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Development and Nutritional Analysis of Bael Fruit and Its Diverse Recipes

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The present research reveals the different uses of fresh Bael fruit pulp in various recipes, which is nutritious and healthy for all age groups. The recipes are entirely vegetarian and are prepared considering the medicinal values of the fruit. Bael tree (aegle marmelos), also known as wood apple, has several other names associated with it like golden apple, Japanese bitter orange or stone apple.

All the parts of the tree like the leaves, stem, bark, flowers and fruits are used in Indian traditional system of medicine. The pulp of the fruit per 100 grams contains 31.8 % of carbohydrates, 0.3 % of fat and 1.8 % of protein, it is also a rich source of vitamins and minerals with a fiber content of 2.9% and 61.5 % of water. Bael fruit has great medicinal and mythological value. This tree is found mainly in South East Asia, and basically originated in India. Utilization of the fruit of this tree in day to day life has a great nutritional and commercial importance. The important medicinal properties of the tree are anti diabetic, anti microbial, anti inflammatory, antipyretic, analgesic, cardio protective, anti cancer and radio protective. Besides these great medicinal uses of the plant, it is also associated with the myths and beliefs in Indian culture. The pulp of Bael fruit is used to prepare juice or also known as Bael sherbet. The pulp is also eaten on its own. In many practices people make a powder from the pulp and use it as a medicine in treating various ailments.

Key words: – Bael fruit, Aegle marmelos, Wood apple, Golden apple

1. Introduction

The popularity of the fruit is mostly seen in the northern part of India, but not so popular in the south. Diverse recipes have been created so as to familiarize the fruit to the people by focusing on its medicinal value and exceptional taste. This will help popularizing the fruit and enhancing its commercial use. Increase in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in the society, has led this fruit to attract the attention of people, due to its various medicinal properties without any ill effects. The Bael tree grows in conditions which are not suitable for the growth of any other trees and is found mostly at high altitudes as well in the plains. The tree is not grown on a commercial basis, it is mostly found growing in the wild or open forest. The Bael tree bears fruits in the summer as it requires a dry season to give fruit. Bael fruit is generally grown in the month of February to May. It grows in subtropical hills and plains of India, specially the dry hilly forest areas where no other fruit can be grown. This fruit is commonly found in places like, lower Himalayas, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Haryana and Punjab.

This fruit is also found in Thailand, northern Malaysia, Indonesia, Phillipines, Egypt, and the Carribean Islands. Indian Bael is generally not available for sale in markets, rather it could be found near temples or someone’s backyard. Bael fruit is green in color which turns to a pale yellow color once ripe. The outer covering is a hard shell which needs to be cracked open to obtain the orange color pulp which has a lot of seeds in between. Over ripe Bael fruit results in a pulp which gets sticky in texture and gets a caramel color in patches. Once ripe, the Bael fruit pulp is sweet Orangey like a mix of papaya and sour lime or also resembles like mango. Sweetness of the fruit depends on the ripening stages. Bael may even taste sour incase not ripened properly. The outer shell of Bael fruit is hard and it has a very creamy, slimy and sticky pulp inside and hence it cannot be used as a table fruit.

Therefore it is generally used in the form of processed products and has a restricted use in cooking. Whereas the study has been carried out to prepare products considering the taste of people, and the convenience of preparation, these products can be included in ones daily diet. Raw Material Fruit is collected from the trees in a ripe stage and processed as follows

  • Washing the fruit.
  • Breaking the shell and dividing the fruit in two halves.
  • Scooping out the pulp with seeds and fibers.
  • Discarding the shell.
  • Addition of water (half of the weight of the pulp)
  • Straining the mixture and discarding the seeds.
  • Fruit pulp is ready to use.

All the recipes are purely vegetarian and a healthy option for the diner. All the studies are tried and tested, keeping in mind the holiness of this fruit. The various dishes prepared are as follows.

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