In addition to having a sweet and appealing flavour, the atemoya fruit may prove to be a valuable addition to your everyday diet. The primary reason for this is that atemoya fruits contain fewer amounts of fats, while they do not have any cholesterol. The atemoya fruit offers several health benefits, such as lowering high blood pressure, aiding in weight loss programs, and augmenting the energy levels in the body. Normally, people consume the ripened atemoya fruit fresh. Occasionally, people also add the pulp of this fruit to desserts and ice creams. It is worth mentioning here that consumption of the atemoya fruit on a regular basis helps to diminish the chances of developing cardiovascular diseases and even cancer. This fruit is loaded with vitamin C, which is a natural and potent antioxidant. As most of us are aware, consuming fruits containing rich amounts of vitamin C helps our body to augment resistance against various infectious agents. At the same time, this vitamin helps to forage detrimental, inflammation causing free radicals and eliminating them. The atemoya fruits also contain excellent amounts of sugars, which provide our body with requisite energy. At the same time, these fruits are a wonderful source of various vitamins, essential minerals and dietary fiber, which are needed by our body to carry out the different functions effectively as well as promote the health of the different organs and systems. Consumption of this fruit is also effective in keeping the blood pressure in check. The atemoya fruit contains vitamin B6, which is vital for the proper functioning of the brain, antibody synthesis and also red blood cell (erythrocyte) production.
Aside from offering a number of health benefits, the atemoya also has several culinary uses. Ideally, the atemoya should be eaten chilled, as this makes the fruit extremely delicious. This fruit does not require any seasoning. You may just cut the fruit into halves or four pieces and eat the flesh after scooping it out with a spoon. You may also add atemoya pulp cubes or slices to salads, fruit cups or a variety of dessert preparations. Many people also blend the pulp of atemoya with lime juice, orange juice and cream and keep it in a refrigerator for consuming later in the form of ice creams.
Compared to the sugar apple, the atemoya is somewhat more enduring. Nevertheless, this fruit tree is confined to the tropical regions or the lowlands close to the tropics. It is said that this tree grows best in New South Wales when grown close to the coasts, where the humidity and rainfall are high, while the winters are warm. However, rains during the ripening of the fruits may harm the fruits, causing them to split on the trees. The atemoya trees possess the aptitude to thrive on a variety of soil types ranging from sandy loam to red basalt or even heavy clay. However, their growth is best when they are cultivated in deep, fertile loam having a medium texture and excellent organic content. In addition, the soil should ideally contain reasonable amounts of moisture. These trees require a good drainage system, as water clogging can even kill the trees. Atemoyas for the purpose of rootstocks are usually raised from seeds that germinate within roughly four weeks when sown in seedbeds. Young seedlings are subsequently moved to nursery rows and when they are about a year old, they are transplanted in rows with 18 inches (45 cm) intervals. The rows are 3 feet (90 cm) apart to provide the plant enough space for proper growth. If you want to top work the older trees, it should only be done by bark-grafting or cleft-grafting. After the trees have shed their leaves, scion (graft) wood is collected from specific cultivars. In India as well as in Florida, the atemoya is generally grafted onto sugar apple or custard apple trees. In Israel, cherimoya is often used in the form of a rootstock.
While the atemoya fruit is delicious and offers a number of health benefits, its seeds contain toxic substances. Hence, it is important to remove the seeds and then consume the fruit. In case the seeds are crushed or damaged, their toxin content may even spread to the flesh or pulp. As a result, it is advisable that you avoid eating fruits with damaged seeds.
Harvesting of atemoya fruits is done manually by clipping them from the branches. While clipping the fruits, care needs to be taken to ensure that the stalk remaining on the fruit does not extend further than its shoulders. In order to harvest the fruits at the perfect stage, it is necessary to undertake picking frequently. Ideally, the fruits should be picked when they show creamy lines in the region of their areoles, meaning that the spaces between the areoles are widening. If the fruits are picked earlier than the perfect time, they will not ripen further, but their color will become dark and shrink. Mealy bugs form colonies on atemoya fruits and, hence, it becomes essential to clean those using brushes. Alternatively, the fruits may be cleaned with compressed air prior to marketing them. It is worth noting that atemoya fruits should never be wrapped as doing so will only hasten their ripening. On the other hand, they should be packed in boxes and padded between the layers. As the shape of these fruits is irregular, they need to be fitted carefully together with the base of every fruit. In addition, they should be packed against the boxes' walls and the apex, which is more delicate, would be kept innermost in the boxes.