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Banana

Bananas, raw (Daily Value)
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 371 kJ (89 kcal)
22.84 g
Sugars 12.23 g
Dietary fiber 2.6 g
0.33 g
1.09 g
Vitamins
Thiamine (B1)
(3%)
0.031 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
(6%)
0.073 mg
Niacin (B3)
(4%)
0.665 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
(7%)
0.334 mg
Vitamin B6
(31%)
0.4 mg
Folate (B9)
(5%)
20 μg
Choline
(2%)
9.8 mg
Vitamin C
(10%)
8.7 mg
Minerals
Iron
(2%)
0.26 mg
Magnesium
(8%)
27 mg
Manganese
(13%)
0.27 mg
Phosphorus
(3%)
22 mg
Potassium
(8%)
358 mg
Sodium
(0%)
1 mg
Zinc
(2%)
0.15 mg
Other constituents
Water 74.91 g
Fluoride 2.2 µg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

The banana is an edible fruit – botanically a berry – produced by several kinds of large herbaceous flowering plants in the genus Musa. In some countries, bananas used for cooking may be called plantains, in contrast to dessert bananas. The fruit is variable in size, color and firmness, but is usually elongated and curved, with soft flesh rich in starch covered with a rind which may be green, yellow, red, purple, or brown when ripe. The fruits grow in clusters hanging from the top of the plant. Almost all modern edible parthenocarpic (seedless) bananas come from two wild species – Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. The scientific names of most cultivated bananas are Musa acuminata, Musa balbisiana, and Musa × paradisiaca for the hybrid Musa acuminata × M. balbisiana, depending on their genomic constitution. The old scientific name Musa sapientum is no longer used.

Musa species are native to tropical Indomalaya and Australia, and are likely to have been first domesticated in Papua New Guinea. They are grown in 135 countries, primarily for their fruit, and to a lesser extent to make fiber, banana wine and banana beer and as ornamental plants.

Worldwide, there is no sharp distinction between "bananas" and "plantains". Especially in the Americas and Europe, "banana" usually refers to soft, sweet, dessert bananas, particularly those of the Cavendish group, which are the main exports from banana-growing countries. By contrast, Musa cultivars with firmer, starchier fruit are called "plantains". In other regions, such as Southeast Asia, many more kinds of banana are grown and eaten, so the simple two-fold distinction is not useful and is not made in local languages.


Production and export of bananas and plantains by country
Country Millions
of tonnes
Percentage
of world
total
Table 1: Production (2012)
 India 24.9 18%
 China 10.6 8%
 Uganda 9.8 7%
 Philippines 9.2 7%
 Ecuador 7.6 5%
 Brazil 6.9 5%
 Indonesia 6.2 4%
 Colombia 5.3 4%
 Cameroon 4.9 3%
 Ghana 3.6 3%
All other countries 50.2 36%
Total world 139.2 100%
Table 2: Exports (2011)
 Ecuador 5.2 29%
 Costa Rica 1.8 10%
 Colombia 1.8 10%
 Philippines 1.6 9%
 Guatemala 1.5 8%
All other countries 6.0 34%
Total world 17.9 100%

Now I don't think much of the man that throws a banana peelin' on the sidewalk, and I don't think much of the banana peel that throws a man on the sidewalk neither ... my foot hit the bananer peelin' and I went up in the air, and I come down ker-plunk, jist as I was pickin' myself up a little boy come runnin' across the street ... he says, "Oh mister, won't you please do that agin? My little brother didn't see you do it."

  • A large number of subspecific and varietial names of M. × paradisiaca, including M. p. subsp. sapientum (L.) Kuntze
  • Musa × dacca Horan.
  • Musa × sapidisiaca K.C.Jacob, nom. superfl.
  • Musa × sapientum L., and a large number of its varietal names, including M. × sapientum var. paradisiaca (L.) Baker, nom. illeg.
  • The song "Yes! We Have No Bananas" was written by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn and originally released in 1923; for many decades, it was the best-selling sheet music in history. Since then the song has been rerecorded several times and has been particularly popular during banana shortages.
  • A person slipping on a banana peel has been a staple of physical comedy for generations. An American comedy recording from 1910 features a popular character of the time, "Uncle Josh", claiming to describe his own such incident:
  • The poet Bashō is named after the Japanese word for a banana plant. The "bashō" planted in his garden by a grateful student became a source of inspiration to his poetry, as well as a symbol of his life and home.
  • The cover artwork for the debut album of The Velvet Underground features a banana made by Andy Warhol. On the original vinyl LP version, the design allowed the listener to "peel" this banana to find a pink, peeled phallic banana on the inside.
  • The large leaves may be used as umbrellas.
  • Banana peel may have capability to extract heavy metal contamination from river water, similar to other purification materials. In 2007, banana peel powder was tested as a means of filtration for heavy metals and radionuclides occurring in water produced by the nuclear and fertilizer industries (cadmium contaminant is present in phosphates). When added and thoroughly mixed for 40 minutes, the powder can remove roughly 65% of heavy metals, and this can be repeated.
  • Harriet Lamb, "Fighting The Banana Wars and other Fairtrade Battles",
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Wikipedia

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