Banana is an herb that grows up to 15 meters, and is one of the most popular fruits in the world. It is said that there are almost 1000 varieties of bananas in the world, subdivided in 50 groups. These varieties include red bananas which have a yellow-pink skin and flesh and the small sugar bananas which are around 3 inches long. Additionally, all bananas are extremely nutritious. They are rich in potassium, riboflavin, niacin and fiber and the rapid energy boost given by their high sugar levels means that they’re a great snack.
From the Japanese recipe of Tofu & Banana Ice Cream to Häagen-Dazs’ limited edition Banana Caramel Cookie flavor, this naturally packaged dessert is so popular in the world that top banana exporter, Ecuador, totaled a $2.8 billion value for this product alone. The top 3 exporters for 2015 following Ecuador are Belgium, Costa Rica and Guatemala. The Philippines lags behind at 7th place with a $439.9 million due to floods and tropical storms.
Banana Plants not only give us nature’s dessert but can also offer textile sources. All varieties of banana plants are rich in fiber. These fibers are taken after the fruit is harvested and fall in the group of bast fibers. Bananas have been a good source of high quality textiles in many areas of the world including Japan and Nepal. These countries usually make yarn out of banana fibers, and they have different processes in extracting banana fibers. More on the processes in the upcoming blog! (Keith O. Manching)