Philippine varieties of banana and its characteristics:
1. Bungulan – The fruit is long, slightly curved and slightly angular. The peel is yellow-green when ripened at ambient temperature of 28 °C. The flesh is sweet, melting, aromatic with a creamy color when ripe.
2. Cavendish – The fruit is long, slightly curved and slightly angular. The peel is yellow-green when ripened normally and has bright yellow color at ambient temperature of 28 °C. The flesh is sweet, melting, strongly aromatic and with a creamy color when ripe.
3. Lakatan – The fruit is long, slightly angular, with thick peel which turns orange-yellow when ripe. The flesh is sweet, aromatic, firm and is light orange- yellow when ripe.
4. Latundan – The fruit is short and round. The peel is thin and yellow when ripe. The flesh is white, soft and slightly sub-acid.
5. Morado – The fruit is medium size and slightly angular to round. The peel is thick and purplish-red when ripe. The flesh is smooth, melting, sweet, slightly aromatic and has cream-colored pulp.
6. Señorita – The fruit is small, short and round with blunt tips. The peel is thin and yellow when ripe. The flesh is very sweet, smooth, aromatic, melting and has creamy yellow pulp.
-Banana, a monoecious monocotyledonous plant belonging to the family Musacea, is the largest herbaceous plant in the world
-It is often considered a tree as it grows normally up to 3m in height and is fairly robust. However, the stem is in fact a pseudostem that grows from a corm.
-Banana is a great nutritional source composed mainly of water and carbohydrate that provides energy in the human body. It is a good source of Vitamin A, B, C and some mineral, particularly Phosphorus, Magnesium, Potassium and dietary fiber. It contains high levels of carbohydrate that provides energy. One banana fruit provides 380 mg which is more than an adult’s daily requirements of Potassium (Englberger, 2003). Banana with yellow to orange pulp contains high levels of pro-Vitamin A carotenoids (pVACs) that can be converted into Vitamin A.
Banana has several uses in food, industry, medicine and decorative purposes. The center succulent part of the pseudostem can be consumed as vegetable. The pseudostem, aside from feeds for hogs and cattles, can also be used as source of fiber and organic fertilizer. Banana leaves can be used as food wraps for leaf industry (Temanel, 2008) while the roots, stalk and peduncle can be used as organic fertilizer. Banana can also be processed into flour, puree, jam, jelly, wine, powder, dye, flakes, catsup and banana chips. Moreover, banana can be used as: umbrella (leaves), glue (starch), necklace (seeds), ornaments (decorative type), dye (banana sap), shampoo, and intercrop.