranberries, or strawberries contain phytochemicals that are being studied for added health benefits. The nutrients in fruit are vital for health and maintenance of your body. The potassium in fruit can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Potassium may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss as you age. Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant and those in the first trimester of pregnancy need adequate folate.

Nutrients in fruits such as dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, including polyphenols, all provide support for the biological plausibility that fruits play a role in health. Some fruits have been studied separately either in prospective cohort studies or randomized controlled trials. Typically, these fruits are of interest because of their phytochemical contents, including polyphenols, phytoestrogens, and antioxidants. Studies in berries were summarized by Basu et al. (2010). Intervention studies found mixed results, with only 2 of 20 trials showing decreases in systolic blood pressure with beny consumption. Results with inflammation markers were equally mixed. Cranberries have been studied more extensively, especially for their role in prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections (Cote et al., 2010). Grapes have also been extensively studied, mostly in response to the French paradox, the finding that the French diet is high in fat but Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD) incidence is low. Consumption of red wine has been proposed as a protective mechanism, because grapes are high in antioxidants, namely flavonoids (Vislocky et al., 2010). Grape polyphenols can reduce atherosclerosis by inhibiting Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) oxidation and platelet aggregation, improving endothelial function, lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and activating novel proteins that prevent cell senescence (Dohadwala et al., 2009). Despite the promise of grapes and disease prevention, little epidemiologic evidence supports a unique role for grapes in disease prevention or health. A review of apples and apple components and their relationship to human health also suggested many potential mechanisms by which apples could affect health (Hyson et al., 2011).

 
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