||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (August 2010)|
Guavas (singular guava, //) are common tropical fruits cultivated and enjoyed in many tropical and subtropical regions. Psidium guajava (common guava, lemon guava) is a small tree in the Myrtle family (Myrtaceae), native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. Although related species may also be called guavas, they actually belong to other genera, such as the "strawberry guava" Acca sellowiana.
The most frequently eaten species, and the one often simply referred to as "the guava", is the Apple Guava (Psidium guajava).. Guavas are typical Myrtoideae, with tough dark leaves that are opposite, simple, elliptic to ovate and 5–15 centimetres (2.0–5.9 in) long. The flowers are white, with five petals and numerous stamens.
Etymology and regional names
Another term for guavas is peru, derived from pear. It is common in countries bordering the western Indian Ocean and probably derives from Spanish or Portuguese. In the Indian subcontinent and Middle-East, guava is called amrood, possibly a variant of armoot meaning "pear" in the Arabic and Turkish languages.
Psidium species are used as food plants by the caterpillars of some Lepidoptera, mainly moths like the Ello Sphinx (Erinnyis ello), Eupseudosoma aberrans, E. involutum, and Hypercompe icasia. Mites, like Pronematus pruni and Tydeus munsteri, are known to be crop pests of the apple guava (P. guajava) and perhaps other species. The bacterium Erwinia psidii causes rot diseases of the apple guava.
Although the fruit is cultivated and favored by humans, many animals and birds consume it, readily dispersing the seeds in their droppings and, in Hawaii, strawberry guava (P. littorale) has become an aggressive invasive species threatening extinction to more than 100 other plant species. By contrast, several guava species have become rare due to habitat destruction and at least one (Jamaican guava, P. dumetorum), is already extinct.
Guava fruits, usually 4 to 12 centimetres (1.6 to 4.7 in) long, are round or oval depending on the species. They have a pronounced and typical fragrance, similar to lemon rind but less sharp. The outer skin may be rough, often with a bitter taste, or soft and sweet. Varying between species, the skin can be any thickness, is usually green before maturity, but becomes yellow, maroon, or green when ripe. The pulp inside may be sweet or sour and off-white ("white" guavas) to deep pink ("red" guavas). The seeds in the central pulp vary in number and hardness, depending on species.
Mature trees of most species are fairly cold-hardy and can survive temperatures slightly colder than 25 °F (−4 °C) for short periods of time, but younger plants will likely freeze to the ground. Guavas are grown in South Florida as far north as Sarasota, on the west coast, and Fort Pierce, on the east coast. However, they are a primary host of the Caribbean fruit fly and must be protected against infestation in areas of Florida where this pest is present.
Guavas are also of interest to home growers in temperate areas. They are one of the few tropical fruits that can grow to fruiting size in pots indoors. When grown from seed, guavas can bear fruit as soon as two years, or as long as eight years.
In Mexico, the guava agua fresca beverage is popular. The entire fruit is a key ingredient in punch, and the juice is often used in culinary sauces (hot or cold), as well as artisan candies, dried snacks, fruit bars, desserts, or dipped in chamoy. Pulque de guava is a popular blend of the native alcoholic beverage.
In many countries, guava is eaten raw, typically cut into quarters or eaten like an apple, whereas in other countries it is eaten with a pinch of salt and pepper, cayenne powder or a mix of spices (masala). It is known as the winter national fruit of Pakistan. In the Philippines, ripe guava is used in cooking sinigang. Guava is a popular snack in Taiwan, sold on many street corners and night markets during hot weather, accompanied by packets of dried plum powder mixed with sugar and salt for dipping. In east Asia, guava is commonly eaten with sweet and sour dried plum powder mixtures. Guava juice is popular in many countries. The fruit is also often prepared in fruit salads.
