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Valentine.gr  

September 2018

Did you know that Dacryodes edulis It has long been used not only as food but and in traditional medicine of some African countries?

Ackee (Blighia sapida).

Ackee - Blighia sapida

The ackee, also known as achee, ackee apple or ayee (Blighia sapida) is a fruit, which is the member of the Sapindaceae (soapberry family), as are the lychee and the longan. It is native to tropical West Africa in Cameroon, Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.[1] In Yoruba it is known as isin.

The scientific name honours Captain William Bligh who took the fruit from Jamaica to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England in 1793 and introduced it to science. The English common name is derived from the West African Akan akye fufo.

The fruit was imported to Jamaica from West Africa before 1778. Since then it has become a major feature of various Caribbean cuisines, and is also cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas elsewhere around the world.

Under favourable conditions, the tree may reach heights of up to 25 m (80 ft), though is more commonly 10 to 15 m (30 to 50 ft) tall with a straight, stout trunk supporting a densely leafy rounded crown. The bark is pale grey and smooth.

The leaves are large and compound, being made up of glossy green oval leaflets, each 12 to 20 cm (6 to 8 in) long and arranged in pairs along the length. A typical leaf is made up of three to five pairs of leaflets and their dense arrangement casts a deep shade. They remain on the tree in all seasons.

The flowers are small and insignificant, cream-coloured, either bi-sexual or male and are held in branched clusters arising at the ends of the branches, though are partly obscured by the leaves. The inflorescences are fragrant, up to 20 cm long. Each flower has five greenish-white petals. They come into bloom at the start of the rainy season in seasonally dry areas but bloom on and off throughout the year in areas where the dry season is short or where humid conditions prevail. 

The flowers are followed by light green, bell-shaped fruit that become bright red when mature. The fruit has a thick fibrous shell that splits at the base when fully mature, separating into three segments, each shielding a soft, pale yellow or creamy-white aril with a glossy black seed attached. The fruit typically weighs 100–200 grams (3.5–7.1 oz).

There are two named varieties in cultivation, 'Butter' with a soft, bright yellow aril and 'Cheese' with a somewhat firmer, cream-coloured aril. All parts of the fruit are poisonous, yet the arils are eaten in some countries, particularly in Jamaica where it has been adopted as the national fruit.

Although native to West Africa, the use of ackee in food is especially prominent in Jamaican cuisine. Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica, and ackee and saltfish is the national dish. A local company even makes ackee wine.

Ackee was introduced to Jamaica and later to Haiti, Cuba, Barbados and others. It was later introduced to Florida in the United States.

Ackee pods should be allowed to ripen on the tree before picking. Prior to cooking, the ackee arils are cleaned and washed. The arils are then boiled for approximately 5 minutes and the water discarded.

After removing and discarding the seed, the arils are carefully cleaned, leaving only the soft yellow or cream-coloured flesh which is then simmered, usually in lightly salted water. At the end of the simmering process, the water is drained off and discarded as a precaution. The drained and softened arils are then sauteed, usually with black pepper, herbs and spices. In Jamaica, flakes of salt-preserved cod fish are added to make that country's most esteemed dish, 'Ackee and Saltfish.' When cooked they have a soft, buttery avocado-like texture and an agreeable, slightly nutty flavour. 

The cooked arils contain high levels of Vitamins A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin) and C (Ascorbic acid), as well as high levels of Oleic acid, an Omega-9 fatty acid that helps to maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels.

The dried seeds, fruit, bark, and leaves are used medicinally.

The unripened or inedible portions of the fruit contain the toxin hypoglycin A and hypoglycin B. Hypoglycin A is found in both the seeds and the arils, while hypoglycin B is found only in the seeds. These two molecules are converted in the body to methylene cyclopropyl acetic acid (MCPA). Hypoglycin A and MCPA are both toxic. MCPA and hypoglycin A inhibit several enzymes involved in the breakdown of acyl CoA compounds, often binding irreversibly to coenzyme A, carnitine and carnitine acyltransferases I and II, reducing their bioavailability and consequently inhibiting beta oxidation of fatty acids. Beta oxidation normally provides the body with ATP, NADH, and acetyl CoA which is used to supplement the energy produced by glycolysis. Glucose stores are consequently depleted leading to hypoglycemia. Clinically, this condition is called Jamaican vomiting sickness. These effects occur only when the unripe fruit is consumed.

Logs, when available are sawn into planks mostly for making furniture or into beams for railway sleepers. However, the trees are not usually felled in areas where the fruit is eaten and has economic importance. The branchwood is cut for firewood and for making charcoal.

