Babaco Fruit: Nutrition Facts, Health Benefits, And More

The Babaco, also known as the mountain papaya, chamber, and champagne fruit, is a tropical fruit belonging to the Vasconcellea genus. This genus has 21 species of flowering plants that produce fruit, and Babaco fruits are used in domestic and commercial products such as canned fruits.

Babaco fruits have a torpedo shape with five deep longitudinal furrows that give them the appearance of a star. The thin skin of each fruit ripens and turns yellowish-gold when fully mature. Its flesh is seedless, soft, juicy, and melon-like with effervescent qualities. Its taste encompasses the aromas of tropical fruits such as pineapple and kiwi combined with its ancestor’s flavor – papaya. These long fruits can reach up to 12 inches (30 cm) in length and they are completely edible.

Growing Babaco trees require warm weather climates that are rich in light and nutrients. They should be nurtured gradually but kept constantly moist; too much water can cause root rot so you should make sure to maintain optimal soil drainage. Adding balanced fertilizers to the soil is helpful for getting maximum yield from the tree’s growth cycle throughout the year. Regular pruning is also beneficial for encouraging healthy development as well as shaping its form nicely.

It takes careful care to ensure your Babaco plants thrive but once harvested you will reap rewards from their tasty fruits. They can be eaten fresh or stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer for later use – making them an incredibly delicious and versatile addition to any foodie’s diet.

The Unique Taste

The unique taste of Babaco fruits is a combination of sweet and tart. Its flavor is reminiscent of tropical fruits like pineapple and kiwi combined with the distinctive flavor of its ancestor, the papaya. The flesh is juicy and soft with effervescent qualities that make it an enjoyable experience to eat. It has a mild sweetness that can be enhanced with a sprinkle of sugar or honey for added sweetness.

Origin/Ethnic/Cultural Info

The Babaco fruit is native to the Andean highlands of Ecuador and is a natural hybrid between two pawpaw species. It was already cultivated in Ecuador during the pre-Columbian period, meaning it has a long history of traditional use among the people of this region. The ideal growth conditions for Babaco are warm and humid, making the Andes an ideal environment for its cultivation.

The Babaco has since spread to other parts of the world and is now cultivated commercially in places like Israel, Italy, Spain, South Africa, California, Australia, and New Zealand. This dissemination of the fruit demonstrates how people across different countries have embraced it and incorporated it into their cultures. In some areas, such as New Zealand’s mountain regions with conditions similar to those in Ecuador, Babaco fruits are successfully grown on outdoor shrubs that resemble small palm trees.

Babaco fruit carries with it a rich cultural heritage stemming from its origin in Ecuador thousands of years ago. While spreading across the world over time, it has been embraced by different countries and cultures who have each found their own unique ways of incorporating this delicious and nutritious fruit into their diets.


Cultivation of babaco fruit is a rewarding experience that offers great potential in terms of tastiness and health benefits. Babaco plants grow best in warm, humid climates such as those found in its native countries of Ecuador and New Zealand.

This fruit is propagated by vegetative means, though occasionally cross-pollination with other Vasconcellea species can lead to new clones with interesting taste and size variations. In addition, babaco has a high production yield which makes it attractive from a commercial perspective.

Tending to the needs of babaco plants is essential for successful cultivation. These include exposure to 8 hours or more of direct sunlight each day and well-draining soil with an adequate amount of organic matter throughout the growing season.

Proper watering practices must also be observed to ensure that the plant receives enough moisture while avoiding root rot. Fertilizing with balanced nutrients on a regular basis can help to optimize growth and provide abundant harvests.

Harvesting may be done at any time when the fruits are firm yet ripe, usually earlier in spring months or during late summer or fall depending on local climate conditions. Care should be taken not to damage nearby branches when cutting off the fruits from their stems using pruning shears.

The latex obtained from green babaco fruits can serve as a source for proteolytic enzymes for various applications making this plant even more valuable beyond its delectable flavor profile that comes along with fresh eating off the tree or adding them to salads, drinks, cooking recipes, etc..


Babaco fruit is a sterile species, which means it does not set seed, making propagation through cuttings the most effective method. One way to propagate Babaco is by cutting a tall, straggly plant about 200mm above the ground during Spring. The plant will promptly resprout, and leaving one or two sprouts to develop into new fruiting trunks. The old trunk can then be used for cuttings by cutting it into 30cm lengths, each with at least one auxiliary bud. These cuttings should be dipped in fungicide and the rooting end dipped in a rooting hormone before being set vertically in sand or sandy loam to form calluses.

