Jiménez, Victor M. Centro para Investigaciones en Granos y Semillas, Universidad de Costa Rica, San Pedro, Montes de Oca, San José, Costa Rica.
- Papaya production
- Plant development and cultivation
- Fruit characteristics
- Future outlook
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Carica papaya, a semiwoody, usually single-stemmed, herbaceous plant cultivated for its fruit in tropical and subtropical regions. The papaya plant (Fig. 1) originated along the Caribbean lowlands of Mesoamerica and is now extensively and exclusively distributed in tropical and subtropical regions because of its sensitivity to chilling temperatures. Papaya is mainly known for its climacteric fruits (that is, they continue to ripen after harvest), which are produced constantly during the plant's adult life and broadly commercialized; and also, to a lesser degree, for its latex, which contains enzymes having industrial uses (for example, papain, which is employed as an ingredient in meat-tenderizing, brewing, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics), and many other important compounds. See also: Agricultural science (plant); Enzyme; Fruit; Fruit, tree; Horticultural crops; Physiological ecology (plant)
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