Ackee trees produce a medium-weight wood, in the 600 to 650 kg per cubic meter (37 to 41 lbs per cubic ft) range, with reportedly good natural resistance to rot, decay and wood-boring insects, though this is not well researched. The heartwood is pale gold- to orange-brown.

Honeybees can be observed vigorously working the flowers, but the tree's importance to honey production is unknown.

Source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ackee
https://www.iplantz.com/plant/221/blighia-sapida/

 

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Abyssinian banana - Ensete ventricosum
Goldenrain Tree - Koelreuteria paniculata
Naranjilla - Lulo - Solanum quitoense
Brazil nut tree - Bertholletia excelsa
Sea grape - Coccoloba uvifera
Bignay - Antidesma bunius
Cashew - Anacardium occidentale
Giant Himalayan Lily - Cardiocrinum giganteum
African Hemp - Sparrmannia africana
Lychee - Litchi chinensis
Prickly Heath - Gaultheria mucronata
Hoodia - Bushman's hat - Hoodia gordonii
Cannibals Tomato - Solanum viride
Ashoka - Saraca asoca
Ackee - Blighia sapida
African plum - Safou - Dacryodes edulis
Solandra - Solandra maxima
Stapelia - Stapelia gigantea
Foxglove - Digitalis purpurea
Swiss Cheese Plant - Monstera deliciosa
Chocolate flower - Berlandiera lyrata
Sandersonia - Sandersonia aurantiaca
Northern Japanese Magnolia - Magnolia kobus
Champak - Magnolia champaca
Hooker’s lips - Psychotria elata
Suicide Tree - Cerbera odollam
Konjac - Amorphophallus konjac
Madagascar ocotillo - Alluaudia procera
Water Banana - Typhonodorum lindleyanum
Salak - Salacca zalacca
Natal Plum - Carissa macrocarpa
Ashanti blood - Mussaenda erythrophylla
Duranta - Duranta erecta
Maqui - Aristotelia chilensis
Manuka - New Zealand Tea Tree - Leptospermum scoparium
Suriname cherry - Eugenia uniflora
Australian Finger Lime - Citrus australasica
Sacred Flower of the Incas - Cantua buxifolia
Job's tears - Coix Lacryma-jobi
Velvet Bean - Mucuna pruriens
Java Apple - Syzygium samarangense
Screwpine - Pandanus utilis
Marimo - Aegagropila linnaei
Achocha/Caigua - Inca cucumber - Cyclanthera pedata
Rubber Tree - Hevea brasiliensis
Sugar cane - Saccharum officinarum
Sacha inchi - Plukenetia volubilis
Coffea - Coffee Tree - Coffea arabica
Liquorice - Licorice - Glycyrrhiza glabra
Mullein -Verbascum thapsus
Iceplant - Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
Chayote - Sechium edule
Roselle - Hibiscus sabdariffa
Black Goji - Lycium ruthenicum Murray
Rose Cactus - Pereskia grandifolia
Durian - Durio zibethinus
Jackfruit tree - Artocarpus heterophyllus
Cassabanana - Sicana odorifera
Chilean myrtle - Arrayan - Luma apiculata
Kurrajong - Brachychiton populneus
Rice-paper Plant -Tetrapanax papyrifer
Shell Ginger - Alpinia zerumbet
Harlequin Glorybower - Clerodendrum trichotomum
Coco de Mer - Lodoicea maldivica
Silver Tree - Leucadendron argenteum
Buffaloberry - Shepherdia argentea
Himalayan Honeysuckle - Leycesteria formosa
Raisin Tree - Hovenia dulcis
Borojo - Alibertia patinoi - Borojoa patinoi
Butterfly Pea - Clitoria ternatea
Honey Flower - Melianthus major
Ombu - Phytolacca dioica
Lion's Ear - Wild Dagga - Leonotis leonurus
Moringa - Miracle Tree - Moringa oleifera
Sea Daffodil - Pancratium maritimum
Spear Lily - Gymea - Doryanthes
Camphor tree - Cinnamomum camphora
Waterwheel - Aldrovanda vesiculosa
Flowering rush - Butomus umbellatus
Four o'clock - Marvel of Peru - Mirabilis jalapa
Dead Man’s Fingers - Decaisnea
Bitter Melon - Momordica charantia
Shoapnuts Tree - Shoapberry - Sapindus
Acerola - Malpighia
Monkey Ladder - Sea Heart - Entada gigas
Cherimoya - Annona cherimola
Caper - Capparis spinosa
Lithops - Living Stones
Chaste Tree - Vitex agnus-castus
Chilean Lantern Tree - Crinodendron hookerianum
Parrot's Beak - Lotus berthelotii
Water Hyacinth - Eichhornia crassipes
Guaiac Tree - Guaiacum officinale - Lignum-vitae
Mickey Mouse bush - Ochna serrulata
