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Pawpaw - to eat or not to eat? Answered

Now that the tree in the backyard is showing first signs of fruits developing I was able to determine that it is a pawpaw tree.
After my first surprise that I might enjoy some nice and delicious fruits this summer I asked my friend Google for more details.
Shouldn't have done that....

I think in the Us the family of these are usually refered to as Asimina.
The bad thing is I now know that not only the tree itself, the leaves and seeds contain Annonacin but the flesh of the fruit too.
In some research documents the found levels in the fruits seem to by sky high :(

People trying the fruit for the first time are usually totally over the moon due to the new tase or get adverse reactions right away.
After a season of eating the fruits several times a week most people claim they now longer can stand their taste and if they try anyway they regret it quickly.
The health benefits are quite obvious if you only think of the good stuff in it, but what to do with the levels of Annonacin accumulating in your body and causing vital neurons in your brain to suffer permanant damage and death?

As the tree is native to the US I quickly found that the indiginous tribes widely used both the leaves and fruits.
But I was unable to find any info on how much, how often or if the fruits were treated in some way to get rid of the toxins.
One way or the other I have to teste them once ripe and ready but if I do like them I would love to able to continue eating without loosing the rest of my insanity ;)

Anyone eating them on a regular base?
Suffering from side effects?
Already over it for some reason?
Let me know! :)



2 years ago

You do know the US pawpaw is different to the the Australian paw paw ,which one do you have?

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 7.36.18 am.pngScreen Shot 2017-10-30 at 7.36.34 am.pngScreen Shot 2017-10-30 at 7.37.17 am.png

Reply 2 years ago

Where would be the difference apart from a slight taste difference?
I can't even tell the differences between the different US variants as all pics look identical.
All I know is it has green leaves and gets big fruits LOL

Noone here knows when or who plated it - if it was planted at all.
And since it is not native to AU it can be any variety out there, not that it would make a difference to the toxicity problem :(


Reply 2 years ago

The 2 photos of the left are the US version. The one on the right is the Australian Paw paw. They look very similar to a Papaya, but are a slightly different shape and color, they also taste quite different.

I have never seen a US Pawpaw here in Australia, but from the look of the photos they look like the inside of a custard apple


Reply 2 years ago

Guess I have to wait a bit longer to answer that, fruits are still smaller than my pinky.
But the do grow like the "banana" shape of the US one in the first pic.
If you want the US version you can buy seedlings:


And since the AU pawpaw is a papaya the trees really looks different, more like a palm, while mine looks for leaves, flowers and so far the fruits like the US version.
Once the weather dries up I will take a pic or two so you can check and compare - a pic is better than a thousand words ;)