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Mountain bananas from the french west indies

Bugaud C., Brat P., Chillet M.. 2007. In : Colon Wilfredo (ed.), Lugo Wanda I. (ed.). Marketing opportunities for agriculture and forestry products in the Greater Caribbean - A challenge for the 21st century. San Juan : Caribbean Food Crops Society, p. 105-111. Annual Meeting of Caribbean Food Crops Society. 43, 2007-09-16/2007-09-22, San José (Costa Rica).

Banana production is a key economic resource in the French West Indies. It is essential that growers in this region enhance their sales by proposing new products-such as mountain bananas-in response to high market competition from other exporting regions where production costs are lower. The quality of mountain bananas is officially recognised in Europe on the basis of a real taste difference. All French West Indian bananas grown at altitudes over 250 m ASL according to specifications can be sold under the mountain banana label. Mountain banana features can be assessed via objective data. At harvest stage, mountain bananas are denser, bulkier and less susceptible to wound anthracnose, caused by Colletotrichum musae, than lowland bananas, probably because of their higher mechanical resistance. Sensorial differences have also been documented in ripe bananas. At the same harvest stage and under identical ripening conditions, mountain bananas have a firmer texture, more intense yellowish pulp, and higher sugar and aromatic compound contents. A jury taste test analysis confirmed the sensorial differences between lowland and mountain bananas. The results of a multisite study indicated that temperature and rainfall during bunch growth are the main factors that distinguish mountain bananas. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : banane; musa (bananes); colletotrichum; antilles françaises; france; colletotrichum musae

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