Functional Properties and Postharvest Utilization of Commercial and Noncommercial Banana Cultivars


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Banana (Musa spp.) is one of the world's most important crops cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Banana is a major source of macro-elements, especially potassium, and contains health-beneficial ingredients such as resistant starch, total dietary fibers, rapidly digestible starch, and slowly digestible starch. Oligosaccharides (fructooligosaccharides and inulin) and polyphenols ((+)-catechin, (−)-epicatechin, (−)-epigallocatechin, and gallic acid) are other ingredients present in bananas that have found application in the prevention of muscular contractions, regulation of blood pressure, prevention of colon cancer and diabetes, and in the cure of intestinal disorders when unripe. This review identifies the different commercial and noncommercial banana cultivars and their utilization. Commercial cultivars include Williams (M. acuminata cv. Williams), Dwarf Cavendish (M. acuminata cv. Petite Nain), Chinese Cavendish (M. acuminata cv. Chinese Cavendish), Grand Nain (M. acuminata cv. Grand Nain), and Goldfinger (M. acuminata cv. Goldfinger), with Mabounde and Luvhele identified as noncommercial varieties. Banana postharvest utilization includes its use as functional foods, prebiotics, probiotics, nutraceuticals, and processing into value-added products.