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Appeeling? Japanese farmers invent edible banana skin.

Summary: If you don't like bananas then read no more - if you do then today is a day of joy

Daniel Hurst, Guardian News & Media Ltd

First there were avocados with no stones ; now we have bananas with edible skin.

A Japanese farm uses what it calls the "freeze thaw awakening method" to grow bananas that have a softer, digestible peel.

D&T Farm said this involved slowly cooling the banana growth cells to -60 degrees Celcius before thawing them.

"It was created following research conducted by Setsuzo Tanaka who worked on this for a long time as a hobby," a spokesman for the farm said in an email.

"The motivation for its development was the fact he wanted to eat a banana that was delicious and safe: people can eat the peel because it is cultivated organically without chemicals."

The result is the fruit known as Mongee bananas, which roughly translates as Incredible bananas. They went on sale last year in a department store in Okayama, which sits roughly halfway between Kyoto and Hiroshima.

Buyers are urged to wait for little brown spots to appear on the skin as a sign that the banana is ready to be eaten - in its entirety, of course.

SoraNews24, a Japanese website that taste-tested the fruit , reported that the skin was relatively thin compared with a regular banana and was therefore "fairly easy to eat".

"Since it's very thin, there's no strange texture, and compared to the sweetness of the banana there isn't much flavour to the skin," the site reported. The reviewers said the flesh had a strong tropical flavour and was almost pineapple-like.

The banana has been produced only in small batches so far, so customers face a steep bill to save themselves the bother of peeling their bananas: it is currently priced at 648 yen (Dh22) per piece.

The spokesman said the farm was planning to produce 10 times as many bananas this year. It was currently cultivating bananas only in Japan but was considering exporting overseas in the future, he said.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Feb 21, 2018
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