The papaya is the berry of a fast-growing, tree-like herb, which forms a tuft of large, long-stemmed leaves at the top. Therefore, papayas are also known as tree melons.

These fleshy fruits grow directly from the herb’s stock and weigh 300 to 500 grams on average. Some varieties can even produce up to a nine kilo papaya. When unripe, its leathery, sensitive skin is green. When it is ripe, it changes colour from yellow to yellow gold. Depending on the variety, its velvety pressure sensitive pulp has a light yellow, or dark orange to salmon-pink colour.

Due to their pressure sensitivity, they are picked when they are half-ripe, because they continue to ripen at room temperature. Green papayas picked too early do not ripen. However, they can be processed, similar to pumpkins, in making soups, stews or chutneys.
Papayas are rich in magnesium and zinc, niacin, vitamins A and C.

Season: Year round (imported produce)

Nutritional Value Table

per 100 g edible portion
Energy Nutrients Minerals Vitamins
32 kcal Protein 0.5 g Sodium 2 mg A 93 µg
134 kJ Fat 0.1 g Potassium 191 mg C 82 mg
  Carbohydrates 7.1 g Calcium 21 mg E 0.7 mg
  Dietary Fibre 1.9 g Phosphorus 16 mg Niacin 300 mg
    Magnesium 41 mg Pantothenic Acid 0.2 mg

Energy: 32 kcal, 134 kJ

Nutrients: Protein 0.5 g, Fat 0.1 g, Carbohydrates 7.1 g, Dietary Fibre 1.9 g

Minerals: Sodium 2 mg, Potassium 191 mg, Calcium 21 mg, Phosphorus 16 mg, Magnesium 41 mg

Vitamins: A 93 µg, C 82 mg, E 0.7 mg, Niacin 300 mg, Pantothenic Acid 0.2 mg

Did you know...?

There are small, black stones in the middle of the fruit. These can be eaten and have a slight peppery taste.

1 portion a day corresponds to:

½ papaya