A banana peel, also called banana skin in British English, is the outer covering of the banana fruit. Banana peels are used as food for animals, in water purification, for manufacturing of several biochemical products as well as for jokes and comical situations.
There are several methods to remove a peel from a banana.
Bananas are a popular fruit consumed worldwide with a yearly production of over 145 million tonnes in 2011. Once the peel is removed, the fruit can be eaten raw or cooked and the peel is generally discarded. Because of this removal of the banana peel, a significant amount of organic waste is generated.
Banana peels are sometimes used as feedstock for cattle, goats, pigs, monkeys, poultry, fish, zebras and several other species, typically on small farms in regions where bananas are grown. There are some concerns over the impact of tannins contained in the peels on animals that consume them.
The nutritional value of banana peel depends on the stage of maturity and the cultivar; for example plantain peels contain less fibre than dessert banana peels, and lignin content increases with ripening (from 7 to 15% dry matter). On average, banana peels contain 6-9% dry matter of protein and 20-30% fibre (measured as NDF). Green plantain peels contain 40% starch that is transformed into sugars after ripening. Green banana peels contain much less starch (about 15%) when green than plantain peels, while ripe banana peels contain up to 30% free sugars.
In comical context
Banana peel is also part of the classic physical comedy slapstick visual gag, the "slipping on a banana peel". This gag was already seen as classic in 1920s America. It can be traced to the late 19th century, when banana peel waste was considered a public hazard in a number of American towns. Although banana peel-slipping jokes date to at least 1854, they became much more popular, beginning in the late-1860s, when the large-scale importation of bananas made them more readily available.[unreliable source?] Before banana peel jokes came into vogue, orange peels, and sometimes peach skins, or fruit peels/peelings/or skins, generally, were funny, as well as dangerous.[unreliable source?]
The coefficient of friction of banana peel on a linoleum surface was measured at just 0.07, about half that of lubricated metal on metal. Researchers attribute this to the crushing of the natural polysaccharide follicular gel, releasing a homogenous sol. This unsurprising finding was awarded the 2014 Ig Nobel Prize for physics.
Most people peel a banana by cutting or snapping the stem and divide the peel into sections while pulling them away from the bared fruit. Another way of peeling a banana is done in the opposite direction, from the end with the brownish floral residue. A way usually perceived as "upside down". This way is also known as the "monkey method", since it is how monkeys are said to peel bananas.
When the tip of a banana is pinched with two fingers, it will split and the peel comes off in two clean sections. The inner fibres, or "strings", between the fruit and the peel will remain attached to the peel and the stem of the banana can be used as a handle when eating the banana.
In popular culture
- Bananadine, a fictional psychoactive substance of banana peels
- Derived from: "FAOSTAT". Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The data for bananas and plantains for 2011 were combined as the two are distinguished by some countries but combined under "bananas" by others.
- G.M. Babatunde: Availability of banana and plantain products for animal feeding. In: D. Machin, S. Nyvold: Roots, tubers, plantains and bananas in animal feeding. Proceedings of the FAO Expert Consultation held in CIAT, Cali, Colombia FAO ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND HEALTH PAPER 95, FAO, Rome, 1992.
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- HS Oberoi, PV Vadlani, L. Saida, S. Bansal, JD Hughes: ethanol production from banana peels using Statistically optimized simultaneous saccharification and fermentation process. Waste Management 31 (7), 2011, pp. 1576–1584
- Hai-Yan Sun, Li Juanhua, Pingjuan Zhao, Ming Peng: Banana peel. A novel substrates for cellulase production under solid-state fermentation African Journal of Biotechnology 10 (77), 2011, pp. 1788
- V. Vivekanand, P. Dwivedi, N. Pareek, RP Singh: Banana peel: a potential substrates for laccase production by Aspergillus fumigatus VkJ2.4.5 in solid-state fermentation. Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology 165 (1), 2011, pp. 204-20
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- John Rosenberg (11 February 2013). The Healthy Edit: Creative Techniques for Perfecting Your Movie. CRC Press. p. 143. ISBN 978-1-136-04073-3. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
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- Michael Dahl (1 March 2002). The Everything Kids' Joke Book: Side-Splitting, Rib-Tickling Fun. Adams Media. p. 99. ISBN 978-1-4405-2240-6. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
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- "Banana Peel Last Night's Garbage". Lastnightsgarbage.com. 2007-10-22. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
- Brown, Peter Jensen. "A Slippery History of the Banana Peel Gag". Early Sports 'n Pop Culture History Blog. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- Kiyoshi Mabuchi; Kensei Tanaka; Daichi Uchijima; Rina Sakai (2012). "Frictional coefficient under banana skin". Tribology Online. 7 (3): 147–151. doi:10.2474/trol.7.147.
- "The 2014 Ig Nobel Prize Winners".
- Fenwick Elliott, Anabel (1 August 2014). "Why you have been spent your entire life peeling bananas the WRONG way: Video demonstrates the squish-free method". www.dailymail.co.uk. Daily Mail. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
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- "God's Great Banana Skin". www.allmusic.com. AllMusic. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
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