Suppression

Rose apple

Category: Food

Type

Voluntary

Introduction and description

 

Syzygium jambos is a tree originating in Southeast Asia and occurring widely elsewhere, having been introduced as an ornamental and fruit tree.It is from the Myrtaceae  family. 

It has numerous common names, reflecting the large number of regions in which it occurs as a garden or fruit tree, or as an invader. The name pomarrosa, or the English equivalent, rose apple is used in Dr Duke’s analysis, so we have used this as the main name, however, other names include:

  • ಪನ್ನೇರಳೆ ,Malabar Plum,
  • champakka,
  • Mountain Apple (champoo),
  • chom pu or chom-phu.
  • "plum rose", "water apple", "Cloud apple", "Wax apple", "Malay apple",
  • "jambrosade",
  • "Pau Têe"(Penang Hokkien spelled with Taiwanese Romanisation System).
  • It is also known as Boga Jamuk in Assamese. 
 

Wikipedia
Several of these names also are applied to other species of Syzygium, while "jambu" can also mean a guava. The name Jambu for this fruit is in all likelihood limited to one or two of the twenty-odd major Indian languages, while most other languages use similar words (Jaamun, Jaambhool, etc.) for another fruit, smaller than the rose apple, and dark purple in colour like the fruit of the eggplant. In Karnataka the English common name is "rose apple", and the vernacular name is Pannerale (Paneer hannu), while the name for the other one is Nerale. Such a confusion of common names in horticulture is nothing unusual.

And it appears an equally confusing array of synonymous botanical names also exists

  • Eugenia jambos
  • Jambosa jambos
  • Jambosa vulgaris
  • Myrtus jambos

The tree has variously been allocated to the genus Jambosa, Eugenia  and Syzygium, where it now seems to have been permanently accepted.

Distribution

Syzygium jambos is native to Southeast Asia but is naturalized in India. It has also been introduced widely on every continent except Antarctica, and it has become established and invasive in several regions. Concern has been expressed concerning the threat to several ecosystems, including those on several Hawaiian islands, Réunion, the Galápagos Islands, parts of Australia and the warmer regions of the Americas.

Description

Syzygium jambos is a large shrub or small-to-medium-sized tree, typically three to 15 metres high, with a tendency to low branching. Its leaves and twigs are glabrous and the bark, though dark brown, is fairly smooth too, with little relief or texture.

The leaves are lanceolate, 2 cm to 4 cm broad, 10 cm to 20 cm long, pointed, base cuneate with hardly any petiole, lively red when growing, but dark, glossy green on attaining full size.

The flowers are in small terminal clusters, white or greenish white, the long, numerous stamens giving them a diameter of 5 – 8 cm. In temperate regions the tree is summer-flowering.  The flowers are described by some as fragrant, though this appears to be a variable attribute.

Wikipedia

 

The edible fruit of Syzygium jambos is shaped like some kinds of guava; in fact, the fruit is so like the guava in appearance that people unfamiliar with it may mistake it for a guava on sight. However, the fragrance, flavour and texture are different, and instead of containing dozens of small, hard seeds set in a jelly-like tissue, as a guava does, the fruit of Syzygium jambos usually contains one or two large, unarmoured seeds about a cm in diameter, lying loose in a slightly fluffy cavity when ripe. Shaking a fruit to feel whether the seeds rattle, gives some indication whether it is ripe. The skin is thin and waxy. The ripe fruit has a strong, pleasant floral bouquet, hence the common names "Rose apple" and "pomarrosa".

There are many varieties of Syzygium jambos worldwide, and the fruit in each may be different.  In Thailand the commonest cultivated variety bears a pale green fruit. Malaysian varieties generally have red skins. In many regions the fruit is a shade of pale yellow, often with a slight blush.

Medicinal uses

Some parts of the tree are used in regional traditional medicine and the tree as a whole is rich in tannins.  Tannin is a chelator, and it may be responsible for the very odd anomalies that seem to exist between the analysis of the fruit which came from the USDA Nutrient database, and the analysis completed by Dr Duke.  Both tables are provided for comparison.

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)

Energy

105 kJ (25 kcal)

Carbohydrates

5.7 g

Fat

0.3 g

Protein

0.6 g

Vitamins

Vitamin A equiv.

