Durian, the new flavour

April 2, 2015, 2:36 p.m.
This fruit, which Asians go absolutely wild for, is being harvested right now. Gaya Gelato is working to create a special Durian flavoured ice cream. But what exactly is Durian? Let's discover the characteristics of this fruit.

It is a green-brown fruit with a hard, prickly skin. Its name comes from the Malay words duri (prickle) and an, a suffix which generates the origin of the meaning of prickly fruit. Its flesh is white or yellowish and is divided into five segments, each of which contains large seeds. The durian is originated and grows in Southeast Asia, in Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.
Its place of origin is where the fruit enjoys the greatest level of success, these being the countries where it is most appreciated and consumed. It is regarded by many people in the southeast Asia as "the king of fruits".
Its characteristic odour changes from species to species.

Certain varieties are odourless, while others give off a strong, penetrating scent. It can often be rather pungent. So pungent in fact that, in the areas of Asia where it is most popular, like Singapore and Thailand, the authorities have banned carrying it on public transport. It grows in a tropical climate and suffers at daytime temperatures below 20°C.

What are its nutritional values and properties?
100 grams of durian (150 Kcal) contain:
27.09 g of carbohydrate;
5.33 g of fat;
1.47 g of protein;
3.8 g of fibre;
65 g of water.

What are its health benefits?
The durian is an ally of the colon, intestine, heart, liver, cell and blood production, and nervous system. Ideal for those who practice sport, it is a "super food": studies carried out in 2011 on the antioxidant properties of the main exotic fruits have shown that in terms of ascorbic acid it comes behind only salak, mangosteen and kiwi. It is also rich in vitamin C and potassium.
The durian leads way ahead of the field in terms of flavonoid content, averaging out at ten times more than other fruits, especially for caffeic acid and quercetin, with antiviral and cancer-prevention actions. It is also first for anthocyans and second in the ranking for beta-carotene (for which mango is the undisputed king).
It is a powerful cholesterol regulator and helps prevent arteriosclerosis.
It contains vitamins B1, B6, C and B2, as well as tryptophan, metabolised as serotonin, which makes it a good regulator of sleep and nervous activity.