Pawpaw: An old fruit for new needs

F. Galli, D. D. Archbold, K. W. Pomper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Pawpaw [Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal] is the largest edible fruit native to North America. The species range covers 26 states in the U.S., extending from northern Florida to southern Ontario and as far west as eastern Nebraska. Pawpaw fruits were traditionally consumed by Native Americans, then by European explorers and settlers. Today, pawpaws are consumed by local populations in rural areas from fruit collected from the wild and a few commercial orchards. Despite some consumer and professional grower interest, the high perishability of the fruit has been a major factor slowing the development of a larger market for the fruit. Postharvest recommendations have only recently been developed from our research that indicated pawpaw fruit can be held in refrigerated storage up to a month and subsequently ripen normally. During the past several years, the quest for alternative crops with high nutritional value has increased interest in pawpaw. The fruit are comparable to banana, apple and orange since they are high in vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and manganese. They are also a good source of potassium and several essential amino acids, and they contain significant amounts of riboflavin, niacin, calcium, phosphorus and zinc. In addition to a review of these nutritional attributes, data will be presented showing that pawpaw also contains significant total carotenoid content and antioxidant properties. The importance of carotenoids and other antioxidant compounds such as phenolics in reducing heart disease, stroke and some cancers make pawpaw a very balanced and desirable food option.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-466
Number of pages6
JournalActa Horticulturae
StatePublished - 2007


  • Antioxidants
  • Carotenoid
  • Cold storage
  • Phenolics
  • Ripening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Horticulture


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