Another method of propagation is by taking cuttings of 10 x 2cm, allowing them to dry out in a cool area until latex flow stops and callus formation has begun. Then, treat the cuttings with an antifungal agent and rooting hormone before planting them in the ground or in pots with a temperature of 22°C and humidity of 90%. This method may take 5-7 weeks for the cutting to strike.

It is also worth mentioning that other Vasconcellea species are sometimes used as grafting rootstocks to confer favorable properties such as increased vigor, pest resistance, and cold tolerance. This could be an alternative approach to propagating the Babaco fruit.


Babaco fruit is typically available in the spring and summer months, though it can be found in some areas year-round.

Nutrition Facts Of Babaco fruit

Nutrition Facts Of Babaco Fruit:

  • Vitamin C: 23 mg
  • Vitamin A: 0.16-2.0 IU
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): 0.02 – 0.3 mg
  • Riboflavin: 0.02 – 0.06 mg
  • Niacin: 0.5 – 1.1 mg
  • Phosphorus: 7.7 – 17.1 mg
  • Calcium: 8 – 12.1 mg
  • Sodium: 1.3 – 3.0 mg
  • Potassium: 132 – 220 mg
  • Iron: 0.3 – 4.2 mg
  • Magnesium: 6.0 – 15.4mg
  • Carbohydrate: 4,6 – 6,0 g
  •  Lipid(Fat): 0,02 – 0,3 g
  • Protein: 0,7 – 1,3 g
  • Water: 93 – 94g

Babaco fruit is packed with essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin which are important for keeping us healthy and strengthening our immune system.

It also has a good amount of phosphorus, calcium sodium, potassium, iron, magnesium, carbohydrate, fat, and protein as well as being high in water content. All these nutrients make babaco a great addition to any diet for its health benefits as well as its delicious taste.

Health Benefits

Babaco fruit has many health benefits, some of which include:

  • Boosting the immune system: Babaco is rich in vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system and fight off infections. Vitamin A also helps to improve vision and skin health.
  • Improving digestion: The high fiber content of babaco helps to improve digestion by promoting regularity and preventing constipation.
  • Lowering cholesterol levels: Babaco contains pectin, a type of soluble fiber that helps to lower cholesterol levels by binding with bile acids in the intestines.
  • Reducing inflammation: The antioxidants present in babaco help to reduce inflammation throughout the body and protect against oxidative stress.
  • Improving heart health: The high potassium content of babaco helps to reduce blood pressure and improve heart health.
  • Regulating blood sugar levels: Babaco is a low-glycemic food, which means it helps to regulate blood sugar levels and prevent spikes in insulin.
  • Promoting weight loss: The fiber content of babaco helps to promote satiety and can help with weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and exercise.

Overall, babaco fruit is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals that can provide numerous health benefits. It is also low in calories, making it a great addition to any diet for those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle.


What does Babaco fruit taste like?

Babaco fruit has a sweet, citrus-like flavor with a hint of pineapple and mango. It is juicy and refreshing, making it a great snack or addition to salads and smoothies.

What is Babaco in English?

Babaco is an exotic fruit native to South America. In English, it is sometimes referred to as “mountain papaya”.

Where is Babaco from?

Babaco is native to the Andean region of South America, specifically Ecuador and Colombia. It is also grown in other parts of the world, such as New Zealand and Hawaii.

How long do babaco fruit take to ripen?

Babaco fruit takes around 8-10 weeks to ripen, depending on the climate and growing conditions. The best way to tell if a babaco is ripe is by its color; it should be bright yellow or orange when ripe.

How do you know when babaco is ripe?

The best way to tell if a babaco is ripe is by its color; it should be bright yellow or orange when ripe. The skin should also be slightly soft to the touch. Additionally, the fruit should have a sweet and fragrant aroma.

Can you eat green babaco?

Yes, you can eat green babaco, but it will not be as sweet and flavorful as a ripe one. Green babaco is usually tart and astringent, so it is best to wait until the fruit is ripe before consuming it.

How do you eat babaco fruit?

Babaco can be eaten raw, added to salads or smoothies, or cooked into dishes such as pies and jams. It can also be juiced or blended into a refreshing drink. Additionally, the leaves of the babaco plant can be brewed into a tea for an immune-boosting beverage.

When should I eat Babaco?

Babaco can be eaten any time of day, but it is best to consume it in the morning or as a snack between meals. Eating babaco in the morning can help to give you an energy boost and provide essential vitamins and minerals for the day ahead.

Is Babaco self-fertile?

Yes, babaco is self-fertile, meaning it does not need another plant in order to produce fruit. However, for optimal yields, it is best to grow multiple plants in close proximity to each other.

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