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Thai banana

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Thai banana
(pisang awak)
Unripe Thai banana in An Giang province, Vietnam
Hybrid parentageMusa acuminata × Musa balbisiana
Cultivar groupABB Group[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]
CultivarMusa 'Pisang Awak'

Thai banana[5] (also called pisang awak) is a banana cultivar originating from Thailand,[1] belonging to the triploid ABB banana cultivar group.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] This banana cultivar is one of the most important banana fruits in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. Thai bananas contain many nutrients and are often eaten when ripe or prepared into many other dishes. Almost all parts of the Thai banana tree have useful uses for humans.


A bunch of Thai banana

Thai banana (or 'pisang awak') is also known in Australia as 'Ducasse'[6] and 'Kayinja' in Uganda.[8] The Malaysian name "pisang awak" is more commonly used among research institutions.[9][2] In Thailand, it is known as kluai nam wa (กล้วยน้ำว้า, pronounced [klûaj nám wáː]).[10] The term nam wa has crossed over into the Khmer language where Thai banana is known in Cambodia as chek nam va (ចេកណាំវ៉ា),[11] but is known in the Khmer-speaking Thai province of Surin as chek sâ (ចេកស) or white banana.[12] This banana variety has multiple romanizations including 'Namwah Tall' (with a superfluous 'h'). In Vietnam, it is called as chuối sứ or chuối xiêm ("Siamese banana", means 'Thailand banana'). In Philippines, it is commonly called lagkitan in the Southern Tagalog region or botolan in the Palawan region.[13]

As a stout mutation, 'Dwarf Pisang Awak' is known in America as Musa 'Dwarf Namwah' as popularized by Agri-Starts Inc;[14] and in Thai language as kluai nam wa khom (กล้วยน้ำว้าค่อม).[3]


Thai banana plant grows up to 3–5 m (9.8–16.4 ft) in height.[2] It is known to produce seed with the availability of fertile pollen.[15]


Thai banana is originated from Thailand,[1] a cross between Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. Most sources affirm that Thai banana belongs to the triploid ABB genome group.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] But there is source still thought that this cultivar belongs to the tetraploid AABB genome group?[16] Its official designation is Musa (ABB Group) 'Pisang Awak'.[5] Synonyms include: Musa paradisiaca var. awak.[17]


In Uganda, 'Thai banana' also known as 'pisang awak' (known locally as kayinja) is grown for making banana beer.[8][18]

In Cambodia, 'Thai banana' as well as 'pisang awak' (known locally as chek nam va) is favored over varieties for its multiple uses while other varieties are valued for the fruit.[19] The banana blossoms (at the stage of male flower production) and pseudostem, although astringent, are eaten as a vegetable. The folded leaves are used as a container for making steamed curries, including fish amok and ansom chek in which the fragrance of the banana leaves is transferred to the food being cooked.[19][20]

