Reference Number: 343
Banana is an edible fruit and is herbaceous flowering plant belonging to the genus Musa and the family Musaceae. Banana is also eaten as cooked vegetable (and is then called plantains). All the edible banana fruits are seedless (parthenocarpic) and belong to two main species, Musa acuminata Colla and Musa balbisiana Colla. The hybrid from these two species Musa x paradisiaca L. is also available nowadays. Although banana is native to Indomalaya and Australia, Papua New Guinea was the first to domesticate this fruit. Banana has now spread to almost 135 countries around the world. As per 2016 data, nearly 28 per cent of the total world’s banana production comes from India and China. Cavendish group banana, being the main export item from the banana-exporting countries, usually refers to soft, sweet, and dessert banana in the Western countries, but the plantain bananas have firm, starchy fruit which is suitable for cooking as a vegetable. Banana is known to be rich not only in carbohydrates, dietary fibres, certain vitamins and minerals, but is also rich in many health-promoting bioactive phytochemicals. General composition including various bioactives and their health contributions has been reviewed in this paper.