Lychee Fruit - Benefits of Lychee Tree
Botanical Name: Litchi chinensis
Family Name : Rutaceae
Lychee grows on an evergreen tree, 10-12m high, with broad round-topped crown of glossy green foliage; leaves pinnate with 2-9 leaflets; flower polygamous, small, greenish-white or yellowish, in terminal panicles; fruit globose or oblong to ovate, 2.5 cm or more in diameter with a dark or light red or yellow rind, faintly or sharpy tubercled and brittle; fleshy-white, translucent, juicy, covering fully a large, dark brown, elliptic seed.
Origin and Distribution
The lychee is native to low elevations of the provinces of Kwangtung and Fukien in southern China, where it flourishes especially along rivers and near the seacoast. It has a long and illustrious history having been praised and pictured in Chinese literature from the earliest known record in 1059 A.D. Cultivation spread over the years through neighboring areas of southeastern Asia and offshore islands. It is now cultivated in a number of countries, outside China, including India; Burma, Indo-China, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand. India and South Africa are the largest producers other than China. Lychee is cultivated on acres of land in North Bihar, mostly in Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga district.
Properties of lychee
Refreshing, nutritive, tonic & diuretic.
Forms of Use :- Jam, jelly, fruit, juice.
Food Value of lychee
The lychee fruit consists of peel, aril and seed. The aril, which can be readily separated from seed, is soft and juicy with a delicious flavour and is generally eaten fresh. It yields 38.7-58.7% of juice containing total sugars (as invert sugar) 12.1-14.8%; reducing sugar 9.0-13.7%, non-reducing (sucrose, maltose) 1.0-3.4%; acidity (as citric acid) 0.72-0.36% and ascorbic acid 34.5-45.4 mg/100 g.
Analysis of fresh arils gave the following composition (per 100 gms):
At 72mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of flesh, lychees are a very good source for this essential vitamin. Three lychee fruits would meet a third of an adult's daily vitamin C requirement. Lychees are also a good source of riboflavin, potassium and copper.
Medicinal Uses & benefits
Lychee arils can be preserved by canning with syrup. In China, a solution of common salt is sprinkled over fruits to prevent rapid spoilage.
Lychee juice can be obtained by routine method, by adding preservatives like pot. meta-bi-sulphite in sugar syrup (66%).
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