(2%) 17 μg

Thiamine (B1)

(2%)  0.02 mg

Riboflavin (B2)

(3%)  0.03 mg

Niacin (B3)

(5%)  0.8 mg

Vitamin C

(27%)  22.3 mg

 

Minerals

Calcium

(3%) 29 mg

Iron

(1%) 0.07 mg

Magnesium

(1%) 5 mg

Manganese

(1%) 0.029 mg

Phosphorus

(1%) 8 mg

Potassium

(3%) 123 mg

Sodium

(0%) 0 mg

Zinc

(1%) 0.06 mg

Units     μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams

IU = International units

 

Dr Duke’s list of Chemicals in Syzygium jambos (Myrtaceae) Rose Apple; Pomarrosa

 

# Activity

Chemical

Plant Part

Low PPM

High PPM

StdDev

*Reference

112

ASCORBIC-ACID

Fruit

30.0

2385.0

-0.14

*

0

ASH

Fruit

4000.0

28385.0

-0.73

*

53

BETA-CAROTENE

Fruit

1.4

8.5

-0.13

CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs and/or CRC Handbook of Proximate Analyses

28

CALCIUM

Fruit

290.0

2045.0

-0.42

*

0

CARBOHYDRATES

Fruit

142000.0

966665.0

0.98

*

7

CHLORINE

Fruit

40.0

258.0

-0.52

Morton, J.F., Major Medicinal Plants. 1977. Atlas of Medicinal Plants of Middle America. Bahamas to Yucatan. 1981.

12

COPPER

Fruit

0.1

0.6

-0.95

Morton, J.F., Major Medicinal Plants. 1977. Atlas of Medicinal Plants of Middle America. Bahamas to Yucatan. 1981.

0

FAT

Fruit

2000.0

19350.0

-0.49

*

15

FIBER

Fruit

11000.0

80000.0

-0.58

*

6

IRON

Fruit

4.0

75.0

-0.23

*

0

KILOCALORIES

Fruit

560.0

3580.0

-0.12

*

65

MAGNESIUM

Fruit

40.0

260.0

-0.87

Morton, J.F., Major Medicinal Plants. 1977. Atlas of Medicinal Plants of Middle America. Bahamas to Yucatan. 1981.

39

NIACIN

Fruit

5.0

34.0

-0.36

*

4

PHOSPHORUS

Fruit

115.0

852.0

-0.72

*

14

POTASSIUM

Fruit

500.0

3225.0

-1.3

Morton, J.F., Major Medicinal Plants. 1977. Atlas of Medicinal Plants of Middle America. Bahamas to Yucatan. 1981.

0

PROTEIN

Fruit

5000.0

45160.0

-0.86

*

15

RIBOFLAVIN

Fruit

0.3

1.7

-0.71

J Cell Biochem VOL. 22=1995

1

SODIUM

Fruit

340.0

2200.0

0.02

Morton, J.F., Major Medicinal Plants. 1977. Atlas of Medicinal Plants of Middle America. Bahamas to Yucatan. 1981.

14

SULFUR

Fruit

130.0

840.0

-0.4

Morton, J.F., Major Medicinal Plants. 1977. Atlas of Medicinal Plants of Middle America. Bahamas to Yucatan. 1981.

31

THIAMIN

Fruit

0.1

1.1

-0.54

*

0

WATER

Fruit

820000.0

891000.0

0.52

*

*Unless otherwise noted all references are to Duke, James A. 1992. Handbook of phytochemical constituents of GRAS herbs and other economic plants. Boca Raton, FL. CRC Press.

There is a substantial difference in the minerals – metals – between the two tables.  The USDA analysis contains zinc and manganese, Dr Duke’s analysis does not.  Dr Duke’s list contains copper, the USDA analysis does not.  There are no errors here, all it shows is that the soil constituents play a significant role in determining what eventually ends up in the fruit, in a tannin rich plant.

Method

Rich in vitamin C, the fruit can be eaten raw or used in various regional recipes. In South-East Asian countries, rose apple fruit is frequently served with spiced sugar.

The flesh is crisp and watery, and the taste is characteristic, which leads to some fanciful descriptions such as: "like a cross between nashi and bell pepper, with a very mild rose scent and a slightly bitter aftertaste."

It can be made into a sorbet or ice cream, or served as a compote.  It has been used in sweet lassis.  The recipes we have provided for gooseberry can be adapted and used for Rose apple.

Related observations