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Foundation for Diet and Health
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Information Ingredients Nutrients Videos

Kiwi

Green kiwis are known for their sweet and sour taste and aren’t just for eating raw. Kiwi juice, kiwi jam, and kiwi cake are also popular.
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Kiwis, also called kiwifruits, are known for their typical sweet and sour taste and green color. They contain high levels of vitamin C and are low in calories. Kiwis taste like a mix between gooseberries, strawberries, and melons.

General information:

From Wikipedia“Kiwifruit (often shortened to kiwi) or Chinese gooseberry is the name given to the edible berries of several species of woody vines in the genus Actinidia. The most common cultivar group of kiwifruit ('Hayward') is oval, about the size of a large hen's egg (5–8 cm (2.0–3.1 in) in length and 4.5–5.5 cm (1.8–2.2 in) in diameter). It has a fibrous, dull greenish-brown skin and bright green or golden flesh with rows of tiny, black, edible seeds. The fruit has a soft texture and a sweet but unique flavor. It is a commercial crop in several countries, such as Italy, New Zealand, Chile, Greece, and France.”

Cultivars:

“The genus Actinidia contains around 60 species. Though most kiwifruit are easily recognized as kiwifruit (due to basic shape) their fruit is quite variable. The skin of the fruit varies in size, shape, hairiness, and color. The flesh varies in color, juiciness, texture, and taste. Some fruits are unpalatable while others taste considerably better than the majority of the commercial varieties.

The most common kiwifruit is the fuzzy kiwifruit, from the species A. deliciosa. Other species that are commonly eaten include golden kiwifruit (A. chinensis), Chinese egg gooseberry (A. coriacea), baby kiwifruit (A. arguta), Arctic kiwifruit (A. kolomikta), red kiwifruit (A. melanandra), silver vine (A. polygama), purple kiwifruit (A. purpurea).”

Nutrition:

“A medium size kiwifruit (76 grams) provides 46 calories, 0.3 g fat, 1 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, and 2.6 g dietary fiber found partly in the edible skin.
Kiwifruit is a rich source of vitamin C .... and vitamin K, and a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin E.

Kiwifruit seed oil contains on average 62% alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. Kiwifruit pulp contains carotenoids, such as provitamin A beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.”

Consumption:

“Kiwifruit may be eaten raw, made into juices, used in baked goods, prepared with meat or used as a garnish. The whole fruit including the skin is suitable for human consumption, but the skin is often discarded due to its texture. Sliced kiwifruit has long been used as a garnish atop whipped cream on pavlova, a meringue-based dessert. Traditionally in China, kiwifruit was not eaten for pleasure, but was given as medicine to children to help them grow and to women who have given birth to help them recover.

Raw kiwifruit contains actinidain (also spelled actinidin) which is commercially useful as a meat tenderizer and possibly as a digestive aid. Actinidain also makes raw kiwifruit unsuitable for use in desserts containing milk or any other dairy products because the enzyme digests milk proteins. This applies to gelatin-based desserts, as well, as the actinidain will dissolve the proteins in gelatin, either liquefying the dessert or preventing it from solidifying.”

Allergies:

“The actinidain found in kiwifruit can be an allergen for some individuals, including children. The most common symptoms are unpleasant itching and soreness of the mouth, with wheezing as the most common severe symptom; anaphylaxis may occur.”


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