New Varieties

New varieties of fruit produced by careful selection and cross fertilization are constantly appearing. Some of the most important changes that have been induced by cultivation have been the lessening of the proportion of cellulose, the production of seedless varieties, the increase in size and the development of fine flavors.

PICKING AND DRYING RAISINS IN CALIFORNIA From Year Book U. S. Department of Agriculture, 1904.

PICKING AND DRYING RAISINS IN CALIFORNIA From Year Book U. S. Department of Agriculture, 1904.

As in the case of vegetables, the digestibility of fruits is largely an individual matter. Bananas may be eaten freely by many, even by children, while others fail to digest even a small portion. Strawberries, generally considered easily digested, are actual poison to some people. The chief benefit of a table of digestibility is as a guide for experimentation. In feeding a child, for instance, one would try first the fruits considered most digestible.

Aside from the personal equation, ease in mastication is one of the important elements in the digestion of fruits, as in the case of other foods. The banana, for instance, easily slips down the throat in large pieces; the blueberry can be swallowed whole, while such a fruit as the apple is naturally more thoroughly masticated, for ease in swallowing, and the orange almost falls apart of itself.

Digestibility Of Fruits

The difference in the digestibility of ripe and unripe fruits is generally attributed to the larger proportion of cellulose in the latter; this and the excess of acids in unripe varieties is held responsible for their ill effects.

Gilman Thomson gives among the commoner fruits easy of digestion: grapes, oranges, lemons, cooked apples, figs, peaches, strawberries and raspberries; while he classifies as somewhat less digestible: melons, prunes, raw apples, pears, apricots, bananas and fresh currants. Dried currants and citron he considers "wholly indigestible," while he gives as the most use ful fruits for invalids: lemons, oranges, baked apples, stewed prunes, grapes, banana meal.

Young children and those of delicate digestion should avoid all skin and seeds of fruit.

Average Composition Of Fruits

Percentage Composition of Edible Portion

Refuse

Water

*Corbohydrates

Fiber

Nitrogenous

Fats

Ash

†Calories, per lb.

Bananas..

35.

75.3

21.0

1.0

1.3

.6

.8

460

Grapes..

25.

77.4

14.9

4.3

1.3

1.6

.5

450

Plums...

5.

78.4

20.1

1

1.0

...

.5

395

Cherries...

5.

80.9

16.5

.2

1.0

.8

.6

365

Huckle berries...

...

81.9

16.6

1

.6

.6

.3

345

Apples...

25.

84.6

13.0

1.2

.4

.5

.3

290

Pears ...................

10.

84.4

11.4

2.7

.6

5

.4

295

Black berries...

...

86.3

8.4

2.5

1.3

1.0

.5

270

Apricots ................

6.

85.0

13.4

1

1.1

...

.5

270

Peaches...

6.

85.0

10.5

?

.5

..

.6

...

Oranges...

27.

86.9

11.6

1

.8

.2

.5

240

Raspberries (red)......

1

85.8

9.7

2.9

1.0

.6

255

Cranberries...

...

88.9

8.4

1.5

.4

.6

.2

215

Lemons...

30.

89.3

7.4

1.1

1.0

.7

.5

205

Pineapples...

...

89.3

9.3

.4

.4

.3

3

200

Muskmellon...

50.

89.5

7.2

2.1

.6

...

.6

185

Strawberries...

5.

90.4

6.0

1.4

1.0

.6

.6

180

Watermelon...

60.

92.4

6.7

?

.4

.2

.3

140

* Not including liber, † Including fiber.

The carbohydrates of fruits are chiefly in the form of sugar. Nearly all contain pectin bodies and these are most abundant in unripe fruit. The acids of the fruits are here included under the carbohydrates. Apples, pears and peaches contain malic acid; lemons and oranges, citric acid; grapes, tartaric acid; rhubarb, oxalic acid, etc.

Average Composition Of Dried Fruits

Percentage Composition of Edible Portion

Refuse

Water

*Carbohydrate

Nitrogenous

Fats

Ash

*Calories, per lb.

Dates...

10.0

15.4

78.4

2.1

2.8

1.3

1,615

Raisins...

10.0

14.6

76.1

2.6

3.3

3.4

1,605

Currants...

...

17.2

74.2

2.4

1.7

4.5

1,495

Figs...

..

18.8

74.2

4.3

.3

2.4

1,475

Prunes...

15.0

22.3

73.3

2.1

....

2.3

1,400

Apples..

..

28.1

66.1

1.6

2.2

2.1

1,350

Apricots...

..

29.4

62.5

4.7

1.0

2.4

1,290

* Including fibor.