Letter to the editor:

Dear Sir: 

Please ID this problemNeil Signorelli

Response received

a) It looks like Anthracnose that got in where some scale or mealy bug were attacking the fruit. Steven Brady

b)Is it single spot or is all over the plant?  My guess is mechanical damage followed by decay. Chris Rollins

c) Not sure, See it here occasionally, probably Anthracnose, but not sure which fungus it is, probably responds to Topsin. Reg Burgess

The incredible Guava

Most of us who grew up in the tropics know a guava is perfectly ripe when you can smell it without even putting it to your nose.  The taste to some of us has been described as ‘part strawberry and part pear’.  Its juice is frequently referred to as ‘the nectar of the gods. Guava is also rated as a super food, a powerhouse of nutrients and a good source of energy. One low-calorie cup of this vitamin rich fruit contains a whopping 8 grams of fiber scored second to blueberries and right behind kale.

The word guava appears to derive from the Arawak guayabo tree has since naturalized throughout the tropics and subtropics in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, Florida and other countries. This seasonal fruit, scientifically known as Psidium guajava, has a round or pear-shaped yellow skin when ripe with a white or maroon flesh, depending on its type, and has small hard seeds enveloped in its soft, sweet pulp. The common types of guava include apple guava, yellow-fruited cherry guava, strawberry guava, and red apple guava. They are mostly eaten raw (ripe or semi-ripe) or consumed in the form of juice, jams, and jellies.

In Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and other Central American countries, thereis another specie of guava known as Cas (Psidium friedrichsthalianum)is another popular backyard fruit tree. The flesh is almost exclusively used to make a delicious drink as the flesh is usually very acidic. It is also used to makejams, jellies, and preserves.

As guavas are frequently attacked by the Caribbean fruit fly, home gardeners welcome the insect resistant guava cv. Bogor with open arms from Indonesia is available from the Rare Fruit Council at plant their plant sales booth at Fairchild Tropical Garden.

In Southeast Asia, a larger white variety with a crispy texture is a popular as an ‘on-the-go’ snack fruit. Seedless varieties are also popular in Indonesia and Thailand but are not yet available in Florida.

Other potential health benefits of guava include its ability to help in regulating blood pressure, strengthen the immune system and digestive system. Due to the unique and high concentrations of minerals and vitamins, guava is also known to increase energy and to relax the nerves.

In Haiti, guava leaves are brewed to make a tea for diarrhea. Because guava has a low glycemic index, guava is consumed in some countries to regulate the absorption of sugar by the body for prevention and possible cure of Type 2 diabetes.


Mexican scientists develop hybrid chayote fruit to battle cancer

Researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) developed a hybrid chayote fruit from two wild Mexican species, which could be used to battle cancer.

Lead scientist Edelmiro Santiago Osorio said that the raw extract of this fruit is as effective as Cytarabine, a medication used to treat some types of cancer, Efe quoted a statement released on Wednesday as saying.

The researcher said that Cytarabine works by interfering in the synthesis of DNA, limiting the growth of malignant cells.

According to Santiago Osorio, the raw extract of the hybrid created in his laboratory is 1,000 times as strong as that of regular chayote fruits, which is why he is seeking to launch a business that would put the active substance of this super-chayote on the market.

“One would have to eat many kilos of regular chayote to have the same effect as the hybrid. In any case, it is very healthy to eat this Cucurbitaceae. In fact, many hospitals have included chayote fruits on their menus,” he said.

This line of research, according to the statement, was conceived in 2005 as part of efforts by agronomists to discover the possible medicinal benefits of chayote fruits.

According to figures from the World Health Organization, cancer is the second cause of death in the world, killing nearly 9 million people a year.

In Mexico, where cancer is the third cause of death, 195,925 new cases were reported in 2013, killing 84,172 people in that same year.

Answer to Photo ID.   Tampoi  (Baccaurea macrocarpa)