Saturday, 4 January 2014

Grapes

Grapes nutrition facts

Widely popular, grapes are regarded in many cultures as “the queen of fruits," since centuries. These tiny berries are the storehouse of numerous health promoting phyto-nutrients such as poly-phenolic antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. No wonder why many of us include them as an integral part of our diet, be it in the form of fresh table fruits, juice, or in salads!
Botanically, they are small round berries; grow in clusters on a perennial and deciduous woody vine of the genus: Vitis. Grapes are native to Europe and Mediterranean regions but now widely cultivated all around the world.


White grapesRed grapesBlue black variety
White/green varietyRed/purple varietyBlue/black variety


In structure, each berry features semi-translucent flesh encased in a smooth, thin skin. Some varieties contain edible seeds, while others are seedless. The color to the fruit is because of the presence of poly-phenolic pigments in them. Red or purple berries are rich in anthocyanins while white-green berries contain more oftannins, especially, catechin. Interestingly, these antioxidant compounds are densely concentrated on the skin and seeds!
The three main species of grapes grown around the world are; European (Vitis vinifera), North American (Vitis labrusca and Vitis rotundifolia), and French hybrids.
  • Some of popular green cultivars are Thompson seedless, sugarone, and calmeria.
  • Red varieties include emperor, red globe, cardinal, and flame seedless.
  • Concord and zinfandel are some of flavorful blue-black cultivars.
Commercially, many cultivars of grapes are grown for different purposes either eaten as table fruit, fresh or dried (raisin, currant, sultana) or in wine production.

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