What is eggplant: berry, fruit or vegetable?
Eggplant is grown in the garden, and it is customary to attribute it to vegetables. We learn how to properly name the eggplant fruits, as well as their origin and cultivation.
What is eggplant: berry, fruit or vegetable
Eggplant, or as it is also called badridge, refers to nightshade crops. In cooking and agriculture, it is called a vegetable, but from a botanical point of view, its fruits are considered berries, since they have many seeds, a thin dense skin and a soft offspring (flesh). In many European countries there is no difference between the words “fruit” and “fruit”.
Did you know? In the countries of the European Union since 2001, carrots are classified as fruits and vegetables.
In our country, the word "fruit" has a household meaning, and traditionally it refers to the sweet fruits of trees and shrubs, which eggplant, which is a herbaceous plant, cannot be attributed to it. It is not served for dessert, like fruit. Thus, we will correctly call eggplant a vegetable (domestic value) or a berry (biological value).
Description and characteristics of the fetus
Eggplant is a perennial plant of the solanaceous family, which also includes potatoes, chilli peppers, tomatoes and pepino (melon pear). Our eggplant is cultivated as an annual plant for the sake of fruits, which are large berries that have the shape of a pear, oval or cylinder. These berries can grow up to 0.7 m long and have a diameter of 20 cm. Their weight is from 400 to 1000 g. Fruits in the stage of biological ripeness are painted in grayish-green or brown-yellow colors, have a rough flesh. The seeds of ripened fruits are small, light brown, flat. They are harvested from ripe fruits from August to October.
Find out what to do if eggplant is bitter.
For eating, the fruits are picked in a state of technical ripeness, when their color has light purple or dark purple tones, and the flesh is soft and almost without seeds. There are varieties with white, yellow or greenish peel. This vegetable is of Asian origin, and it has spread around the world thanks to the Arabs. First, it was introduced to the African continent, and then to Europe. The homeland of eggplant is considered the territory of South Asia and India, the countries of the Middle East. Its wild species are still found in places where it comes from.
Chemical composition and calorie content
These fruits are low-calorie - only 24 kcal / 100 g.
- proteins - 1.2 g;
- fats - 0.1 g;
- carbohydrates - 4.5 g;
- organic acids - 0.2 g;
- dietary fiber - 2.5 g;
- water - 91 g;
- ash - 0.5 g.
- A - 3 μg;
- beta-carotene - 0.02 mg;
- B1 - 0.04 mg;
- B2 - 0.05 mg;
- B4 - 6.9 mg;
- B5 0.281 mg;
- B6 - 0.15 mg;
- B9 - 18.5 mcg;
- C - 5 mg;
- E - 0.1 mg;
- K - 3.5 μg;
- PP - 0.8 mg;
- niacin - 0.6 mg.
Important! The pulp of overripe fruits contains a large amount of toxic alkaloid solanine. To reduce its concentration, slightly overgrown, but not yet coarse fruits are soaked or boiled in salted water.
- potassium - 238 mg;
- calcium - 15 mg;
- magnesium - 9 mg;
- sodium - 6 mg;
- sulfur - 15 mg;
- phosphorus - 34 mg;
- chlorine - 47 mg;
- aluminum - 0.81 mg;
- boron - 0.1 mg;
- iron - 0.4 mg;
- iodine - 0.002 mg;
- cobalt - 0.001 mg;
- Manganese - 0.21 mg;
- copper - 0.135 mg;
- molybdenum - 0.01 mg;
- selenium - 0.3 mcg;
- fluorine - 0.014 mg;
- zinc - 0.029 mg.
The composition also includes interchangeable and essential amino acids, omega-fats, polyphenols.
Eggplants have a rich composition and contain few calories, but they should be used with caution.
- These fruits have the following beneficial properties:
- beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, are the prevention of atherosclerosis;
- due to its low calorie content, they help to reduce weight, therefore this vegetable is often included in many diets;
- a large amount of fiber stimulates the digestive process;
- well affect skin and hair;
- useful for pregnant women due to the presence of folic acid;
- will benefit people aged, improve their condition after a stroke;
- positive effect on the nervous system, help with insomnia;
- increase the body's defenses;
- reduce pressure;
- increase hemoglobin.
- Eggplant can harm people in the following cases:
- in the presence of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (peptic ulcer, gastritis, indigestion);
- with inflammation of the pancreas;
- with kidney stones;
- with individual intolerance.
Basic rules for the selection and storage of eggplant
When buying eggplant, you need to pay attention to the following points:
- The fruit should not be damaged, dented, cracked, stained with a dark or light color. A quality vegetable has a smooth, dry and fairly elastic surface.
- The stalk of the green color will tell about the freshness of the product.
- If the vegetable is soft and sluggish, then the product is spoiled.
- The color of the fetus should be a uniform purple color.
- The pulp of a quality vegetable is elastic, without voids, with the presence of small seeds. If the seeds are dark in color, then the eggplant is overripe.
- Heavier fruits contain a lot of moisture.
- When buying fruits that are not purple, you should familiarize yourself with their varietal characteristics.
Did you know? Now there are varieties of eggplant with red, white, yellow, green and colorful peel. Fruits with white and green color are distinguished by the absence of solanine in the pulp, but the red fruits are plucked when their skin turns orange, otherwise they will be very bitter.
Eggplant should be stored in a cool place, without access to sunlight. It is better to wrap the fruits in paper so that they do not lose moisture and do not dry out. The optimal temperature for storing eggplant is +7 ... + 10 ° C, humidity - 90%. For longer storage, these vegetables can be frozen or canned.
The basic rules of growing
When growing eggplant, you should follow these rules:
- For these heat-loving plants, you need to choose a plot well-lit by the sun's rays without drafts.
- The soil in the planting area should be light and nutritious, so it is advisable to fertilize it with organic matter (manure, bird droppings, ash).
- Seedlings are planted in the soil when it warms up above + 15 ° C, and the air reaches +17 ... + 20 ° C.
- Watering should be once every 5-7 days . In the heat and during the period of fruit formation, watering should be increased to 2-3 times a week. Watering should be carried out under the root so that moisture does not fall on the green part of the plant, so as not to cause burns from the sun.
- After wetting, loosen the soil and remove weeds . It is advisable to make hilling when the bushes grow a little - this will contribute to the growth and strengthening of the roots.
- To increase productivity, you need to make at least 3 dressings - 10-14 days after planting seedlings in the ground, then 20 days later, and the last fertilizer is carried out during fruiting. Mineral (superphosphate, ammonium nitrate) and organic fertilizers (rotted manure, chicken droppings) are used for top dressing.
- During the flowering period, to improve the formation of fruits, a solution of boric acid (2 g of substance per 10 liters of liquid) should be sprayed .
- You should inspect the bushes so as not to miss the first signs of the appearance of diseases or insect pests. When identifying them, you must immediately take appropriate measures.
- Observe crop rotation . Successful predecessors are cabbage, carrots, onions, herbs, legumes and gourds.
Important! Bad predecessors are tobacco, tomatoes, potatoes, and especially the eggplant itself. At the same place, these vegetables can be planted only after 2-3 years.
Now you know that eggplant in life is recommended to be called vegetables, but from a biological point of view, they are berries.