Researchers in Japan have developed a new banana with a peel thin enough to eat. According to Quartz, the researchers developed the Mongee Banana using the freeze thaw awakening method – and they’re selling the sweet treat for around $6 a pop.
Here’s how freeze thaw awakening works: bananas tend to be cultivated in tropical locations, with temperatures staying around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but D&T Farm keeps their banana trees in temperatures of around negative 76 degrees Fahrenheit before replanting them in 80 degrees Fahrenheit environments. This prompts the bananas to grow rapidly, so the peel doesn’t completely mature and ends up thin, soft, and delicious, according to Quartz. National Geographic explained the fruit “matures before the skin can catch up.”
HI Kyosyke ! Have you tasted it? Mongee Banana, the most interresting thing about this banana is that you can eat the skin! I'ts only grown in OKAYAMA Perfecture, and they only sell 10 bananas per week. D&T Farm in Okayama.@ffffujiwara pic.twitter.com/jLKj1FCnSx
— hapa (@hapahr) January 27, 2018
The company says on the Mongee Banana website the product is not genetically modified, and is pesticide-free. The peel contains extra zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, tryptophan, and sugar – Quartz cited Japanese media as saying the banana actually contains 24.8 grams of sugar, beating a regular banana’s sugar content of around 18 grams. They also cited taste-testers at outlet Rocket News 24 as saying the banana smelled similar to a pineapple and had a tropical taste. Mashable said the edible skin has a lettuce-like texture.
Good luck snagging one of these fruits, though. Mongee Bananas are available in tiny, 10-banana batches, and one will run you $6. But Quartz said D&T Farm hopes to expand and is looking for more banana farmers. The banana is Japan’s most popular fruit, although they currently import 99 percent of the bananas they eat.