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Japan Creates Bananas With Edible Skin, Using Ice Age DNA Method

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For those who can’t live without bananas, there’s no way one can improve on such a superb fruit. Bananas are rich in potassium, making it one of the healthiest fruits one can eat. They also have a delicate sweetness that makes them a staple from drinks to pastries.

Bananas are awesome just the way they are, but the Japanese think otherwise. How can they improve on such perfection? Well, they actually made bananas with edible skin!

Called the Mongee Banana (produced mon-gay), the fruit is grown by D&T Farm in the Okayama Perfecture. The name is an Okayama slang for “incredible.”

They used an ancient DNA method, called ‘Freeze Thaw Awakening,’ that goes back to the ice age. 20,000 years ago, plants would emerge from the winter condition to grow. During this period, plants start to grow as temperatures increase gradually, with maximum daytime temperatures at just 12 to 13°C. At night, the mercury would drop below zero. In order to recreate these conditions, the darm froze the banana saplings to -60°C, waiting for them to be thawed before planting again.

The technique enables them to make the bananas grow big enough in just fo months, an amazing improvement for the typical time it takes for bananas to grow, which is two years.

The Mongee is sweeter, containing five grams extra sugar compared to the typical banana grown in the tropics.


The innovation comes at price though. Each fruit costs 649 yen or $5.70. The fruits are still so rare that only 10 are going on sale each week.

As a spokesman for D&T Farm said:

“Banana peel is an excellent ingredient that can contain vitamin B6 and magnesium related to the synthesis of serotonin.

“At the same time, rich in substances called “tryptophan” which is a raw material of serotonin, which stabilizes the mind and has sleeping action.

“Research results that ripe fruit peels have inhibitory effect on prostatic hypertrophy has also been published.”

The high price tag is not surprising, considering that Japan imports 99% of its bananas. This homegrown variety can be considered as a luxury item.

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