12. Wood Apple ( कपित्थ, कैथ )


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This is also known by many different names such as elephant apple, kainth and monkey fruit. Its shape is pyriform, oval, oblong, 5-15 cm in diameter. The tree belongs to Rutacae family with the botanical name Limonia acidissimia L. It is one of the hard fruit crop found in India all over the plains of southern Maharastra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

The fruit is not under regular orcharding, however along the border of fields, roads, railways lines and as a roadside tree, near villages and banks of river are the most common places where the plants are found as stray plant. Plant seed are important unconventional sources of proteins which when incorporated in food products would improve the functional properties such as absorption of water or oil and also in the formation of stable foam. They are also good nutritional supplements. The fruit is amazingly hard rind which can be difficult to crack, security rind about 6mm thick, greyish-white, pulp is brown, odorous, mealy, resinous, astringent, acid or sweetish with numerous small, white seeds scattered through it. There are two forms, one with large sweet fruits and the other with small, acid fruits.

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