April 21, 2010

Definition of Fruit Crop

Definition of Fruit Crop
One would think that the term fruit crop would be clearly defined – not so. In fact, one of the most frequently asked questions from web site, “Is the tomato is a fruit or vegetable?” The usual reply is “both” as it is already a fruit in the botanical sense, but a vegetable from a culinary perspective.

There are also legal definitions on the books, since in some instances vegetables are taxed and fruits are not (or vice versa).

The definition of fruit crops as “a perennial, edible crop where the economic product is the true botanical fruit or is derived therefrom.”

The word perennial eliminates crops grown as annuals such as tomato, pepper, melons, and corn , even though the harvested product is the true botanical fruit.

Annual cultivation practices differ markedly from those of perennial crops, and to call these fruit crops would only increase the existing confusion.

Note that strawberry an herbaceous perennial, is included in the text even though, in recent decades, much of the acreage is replanted annually.

The world edible eliminates perennial crops whose fruits are used for fiber such as kapok, or strictly industrial oils such as tung nuts. The true botanical fruit includes the ripened ovary, plus any associated parts and contains the seeds of the plants.

While most would not considered coffee and cacao fruit crops, they fit the definition because they are perennials and coffee and cocoa are just roasted, ground up seeds of the fruit.

Africa oil palm, coconut and olive and palm oils are edible are derived from a true botanical fruit. A nut is a dry, indehiscent fruit with a hard shell.
Definition of Fruit Crop

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