Types of Fruit
|Types of Fruit
North American Fruit Trees
Tomato Fruit or Vegetable?
Fruits, a dietary staple, and one of the five basic food groups, grow on vines, plants, shrubs and trees around the world.
Conversations about different types of fruits take many forms. Botanists, for example, approach the topic of fruit definition starting with a plant's reproductive features. From a botanical point of view, the presence of seed in mustards, grains, nuts, some vegetables places them in the fruit category.
Market approaches to fruit follow a separate logic. A quick review of the North American fresh fruit market reminds us that both a northern and southern presence dominate the fresh fruit production space.
Substantial southern citrus fruit production puts the citrus industry in its own category. Oranges continue to rank at the top of the consumer preference list, although per capita consumption of fresh oranges has decreased over the past thirty years.
Noncitrus, a catch all contrasting category, includes the common, native northern fruit bearing trees such as apples, cherries, pears and plums.
The graph at the top of the page shows the noncitrus dominance as a fruit preference for the average American. Over the past thirty years, American per capita consumption of fresh noncitrus fruit exceeded American per capita consumption of fresh citrus fruit.
Preliminary estimates for 2010 show fresh citrus fruit consumption at 21.59 lbs/person and fresh noncitrus consumption at 80.42 lbs/person. Source: ERS - Fruit and Tree Nut Yearbook October 2011
Berries commonly sit in a noncitrus subcategory, with strawberries the dominant North American commercial berry.
No few sentences of introduction adequately addresses the importance of grapes, the legendary vine fruit, with a cultivation history paralleling the history of human civilizations.
More than fifty different grape varieties grown in the United States, and most of the grape harvest goes to the wine industry.
Fruits get marketed as holiday gift baskets for special occasions as well as every day vitamin sources filled with natural sugars.
Nutritionists often discuss fruit types in terms of their specific health benefits. Current USDA dietary guidelines, for example, recommend eating two cups of fruit each day.
Dried fruit, another area of the consumer fruit market, rounds out this quick fruit type overview. Chart two, a thirty year comparison of per capita dried fruit consumption among six primary fruits shows raisins continue to dominate the domestic dried fruit mass market. Apples, figs, dates, apricots and prunes form an indifference band in the space below the one-half pound per capita level.
The links in the box on the left point to articles containing more detailed information on the types of fruits presented here. The North American Fruit Trees link presents some of the most common, noncitrus native fruit trees such as apples and pears.
© 2004-2012 Patricia A. Michaels.