The tender core of young banana pseudostem could be nutritionally better than the banana fruit

M. Dayod, M. Abat
Bananas, including plantains, are valued for their nutritious and versatile fruits. Good cultural practices require the removal of extra young suckers to ensure good quality fruit and yield. These unwanted suckers are either discarded as waste or used in making compost. In many Asian countries, tender cores of the pseudostems are consumed as a vegetable and claimed to possess many medicinal properties. Consumption of the tender cores in various forms may benefit those on a weight-loss program, maintain body fluid balance, help detoxify the body and alleviate kidney problems presumably due to their high nutritional contents and antioxidant activities. However, scientific publications on the nutritional contents in young banana pseudostem are limited. This study aimed to quantify the nutritional contents in the pseudostems of six banana cultivars commonly grown in Sarawak, Malaysia. Three young suckers for each cultivar were randomly sampled from a farm at Samarahan Division, Sarawak. The tender and edible cores of the pseudostems were sliced into small pieces, oven-dried at 70°C to a constant weight and ground. Ground samples for each cultivar were mixed to obtain a composite sample prior to determination of their proximate nutritional contents. Based on the average value obtained from the six banana cultivars, the tender cores may avail about 50% carbohydrate, 19% crude fibre, 13% protein, 8.0% potassium, 0.4% phosphorus, 0.4% magnesium, 0.4% calcium, 335 ppm iron, 200 ppm manganese and 46 ppm zinc for every 100 g edible portion. The nutritional values obtained in this study were generally higher than those reported for banana fruits. These findings could lead to future studies on sustainable utilisation of banana pseudostems in food, health and pharmaceutical industries.
Dayod, M. and Abat, M. (2018). The tender core of young banana pseudostem could be nutritionally better than the banana fruit. Acta Hortic. 1205, 225-234
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1205.25
Musa sp., phytochemical, antioxidant, dietary reference intake, macronutrient, micronutrient, Sarawak

Acta Horticulturae