Can you eat passion fruit skin

In this article, I will answer the question “Can you eat passion fruit skin?” and what can make it an important constituent of functional food.

Can you eat passion fruit skin?

You can’t eat passion fruit skin raw. Cyanogenic glycosides are compounds found in purple passion fruit skin. These can react with enzymes to generate the poison cyanide, which can be deadly in large doses.

The fruit peel is, nonetheless, an important component of functional food. It is rich in pectin, phenolic compounds, and radicals that aid as antioxidants. The passion fruit flour, which is made of ground passion fruit skin, is a commercial product used to reduce weight. However, it´s use is safe and should be limited to a maximum period of 8 weeks, to avoid intoxication due to cyanogenic glycosides (1).

What are the different types of passion fruit?

Passiflora L., originated from the tropical and warm climates of South America, is the largest genus in the family Passifloraceae, with around 500 different species. The most common and cultivated ones are the yellow and purple passion fruits, but there are also the varieties Lemon, Orange, Pineapple, Peach, Melon, Banana and Tomato (2).

When fully grown, the fruit is yellow or dark purple in color, with a soft to firm, juicy interior filled with numerous dark brown (in the yellow form) or black (in the purple form) pitted seeds. During maturity, the peel of the passion fruit grows thicker and wrinkled.

The flavor of the purple passion fruit is more pleasant than the yellow passion fruit. The yellow passion fruit is most commonly employed in the food industry. Vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and phytochemicals like flavonoids are all abundant in passion fruit (2).

By contrast, the flavor of the raw fruit peel is neutral. Because of the high tannin content in the fruit and inner skin, the inside is slightly bitter.

What are the benefits of passion fruit peel?

Fruit peels have stronger antioxidant activity than fruit pulp, according to studies. As a result, it could be used in functional food and industrial applications. 

Previous research demonstrated that oral administration of passion fruit peel extracts reduced wheezing and cough in adults with asthma as well as pain and stiffness in adult patients with knee osteoarthritis and alleviated hypertension (4).

The peels can be dried and made into a food product called passion fruit peel flour that has several health effects as an adjuvant treatment for diabetes due to its hypoglycemic effect. It is also effective in reducing cholesterol and triacylglycerols levels. Passion fruit peel flour contains about 10% moisture, 7.5% ash, 4% protein, 19% soluble fiber, 38% insoluble fiber and 21% soluble carbohydrates. The major compound in this flour is pectin, a dietary fiber that is rich in polygalacturonic acid and its methyl ester (3). This fiber promotes an increase in the volume of the food bolus and in the viscosity of the solutions in the gastrointestinal tract, promoting satiety. The delay in gastric emptying promoted by pectin reduces the glycemic peak resulting from high carbohydrate intake, reducing the absorption of carbohydrates. In addition, pectin favors the formation of a gelatinous layer in the intestinal mucosa, reducing the absorption of lipids (2).

Fruit peel has alternatively been defined as a waste product of fruit consumption or a food processing by-product. Using fruit peels as bovine feed will aid in the reduction of waste materials generated by the agro-food industry, as well as the efficient use of low-cost natural sources for nutritional and functional objectives.

How can you eat passion fruit skin?

Although the skin of the passion fruit is not edible, the peel can be used to make a nutritious jam.

He is a smart time-saving idea to make a homemade nutritious passion fruit jam with the peels of the fruit. All you need for the recipe is 5-6 ripened passion fruit skins, 2 mature fruits and sugar:

  1. Wash the passion fruits thoroughly. Cut the fruits in half, remove the pulp and reserve.
  2. In a saucepan, place the skin and fill it halfway with water, cover it, and bring to a boil. 
  3. Reduce the heat and continue to cook for 30 minutes until the inner skin loosens and turns red and the hardcover may be removed. Drain the water and reserve it.
  4. With a teaspoon, remove the soft inner skin from hardshell and discard it. Add the fruit pulp that you prepared earlier and pour in the drained juice. 
  5. In a saucepan, pour 1 cup sugar for every cup of pulp. Stir on high until the mixture thickens, but without boiling. Allow for 30 minutes of cooking time, until the mixture reaches the required consistency.
  6. Let it settle and put the jam in sterilized hot jars. Bottles should be sealed. Store in a cool, dry place.

Your passion fruit jam is ready to be tasted. It would go well with some soaking buckwheat pancakes or toasts!

What can be the other uses of fruit shells?

Fruit rinds and shells can be composted. Skins are rich in potassium and other nutrients. It promotes the growth and well-being of plants. Cut the peel into small pieces and liquefy it with half a cup of water in a blender. Allow the peel pieces to disintegrate after pouring this solution into the soil. Passion fruit skin can be also used for the extraction of pectin, a carbohydrate that It is known for its extensive use in the food industry because of its ability to gel and give viscosity and consistency to food products (5).

Conclusion

In this essay, I answered the question “Can you eat passion fruit skin?” and I listed the benefits of fruit skin. I also gave some ideas on how to use the peels in food and other applications.

If you have any questions related to this subject, feel free to contact me.

References

  1. Coqueiro, A. Y., J. R. R. Pereira, and F. Galante. Farinha da casca do fruto de Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa Deg (maracujá-amarelo): do potencial terapêutico aos efeitos adversos. Rev Bras Plant Med, 2016, 18, 563-569.  
  2. Porto-Figueira, Priscilla, et al. Profiling of passion fruit volatiles: An effective tool to discriminate between species and varieties. Food Res Int, 2015,  77, 408-418.
  3. Marques, Simone do Socorro Fernandes, et al. Evaluation of the effects of passion fruit peel flour (Passiflora edulis fo. flavicarpa) on metabolic changes in HIV patients with lipodystrophy syndrome secondary to antiretroviral therapy. Rev Bras Farmacog, 2016, 26, 420-426.
  4. Liu, Xiaoqian, et al. Dietary supplements for treating osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Brit j sports med, 2018, 52, 167-175.  
  5. Freitas, C.M.P., Sousa, R.C.S., Dias, M.M.S. et al. Extraction of Pectin from Passion Fruit Peel. Food Eng Rev, 2020, 12, 460–472.