in the folk, has been circulating “crooked melon split jujube more delicious” argument, but with the progress of planting technology, “deformed fruit and vegetable is playing hormone, can not eat” view is also circulating. In this issue, a reporter from life times interviewed Feng Xiaoyuan, a researcher at the Institute of forestry and fruit trees, Beijing Academy of agricultural and Forestry Sciences, Wang Xiaowei, a senior agronomist, and Shi Jun, doctor of Botany, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


are the common abnormal fruits and vegetables in the market, such as strawberry, tomato, grape, apple, carrot, etc. the reasons for their formation are various. First of all, under natural conditions, abnormal temperature, lack of water, strong light and other physical environment, or diseases, pests, weeds and other factors will lead to fruit and vegetable deformity. Secondly, poor pollination and uneven seed development will also form abnormal fruits and vegetables. Thirdly, the lack of fertilizer and water supply at the later stage of young melon development, and the lack of nutrition resulted in different growth rates of different parts, which eventually led to the abnormal shape of fruits and vegetables. Finally, improper use of plant growth regulators in the process of planting will also lead to fruit and vegetable deformity. Generally speaking, the deformities of fruits and vegetables are mainly caused by “natural stress” and “man-made”. Generally speaking, it is difficult for consumers to judge how the abnormal fruits and vegetables they buy are formed.


refer to the view that “crooked melon and split jujube” is more delicious. Shi Jun thinks that this view is relatively one-sided, because some fruits and vegetables may slow down or become more mature under adversity stress, promote the release of ethylene faster, starch into soluble sugars, so the taste will be sweeter. Therefore, from this perspective, the folk saying has some truth. However, some fruits and vegetables that grow too fast and lead to deformity will not be able to accumulate nutrients in the future. On the contrary, their taste is weak and their texture is poor. Even some fruits and vegetables are under improper pressure during their growth, and the cell walls inside the fruits and vegetables are continuously thickened, arranged closely, the fibers become thicker and the tissues are hardened, which leads to the taste deterioration. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell whether the taste is getting better or worse. In fact, the taste of fruits and vegetables is mainly determined by the planting area, growth conditions and varieties themselves. The specific problems should be analyzed in detail. Taking strawberry as an example, the Japanese varieties are generally small in size, soft in texture, sweet in taste and rich in aroma, while those in Europe and America are larger in size, hard in texture and sour in taste. They all have malformed fruits, but the taste has nothing to do with the deformity. In addition, in terms of nutritional quality, there is no significant difference between unsightly and beautiful fruits and vegetables of the same variety. In general, 90% of fruits and vegetables are water, and the remaining 10% are sugars, proteins, minerals, vitamins, etc., which will not change because of shape change.

   Finally, it should be reminded that the vast majority of deformed fruits and vegetables on the market are formed under natural conditions. Even if you accidentally eat the “crooked melon” with plant growth regulator, you need not worry too much, because the chemical properties of plant hormones and human hormones are quite different, and the metabolic mechanism is also different. From the existing experimental results, it can be concluded that It’s safe. Therefore, generally speaking, deformed fruits and vegetables can be safely eaten, but “split jujube” is best not to eat. Because the skin has a great protective effect on the fruit, if it breaks, the fruit may be contaminated by many bacteria and insect eggs, which may lead to acute gastroenteritis; fruits with diseases and insect pests may also contain virulence. ▲

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