In Vietnam, Thai bananas are eaten both when ripe, raw and when the fruit is still green. In the Southwest region, almost all parts of the Thai banana tree are used by people to serve their daily lives. "Grilled sticky bananas" is prepared from Thai banana, is one of 9 dishes mentioned by CNN in list of "The World's Best Desserts".[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Ortiz, Amil (2016). MUSA TAXONOMIC REFERENCE COLLECTION (PDF). US: Agricultural Research Service - United States Department of Agriculture. pp. 105–108.
  2. ^ a b c d e Wang, Koon-Hui; Angela K. Kepler & Cerruti R.R. Hooks (2009). "Brief Description of Banana Cultivars Available from the University of Hawaii Seed Program". College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. University of Hawai'i at Manoa: 7. Retrieved January 31, 2024 – via Docplayer.
  3. ^ a b c d "แปลงรวบรวมพันธุ์กล้วยพื้นเมืองภาคใต้เพื่อการเรียนรู้" (PDF). r12.ldd.go.th (in Thai). ศูนย์ศึกษา การพัฒนาพิกุลทองฯ (Phikunthong Development Study Center). Retrieved January 31, 2024.
  4. ^ a b c Wang, Xiaoyi; Wang, Anbang; Li, Yujia; Xu, Yi; Wei, Qing; Wang, Jiashui; Lin, Fei; Gong, Deyong; Liu, Fei (2021). "A Novel Banana Mutant "RF 1" (Musa spp. ABB, Pisang Awak Subgroup) for Improved Agronomic Traits and Enhanced Cold Tolerance and Disease Resistance". Frontiers in Plant Science. Vol. 12. p. 730718. doi:10.3389/fpls.2021.730718. ISSN 1664-462X. PMC 8496975. PMID 34630479.
  5. ^ a b c d e Porcher, Michel (27 March 2011). "Sorting Musa cultivars". plantnames.unimelb.edu.au. The University of Melbourne. Retrieved 18 March 2024.
  6. ^ a b c d Robert Williams. "Australian banana industry: Status and R&D update". Advancing Banana and Plantain R&D in Asia and the Pacific. 13: 19–36. Retrieved January 29, 2024.
  7. ^ a b c Molina, A. B.; Roa, V. N.; Staff, International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (2000). Advancing Banana and Plantain R and D in Asia and the Pacific. Italy: Bioversity International. p. 59. ISBN 978-971-91751-3-1.
  8. ^ a b Rietveld, A. M.; Mpiira, S.; Jogo, W.; Staver, C.; Karamura, E. B. (2013-07-29). "The beer banana value chain in central Uganda.". In Blomme, G.; Asten, P. van; Vanlauwe, B. (eds.). Banana systems in the humid highlands of sub-Saharan Africa: enhancing resilience and productivity (1 ed.). UK: CABI. pp. 191–201. doi:10.1079/9781780642314.0191. ISBN 978-1-78064-231-4. Retrieved 2024-01-29.
  9. ^ "Musa Malay Names". Germplasm Resources Information Network. 1999. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  10. ^ Sanoppa, Kanokchan; Meesangket, Supatsorn; Aemchalee, Widchayut; Wongwan, Panupong (2021). "Effects of Supplementation with Pigment Powders from Monascus purpureus Fermented with Pisang Awak Banana (Musa sapientum Linn.) Replace Nitrite in Fermented Pork Sausage" ผลของการใช้ผงสีจาก Monascus purpureus หมักกับกล้วยน้ำว้าทดแทนไนไตรท์ในผลิตภัณฑ์แหนม. The journal of King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok (in Thai). Vol. 31, no. 1. pp. 99–108. doi:10.14416/j.kmutnb.2020.08.001. ISSN 2985-2145 – via kmutnb.
  11. ^ ទិត ស្រ៊ (2020-08-25). "ចេកណាំវ៉ា ជាដំណាំពេញនិយមរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋរស់នៅខេត្តព្រះវិហារ និងជួយបង្កើនប្រាក់ចំណូលបានយ៉ាងច្រើនផងដែរ". information.gov.kh (in Khmer). ក្រសួងព័ត៌មាន (Cambodian Ministry of Information). Retrieved 2024-01-30.
  12. ^ Teel, Stephen, Northern Khmer-Thai-English Dictionary, typescript, Surin, July 1988, Vol. I (ก-บ), p. 172.
  13. ^ Dizon, Teodora; Pinili, Marita; Cruz, Filipe dela; Damasco, Olivia; Bergh, Inge Van den; Waele, Dirk De (2010-04-01). "Response of Philippine banana (Musa spp,) cultivars to radopholus similis (Thorne) and meloidogyne incognita chitwood under greenhouse conditions" (PDF). Philippine Journal of Crop Science. Vol. 35, no. 1. p. 39.
  14. ^ "Musa 'Dwarf Namwa'". agristarts.com. Agri-Starts, Inc. Archived from the original on September 25, 2022. Retrieved January 31, 2024.
  15. ^ Nelson, Scot; Ploetz, Randy; Kepler, Angela Kay (2006). "Musa species (banana and plantain)" (PDF). Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry. p. 7 – via Researchgate.
  16. ^ M. Pillay; E. Ogundiwin; A. Tenkouano & J. Dolezel (2006). "Ploidy and genome composition of Musa germplasm at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)". African Journal of Biotechnology. 5 (13): 1230. ISSN 1684-5315. Retrieved January 29, 2024.
  17. ^ Chong, L.; Aziah, A. N. (2008). "Influence of Partial Substitution of Wheat Flour with Banana (Musa paradisiaca var. Awak) Flour on the Physico - Chemical and Sensory Characteristics of Doughnuts" (PDF). International Food Research journal. Vol. 15, no. 2. pp. 119–124 – via Semantic Scholar.
  18. ^ Rietveld; Ajambo; Nowakuna; Khakasa; Batte; Jakana; Bwengye; Kikulwe; Stoian (2014). "ENHANCING BANANA JUICE AND BEER PRODUCTION & MARKETING IN UGANDA: A PROPOSED BUSINESS CASE" (PDF). International Fund for Agricultural Development – via CGIAR.
  19. ^ a b Chiv Lina (2009-09-14). "Khmer Banana". Chanbokeo. Retrieved 2024-01-31.
  20. ^ Deborah S. Hartz-Seeley (July 30, 2009). "Learn to make Cambodian-Style Fish Amok Step-by-Step". Sun Sentinel. South Florida. Retrieved January 31, 2024.
  21. ^ Anh Minh (March 12, 2023). "Vietnamese grilled bananas among world's most delicious desserts - VnExpress International". VnExpress International – Latest news, business, travel and analysis from Vietnam. Retrieved 2024-03-18.