View Full Version : Is Unripe Fruit Nutritional?
03-22-2011, 07:03 AM
Though I mostly juice vegetables (and fruits like cucumbers and peppers), I do occasionally like to drink fruit juices and wonder about the chemistry of unripe fruit. I think as the fruit ripens, the sugar content increases, thus the sweeter taste. But is there still nutrition in say cantaloupes or pineapples before they are fully ripe?
It's optimal to eat fruits when they are ripe. As far as I know unripe pineapples are very harsh as they contain some stuff which denaturates protein, so they can easily burn your tongue and digestive tract. In ripe pineapples this stuff is a lot less. Same with oranges and most other fruits, when unripe they are much more acidic.
03-22-2011, 03:19 PM
I think fruit becomes ripe for a reason. This is when the seeds are ready to be ingested and pooped out to grow into new plants (which is what the fruit-bearing plants want), so this is when fruit is most desirable to us. Ripe fruit comes off the plant easily, where unripe fruit is difficult to get off; because it is not ready. Yes, unripe fruit is starchier and ripe fruit is sweeter, but this is what humans like! I wouldn't want to eat unripe fruit.
03-22-2011, 03:21 PM
Unripe fruit will really trash your teeth!
They are more acidic, rather than alkaline. Are you eating ALL of it unripe?? I can't imagine it's the worst thing ever, if it's just a small amount on occasion...
03-23-2011, 09:27 AM
I was mostly interested in fruits like pears, green vs. mushy yellow. But these comments are insightful and I think I'll mostly avoid unripe fruit.
03-23-2011, 10:27 AM
I like my pears on the hard side--a little bit ripe but not anywhere near soft. Haven't done me any harm yet.
Related question--I've seen recipes from green papaya salad. That's just an unripe papaya, right? Not a special kind of papaya?
03-23-2011, 04:13 PM
An unripe, papaya, yes. I've come across a few recipes with this, too, and everytime I do, I lose interest - unripe papayas do not appeal to me! Not that I've tried one, but I know that with ripe papayas, the riper the yummier!
Unripe papaya (particularly the skin, apparently) is often said to contain higher levels of enzyme activity than fully ripe papaya. This may be why some people choose to consume it less than fully ripe.
Dime alluded to this aspect of certain enzyme-rich fruits, with regard to pineapples (Papain and bromelain, from Papaya and pineapple, respectively, are, of course, well-known proteases). Unlike papayas, pineapples harbour most of their enzyme activity in the fibrous stalk portion of the fruit.
taste-wise, I prefer my fruits properly ripe.
Each to their own I guess!
03-23-2011, 06:03 PM
I wouldn't eat an unripe papaya straight up, but there's a great Vietnamese salad that uses it, grated and marinated.
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