FRUIT

The sweet and fleshy product of a tree or other plant that contains seed and can be eaten as food.

A fruit is the part of a plant that has seeds and flesh (edible covering). A fruit is normally sweet (or sometimes sour) and can be eaten in its raw (uncooked) state. Fruit are the way plants disseminate their seeds.

CLASSIFICATION OF FRUITS

There are two criteria for the classification of fruits:

* Whether the carpels present in gynoecium are free or in a fused state.
* One or more flower takes part in the formation of fruit.

TYPE OF FRUITS

*Simple
*Aggregate
*Composite

Simple fruits

These fruits develop from the monocarpellary ovary or multicarpellary syncarpous ovary. Only one fruit is formed by the gynoecium. Simple fruits are of two types

• Fleshy Fruits: In fleshy fruits, the fruit wall is differentiated into epicarp, mesocarp, and endocarp. These fruits develop from superior or inferior syncarpous gynoecium.
• Dry Fruits: The pericarp of simple dry fruits is usually quite dry and hard. It is not differentiated into the three layers of epicarp, mesocarp and endocarp. In some dry fruits, this pericarp is broken down and the seeds are scattered or dispersed. These fruits are dehiscent fruits.

In some fruits, the pericarp is further arranged into one or more seeded segments. Such fruits are schizocarpic fruits. In some fruits, the pericarp is not observed to be dehisced even after maturing/ripening. Such fruits are indehiscent Fruits.

Aggregate fruits

These are the fruits that develop from the multicarpellary apocarpous ovary. It becomes a fruitlet because each carpel is separated from one another in the apocarpous ovary. These fruits make a bunch of fruitlets which is known as etaerio.

* Etaerio of follicles: Each fruit or etaerio is a follicle. Eg. Calotropis, Catharanthus, Magnolia -e. In calotropis, the stigma is fused or joined in carpellary ovary and ovaries of ovules are separated. It means only two follicles are present in etaerio.

* Etaerio of achenes: In this aggregate fruit, each fruit is an achene. Eg. Ranunculus, Strawberry, Rose, Lotus. In lotus, the thalamus becomes spongy and some achenes are embedded in it. In strawberry, the thalamus is fleshy and we can find small achenes on its surface.

* Etaerio of berries: It is an aggregate of small berries. Eg. Polyalthia, Annona squamosa (Custard-apple). In the etaerio of Annona, all the berries are arranged densely on the thalamus.

* Etaerio of drupes: In this type of fruit, many small drupes develop from different carpels. Eg. Raspberry. In this type carpel of apocarpous ovary form drupe fruit.

Composite fruits

All composite fruits are false fruits. In these fruits, generally, there are many ovaries and other floral parts combining to form the fruit. These are of two types:

*Sorosis: These fruits develop from spike, spadix or catkin inflorescence. Examples inJackfruit fruit, Kevda (screwpine). In jackfruit (Kathal) pistillate flowers are developed around the peduncle. In fruit formation, the pericarp becomes spongy and fused.
*Sycosis: These fruits develop from hypanthodium inflorescence. Receptacle becomes hollow and has a pore. Numerous small scales surround the pore. Eg. Ficus species Peepal

BENEFITS OF FRUITS

* Most fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories. …
* Fruits are sources of many essential nutrients that many people don’t get enough of, including potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate.
* Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure.