The 3 Basic Types of Fruits


Eating fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to maintain good health. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. They contain vitamins, phytochemicals, and minerals that can protect your body from diseases like diabetes, cancers, and heart diseases. Ideally, you should consume five kinds of vegetables and two kinds of fruits each day.

Fruit has a different meaning in different contexts. In botanical terms, fruit refers to a ripened ovary of a flowering plant. In some cases, fruit refers to the ripened ovary with its surrounding tissues.

Fruit, in food preparation, refers to the sweet, fleshy, and edible parts of a plant such as oranges, plums, and apples. Sometimes, the stems of rhubarb could also said to be a fruit in food preparation although, botanically it is not. Sometimes, the nuts and grains of many common vegetables are also included within the broad term of fruit in cooking.

Some fruits, including tomato, cucumber, pumpkin, squash, beans, corn, peas and sweet pepper, are considered vegetables by those involved in food preparation. In the strictest culinary sense, fruit is any sweet tasting plant product associated with seed or seeds. Tomatoes are a fruit.

Broad Classification of Fruits

The three basic types of fruits are:

1) Simple fruit

2) Aggregate fruit

3) Multiple fruit

Simple Fruit

Simple fruits could be formed due to ripening of a simple or compound ovary with only one pistil. They can be either dry or fleshy.

Dry fruits could be dehiscent fruit which open to discharge seeds or indehiscent fruit which do not do so.

Examples of dry simple fruits include legumes (pea, bean and peanut), capsules (Brazil nut), fibrous drupe (coconut and walnut), schizocarp; carrot, utricle (beets), silique as in radish, and others.

Examples of fleshy simple fruits include pome (accessory fruits like apple, pear, rosehip) and berry (redcurrant, gooseberry, tomato and avocado), false berry (banana and cranberry) or stone fruit (plum, cherry, peach, apricot, and olive).

Aggregate Fruit

These fruit develop from a flower with numerous simple pistils. Some aggregate fruits are termed berries, but they may not be in the strictest botanical sense.

A common example of aggregate fruit is raspberry.

Blackberry is another aggregate fruit, but it has an elongated receptacle as a part of the ripe fruit so it is called an aggregate-accessory fruit. Strawberry is also an aggregate-accessory fruit.

These fruit usually develop from a single flower with numerous pistils.

Multiple Fruit

A fruit formed from a cluster of flowers is called a multiple fruit. Each flower produces a fruit but they eventually merge into a single mass.

Common examples of multiple fruit include mulberry, pineapple, orange, edible fig, and breadfruit.

Other dry multiple fruits include sweet gum (a multiple of capsules), tulip tree (a multiple of samaras), sycamore and teasel (multiples of achenes) and magnolia (a multiple of follicles).

The term compound fruit includes:

1. Aggregate fruit where they are present in multiple fruits with seeds from different ovaries of a single flower

2. Multiple fruit where present in fruits of separate flowers packed closely together and

3. Other accessory fruit where the edible part is not generated by the ovary.

There are also a few seedless fruits like grapes, mandarin oranges, and seedless variety of watermelons.

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