Because of its high level of pectin, guavas are extensively used to make candies, preserves, jellies, jams, and marmalades (such as Brazilian goiabada and Colombian and Venezuelan bocadillo), and also for juices and aguas frescas or may be used in a marmalade jam on toast.
Red guavas can be used as the base of salted products such as sauces, substituting for tomatoes, especially to minimize acidity. A drink may be made from an infusion of guava fruits and leaves, which in Brazil is called chá-de-goiabeira, i.e., "tea" of guava tree leaves, considered medicinal.
Guavas are rich in dietary fiber and vitamin C, with moderate levels of folic acid. Having a generally broad, low-calorie profile of essential nutrients, a single common guava (P. guajava) fruit contains about four times the amount of vitamin C as an orange.
However, nutrient content varies across guava cultivars. Although the strawberry guava (P. littorale var. cattleianum) has only 25% of the amount found in more common varieties, its total vitamin C content in one serving (90 mg) still provides 100% of the Dietary Reference Intake.
Guavas contain both carotenoids and polyphenols like (+)-gallocatechin and leucocyanidin. As some of these phytochemicals produce the fruit skin and flesh color, guavas that are red-orange tend to have more polyphenol and carotenoid content than yellow-green ones.
Guava seed oil
Guava seed oil can be used for culinary uses, pharmaceuticals or cosmetics. In the cosmetic industry, the oil is used in skin care products. The moisture retention properties found in guava seed oil are valued. Guava oil is a source of beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, zinc and selenium.
The composition of fatty acids in guava seed oil is presented in the following table.
|Lauric acid||% weight||<1.5|
|Myristic acid||% weight||<1.0|
|Palmitic acid||% weight||8 - 10|
|Stearic Acid||% weight||5 - 7|
|Oleic acid||% weight||8 - 12|
|Linoleic acid||% weight||65-75|
Since the 1950s, guavas – particularly the leaves – have been studied for their constituents, potential biological properties and history in folk medicine. In Trinidad and Brazil, a tea made from young leaves is thought to be useful for diarrhea, dysentery or fever.
- "Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus". Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- Price J (14 June 2008). "Strawberry guava's hold has proven devastating". Honolulu Star Bulletin. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
- "Leveling the Playing Field in Hawai‘i’s Native Forests". Conservation Council for Hawai‘i. 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
- Julian W. Sauls (December 1998). "home fruit production-guava". Texas A&M Horticulture program. Retrieved 2012-04-17.
- Boning, Charles R. (2006). Florida's Best Fruiting Plants: Native and Exotic Trees, Shrubs, and Vines. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc. p. 99. ISBN 1561643726.
- Nutritiondata.com. "Nutrition facts for common guava". Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- Nutritiondata.com. "Nutrition facts for strawberry guava". Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- Identification of (+)-gallocatechin as a bio-antimutagenic compound in Psidium guava leaves. Tomoaki Matsuo, Norifumi Hanamure, Kayoko Shimoi, Yoshiyuki Nakamura and Isao Tomita, Phytochemistry, Volume 36, Issue 4, July 1994, Pages 1027-1029, doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)90484-9
- Polyphenols of the leaves of psidium guava—quercetin, guaijaverin, leucocyanidin and amritoside. T.R. Seshadri and Krishna Vasishta, Phytochemistry, Volume 4, Issue 6, 1965, Pages 989-992, doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(00)86281-0
- Wrolstad (2001)
- Kobori CN, Jorge N (2005). "Characterization of some seed oils from fruits for utilization of industrial residues (in Spanish)". Ciênc Agrotec 29 (5): 108–14.
