Frozen Papaya from Costa Rica
If you like papaya or are looking to buy frozen papaya from Costa Rica, you are in the right place. Papaya is a delicious and sweet fruit that can be obtained in Costa Rica throughout the year, with many nutritional benefits and excellent properties for your health.
In this article you will find some characteristics of this fruit, curiosities and how to find the best frozen papaya in Costa Rica.
Papaya and its benefits
1. It is a good diuretic
Being a fleshy-type fruit, it has plenty of water, around 90 percent. Thanks to this high percentage of water, it is an excellent diuretic.
2. Increases natural defenses (vitamin C)
According to experts, papaya provides vitamin C in such high amounts that 100 grams of food covers one hundred percent of the recommended daily amount for the average adult.
Among the benefits of this vitamin are:
- Helps increase the body’s natural defenses.
- Promotes the formation of collagen.
- Activates iron absorption.
- It has an antioxidant effect against free radicals.
3. Improves skin health (vitamin A)
Papaya covers 25 percent of the daily recommended amount of this nutrient for the average adult. This nutrient improves skin health, helps mucous membranes and helps the immune system.
Beta-carotene is the main product of vitamin A in the body. Among its benefits is the synthesis of melanin, a natural skin pigment that helps promote tanning and protects us from solar radiation.
4. Antioxidant function (lycopene)
As we talked before, papaya has vitamin A, which is a very important element, but it’s overshadowed by lycopene, which works as an antioxidant, papaya provides a large amount of lycopene.
5. Prevention of cardiovascular diseases (flavonoids)
Another of its compounds is the flavonoid cryptoxanthin, which acts as an antioxidant against free radicals, responsible for the premature aging of cells.
6. Restores the acid-base balance of the body (minerals)
This fruit contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus, which help restore the body’s acid-base balance, as well as providing a slightly higher amount of magnesium and potassium.
7. Improves constipation (fiber)
Papaya provides two grams of fiber for each 100 grams of papaya. Keep in mind that 14 grams of fiber are recommended for every 1,000 kilocalories in the diet, meaning that papaya provides approximately three times what an average food source provides to reach the recommended fiber goal.
8. Helps protein digestion (papain)
Papayas contain papain, an enzyme that aids in digestion.
There are certain preliminary in vitro studies that suggest that the mixture of papaya components (especially when it is not ripe, but green) can help stop the development of certain bacteria that cause intestinal diseases.
Papaya in Costa Rica
For 14 years, Costa Ricans have preferred to consume the perfect papaya, a scented fruit with an intense color, sweet flavor and a convenient size that cannot be missing from the family diet making it one of the highest value items in the market.
Creating this “perfect” fruit required a long research process in which different varieties were tested until the hybrid with the best flavor, color, aroma and agronomic characteristics suitable for production was found.
This fruit is a hybrid, which means that it is the result of the cross between two parental lines. To obtain the seeds that are required year after year, each line (mother and father) is produced in a greenhouse where workers carry out pollination, manually depositing pollen from the male flower onto the female one.
Every year around 250 producers cultivate more than 1,000 hectares of Pococí papaya in the country. They prefer to plant this variety for its high yield and consumer preference.
The Pococí papaya has positioned itself as the main variety in Costa Rica and covers more than 90% of the production. In addition, it is the first Costa Rican papaya that has been exported.
For the productive sector, Pococí came to revolutionize the cultivation of traditional papaya, which had been declining in the early 2000s. Farmers from the Atlantic region are the main producers of this variety, which has also spread to other areas of the country such as the Pacific, where it has given excellent results.
Frozen Papaya in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a country that is characterized by good agricultural practices and green practices, both in livestock and in the area of food and agribusiness.
The advantage of papaya in Costa Rica is that it can be grown throughout the year, so the fresh and frozen market can be supplied without supply issues.
Papaya is usually frozen industrially by a system called IQF and whose main objective is to extend the shelf life of the fruit. However, when frozen by this system or by a less technical freezing, it can only be used for shakes, Smoothies, ice creams, yogurts, preserves, pulps or concentrates.
This is because during the process the fiber of the product is broken by the crystals that are formed and therefore its texture and properties that it has when it’s fresh tend to be lost. This is extremely important to finding suppliers of frozen fruit in Costa Rica and around the world, since it is necessary to know the characteristics of the fruit before and after it is frozen.
Among the presentations that can be found of frozen papaya in Costa Rica, are the so-called pieces or chunks of papaya. Common sizes are 20x20mm for chunks. Similarly, it is usual to find the smallest remains or pieces at lower prices since 100% of the fruit pulp is used.
Because we need to try and keep as many of the characteristics of the fresh, a comprehensive freezing system called Prime Freezing System was developed that prevents the fiber from breaking during freezing, allowing it to maintain its fresh properties when defrosted.
This means that its shelf life can be extended like any frozen fruit, but it can also be used for fresh fruit when defrosted, since its flavor, texture, colors and smells remain intact.
This will allow more fruit to be available, with easier access, around the world, reducing food waste, costs and improving people’s lifestyles.