Apricot



Botanical Name: Prunus armeniaca

Family Name: Rosaceae

Description:

Apricot tree is of moderate size, about 10m tall, with a reddish bark, leaves ovate to round ovate or sometimes sub-cordate, 5- 9cm long. Flowers are pinkish white, borne singly and appearing much in advance of the foliage. Fruits are round, 5 cm across, pubescent when young, but nearly glabrous at maturity, with a yellowish orange, firm and sweet, mostly free from the flat, sidged stone; kernels sweet in some types and bitter in others.

Distribution:

This fruit is said to be a native of China and has spread to India, Iran, Egypt and Greece.

Parts Used:

Fruits

Properties:

Cooling, laxative, refrigerant

Forms of Use:

Fruit as such is eaten.





Nutritional Value:



It is a good source of sugars and vitamin A, and contains appreciable amounts of thiamine and iron.

Analysis shows the presence of nutrients in the following proportions: (per 100 gm)

Moisture: 85.3%

Protein: 1.6%

Fat: 0.7%

Fiber: 2.1%

Carbohydrate: 73.4%

Mineral water: 0.7%

Caloric value: 306 per 100gm

Calcium: 110 mg

Phosphorus: 70 mg

Iron: 4.6 mg

Beta-carotene: 58 mg

Vitamin B1: 0.22 mg

Vitamin B2: 0.13 mg

Nicotinic acid: 0.6 mg

Vitamin C: 6 mg per 100 gm

Ripe apricot pulp contains:

Total solids: 12.4- 16.7

Insoluble solids: 2.1- 3.1

Acids (as malic acid): 0.7- 2.2

Total sugars: 3.6- 8.6

Glucose: 3.2- 4.8

Fructose: 1.4- 4.2

Sucrose: 1.4- 5.4

Malic acid and citric acid are said to be the principal acids. Presence of tartaric acid and succinic acid is also reported.

The free amino acids, identified in apricot are: aspartic, glutamic, theonine, serine, proline, alanine, glycine, valine, leucine, histidine, tyrosine, arginine etc.





Products- Preservation:



A number of food products are prepared from this fruit as it is a good source of calcium, phosphorus and iron. It is highly perishable and is preserved for use in a number of ways e.g canned and dried fruits. They can also be made into paste and frozen.

Apricot nectar , a popular beverage, is prepared by steaming and converting the ripe soft fruit into puree and mixing it with sugar syrup containing some citric acid. These beverages have low acidity and therefore tend to be somewhat flat; they blend particularly well with more acid fruit juices, such as orange or pineapple. Their leather is extensively used in drinks and sauces after treatment with sulfur dioxide as preservative and mixing the same with sucrose (5%) and glucose syrup (5%). The golden colored product is highly nutritious and has a vitamin A potency of 7000 I.U. per 100 gm.





Medicinal Uses:



1. Apricot kernel oil is used for food purposes and in cosmetic and pharmaceutical preparations.

2. It is also useful in preparing medicines for different ailments.

3. It is given to persons suffering from fever as it has cooling effect. 4. It is also useful as laxative.

5. Its juice is very refreshing.





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