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Papaya (Thinnbaw)

 

The papaya or paw paw probably originated in tropical America but is now cultivated in many regions of Myanmar. Papayas are grown mainly as edible fruits, but they are also a source of the enzyme pepsin, which is obtained from the latex of the unripe fruit.

The fruit is a fleshy berry 7-30 cm long and weighing up to 10 kg. The shape can be round or long and pendulous. Papayas are thin-skinned with a soft, juicy flesh, varying in colour from pale yellow to orange. They contain shiny grey-black seeds in the hollow in the center of the fruit.

The ripe fruit is eaten fresh or used in salads, drinks, jam and candies. The green fruit can be cooked as a vegetable or used as pickles and chutneys. Papaya may also be preserved as a jam, or as a preserve flavoured with lemon and ginger. Young leaves and flowers are eaten in some areas. Capaine, an alkaloid, and pepsin, is extracted for use in pharmaceutical beverages.

The papaya is mainly water and free sugar with little or no starch. The fruit is of low acidity and is remarkably free from fibre.