- "World production in 2012 of mangoes, mangosteens and guavas". Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations. 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- Gutiérrez et al. (2008)
- Mendes 1986), p. 65
- Chen, Kuan-Chou; Hsieh, Chiu-Lan; Peng, Chiung-Chi; Hsieh-Li, Hsiu-Mei; Chiang, Han-Sun; Huang, Kuan-Dar & Peng, Robert Y. (2007): Brain derived metastatic prostate cancer DU-145 cells are effectively inhibited in vitro by guava (Psidium gujava L.) leaf extracts. Nutr. Cancer 58(1): 93–106. HTML abstract
- Gutiérrez, R.M.; Mitchell, S. & Solis, R.V. (2008): Psidium guajava: a review of its traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology. J. Ethnopharmacol. 117(1): 1–27. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2008.01.025 (HTML abstract)
- Hassimotto, N.M.; Genovese, M.I. & Lajolo, F.M. (2005): Antioxidant activity of dietary fruits, vegetables, and commercial frozen fruit pulps. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 53(8): 2928–2935. doi:10.1021/jf047894h (HTML abstract)
- Healthaliciousness.com : Nutrient facts comparison for common guava, strawberry guava, and oranges. Retrieved 2008-DEC-21.
- Jiménez-Escrig, A.; Rincón, M.; Pulido, R. & Saura-Calixto, F. (2001): Guava fruit (Psidium guajava L.) as a new source of antioxidant dietary fiber. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 49(11): 5489–5493. doi:10.1021/jf010147p (HTML abstract)
- Kaljee, Linda M.; Thiem, Vu Dinh; von Seidlein, Lorenz; Genberg, Becky L.; Canh, Do Gia; Tho, Le Huu; Minh, Truong Tan; Thoa, Le Thi Kim; Clemens, John D. & Trach, Dang Duc (2004): Healthcare Use for Diarrhoea and Dysentery in Actual and Hypothetical Cases, Nha Trang, Viet Nam. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition 22(2): 139-149. PDF fulltext
- Mahattanatawee, K.; Manthey, J.A.; Luzio, G.; Talcott, S.T.; Goodner, K. & Baldwin, E.A. (2006): Total antioxidant activity and fiber content of select Florida-grown tropical fruits. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 54(19): 7355–7363. doi:10.1021/jf060566s PDF fulltext
- Mahfuzul Hoque, M.D.; Bari, M.L.; Inatsu, Y.; Juneja, V.K. & Kawamoto, S. (2007): Antibacterial activity of guava (Psidium guajava L.) and Neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss.) extracts against foodborne pathogens and spoilage bacteria. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease 4(4): 481–488. doi:10.1089/fpd.2007.0040 PDF fulltext
- Manosroi, J.; Dhumtanom, P. & Manosroi, A. (2006): Anti-proliferative activity of essential oil extracted from Thai medicinal plants on KB and P388 cell lines. Cancer Letters 235(1): 114–120. doi:10.1016/j.canlet.2005.04.021 PMID 15979235 (HTML abstract)
- Mendes, John (1986). Cote ce Cote la: Trinidad & Tobago Dictionary. Arima, Trinidad.
- Mukhtar, H.M.; Ansari, S.H.; Bhat, Z.A.; Naved, T. & Singh, P. (2006): Antidiabetic activity of an ethanol extract obtained from the stem bark of Psidium guajava (Myrtaceae). Pharmazie 61(8): 725–727. PMID 16964719 (HTML abstract)
- Oh, W.K.; Lee, C.H.; Lee, M.S. et al. (2005): Antidiabetic effects of extracts from Psidium guajava. J. Ethnopharmacol. 96(3): 411–415. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2004.09.041 (HTML abstract)
- Ojewole, J.A. (2006): Antiinflammatory and analgesic effects of Psidium guajava Linn. (Myrtaceae) leaf aqueous extract in rats and mice. Methods and Findings in Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology 28(7): 441–446. doi:10.1358/mf.2006.28.7.1003578 (HTML abstract)
- Wrolstad, Ronald E. (2001): The Possible Health Benefits of Anthocyanin Pigments and Polyphenolics. Version of May 2001. Retrieved 2008-DEC-21.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Psidium.|
|Wikispecies has information related to: Psidium|
|Wikibooks Cookbook has a recipe/module on|