Papaya (Carica papaya) -Fruits of Kerala, India
March 24th, 2007 | admin
Papaya is a common fruit found in almost all parts of Kerala. Papaya is locally known as kaplam or kaplanga, papanga or pappakka, omakkai etc.
Unripe papaya is used as a vegetable and ripe fruits are taken fresh. Green skin turns yellow on ripening. Edible part is yellow to red. There are also varieties of papaya, which have yellow skin since fruiting until consumed after ripening.
Ripe fruits are not stable for more than six-seven days. Papaya fruits have a cavity like ovary, which has hundreds of seeds wrapped in a jelly-like substance. The seeds become quickly unviable if kept in room temperature for more than a few weeks or if sun dried.
Seeds are sown in beds, from where 45-60 day old seedlings are transplanted to the field. Water logging is serious threat to the existence of papaya trees.
Seedless varieties of papaya too are available.
Papaya fruits have medicinal properties and in beneficial in curing variety of digestive disorders, qualifying itself as an Ayurvedic medicinal fruit.
The papaya extraction, papain is extracted from unripe papaya by making an incision with a small knife. A white milky fluid oozes out, which is quickly settled on the surface of the fruit, just like a resin.
The tree usually is un-branched; however branched trees are not rare. The leaf has a long hollow tube like stalk, which bears a large, segmented leaf. The tree trunk and roots are very weak and susceptible to water logging and external shocks.
Carica papaya belongs to the family Caricaceae.