Cow's Udder - Solanum mammosum
Miracle fruit - Synsepalum dulcificum
Akebia - Akebia quinata
Chilean Firebush - Embothrium coccineum
Caesalpinia - Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Welwitschia - Welwitschia mirabilis
Saguaro - Carnegiea gigantea
Schisandra - Schisandra chinensis
Monarda - Bee balm - Bergamot
Tamarind - Tamarindus indica
Neomarica - Walking Iris
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Sikkim rhubarb - Rheum nobile
Reseda - Mignonette
Paulownia - Paulownia tomentosa
Belamcanda chinensis - Leopard lily
Blue Poppy - Meconopsis
Cannonball Tree - Couroupita guianensis
Tamarillo - Cyphomandra betacea
Goji - Wolfberry - Lycium barbarum
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Stevia - Stevia rebaudiana
Pachypodium
Physalis
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Sturt pea - Swainsona formosa
Clematis
Grevillea
Jade vine - Strongylodon macrobotrys
Sansevieria - Snake Plant
Trochetia
Yareta - Azorella compacta
African tulip tree - Spathodea campanulata
Angel's Trumpets - Brugmansia
Achiote - Annato - Bixa orellana
Sausage Tree - Kigelia pinnata
Castor Oil Plant - Ricinus communis
Firewheel Tree - Stenocarpus sinuatus
Bat Flower - Tacca
Snake gourd - Trichosanthes cucumerina
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Hydnora - Hydnora africana
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Argan - Argania spinosa
Astilbe - False Goats Beard
Feijoa - Pineapple Guava - Acca sellowiana
Aquilegia - Columbine
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Sweet Box - Sarcococca
Christmas Cactus - Schlumbergera
Foxtail Lily - Eremurus
Rue - Ruta graveolens
Pittosporum
Ylang-Ylang - Cananga odorata
Rose of Jericho - Anastatica hierochuntica
Gunnera
Waterlily - Nymphaea
Calico Flower - Aristolochia
Daylily - Hemerocallis
Contorted hazel - Corylus avellana Contorta
Torch Ginger - Etlingera elatior
Mistletoe - Viscum album
Devil´s claw - Harpagophytum procumbens
Teasel - Dipsacus
Pampas grass - Gynerium argenteum - Cortaderia Selloanna
Purple coneflower - Echinacea purpurea
Coral Tree - Erythrina crista-galli
Portulaca
Lobelia
Field Poppy - Papaver Rhoeas
Narcissus - Daffodil
Mimosa pudica - Sensitive Plant
Boxwood - Buxus sempervirens
Firethorn - Pyracantha
Star of Bethlehem - Ornithogalum
Cosmos
Muscari - Grape Hyacinth
Papyrus - Cyperus papyrus
Zinnia
Honeysuckle - Lonicera
Passiflora - Passion Flower
Calendula - Marigold
Lupine - Lupinus
Canna - Indian Shot
Witch Hazel - Hamamelis
Oak - Quercus
Brunsvigia - Candelabra Flower
Tree peony - Paeonia suffruticosa
Olive - Olea europaea
Cornflower - Centaurea cyanus
Desert rose - Adenium obesum
Oleander - Nerium Oleander
Abutilon
Sweet Pea - Lathyrus odoratus
Chaenomeles - Flowering Quince
Forsythia
Amaryllis - Hippeastrum
Butchers broom - Ruscus aculeatus
Bay Laurel - Laurus nobilis
Gloriosa
Bamboo
Gladiolus
Artichoke - Cynara scolymus
Clivia - Clivia Miniata
Dipladenia - Dipladenia sanderii
Date palm - Phoenix dactylifera
Peach - Prunus persica
Almond - Prunus amygdalus
Willow - Salix
Pomegranate - Punica granatum
Protea cynaroides
Colchicum autumnale
Bird of Paradise - Strelitzia reginae
Cardon - Pachycereus pringlei
Wolffia arrhiza
Puya raimondii
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Primula - Primerose
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Helleborus Niger - Christmas Rose
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Fritillaria imperialis - Crown imperial
Aster
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Common Sunflower - Helianthus annuus
Bee Orchid - Orphys apifera
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Syringa Vurgaris - Lilac
Viola
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Poinsettia - Euphorbia pulcherrima
Dionaea muscipula
Banksia
Sea anemone
Amorrhophallus titanum
Rafflesia arnoldi

 

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