I was told to avoid seeds due to my digestive issues. So I decided to find out if all fruits have seeds. Here is what I found out.
Most fruits do have seeds, but a small portion are seedless. Examples of seedless fruits are bananas, grapes, and tomatoes. Fruits can also be bred not to have seeds. Oranges, lemons, and even watermelons are commonly selected to be seedless by growers.
Now, let’s list the fruits with or without seeds, cover how seedless fruits develop, and discuss why seedless fruits are grown in the first place.
Fruits With Seeds
Here is a list of fruits with seeds:
- passion fruit
- passion fruit
Fruits Without Seeds
You only have to stroll down the fruit aisle in your local grocery store to realize that not all fruits generate seeds. Despite evidence to the contrary, people often mistakenly assume that all fruits have seeds.
A variety of fruits come seedless; however, there are more seeded fruits than seedless. Many seedless fruits develop from seeded fruits. This becomes clear when you compare this list to the above list. Here are some examples of fruits that can be seedless:
- some watermelons
- some oranges, lemons, and limes
- some cucumbers (yes, not a veggie)
Fruits With Edible Seeds
Some seeds found in fruit can be consumed. Cherries, nectarines, and pears have seeds that are dangerous to eat and should be avoided. In contrast, these healthy fruit seeds can be enjoyed as a delicious snack:
- pumpkin seeds (can be consumed raw or roasted)
- watermelon seeds (eaten raw, put in salads, or consumed as a powder)
- strawberries (usually consumed with fruit)
- blueberries (tiny seed ingested with the fruit)
- honeydew (raw or roasted)
- cantaloupe (raw or roasted)
How Seedless Fruits Develop
Seedless fruits can be achieved naturally or artificially by producing a plant to bear fruit without fertilizing the ovules. This is a horticultural process referred to as parthenocarpy.
Parthenocarpy occurs in nature, but it is a rare condition. Bananas, some types of pineapples, and varieties of oranges are examples of naturally occurring parthenocarpy.
There are two different types of parthenocarpy:
- Vegetative Parthenocarpy- Takes place without pollination.
- Stimulated Parthenocarpy- Makes use of pollen; however, no fertilization transpires. This pollen can be dead, changed, or extracted from other plants. For example, stimulated parthenocarpy can occur when a wasp takes its ovipositor and puts it in a flower’s ovary.
Man-Made Seedless Fruit Methods
A growth substance can be used to create seedless fruits and can be provided to the plant through a paste, injection, or spray. An example of one of these growth hormones is gibberellic acid.
Gibberellic acid stimulates growth in the ovaries without fertilization. This results in large seedless pieces of fruit. Plant cultivators are currently using growth substances on a variety of different crops.
Another way seedless fruit can be achieved is through a process called stenospermocarpy; however, sometimes seeds are only reduced. This process occurs as a result of seed abortion. For this biological mechanism to work, pollination and fertilization need to happen.
The fruit must continue to develop after pollination and fertilization and produce an embryo. This embryo is later aborted. This results in a seedless or almost seedless fruit. It is important to note that any undeveloped seeds will be visible during this process, resulting in an incompletely seedless fruit.
Table grapes are a type of fruit that achieves parthenocarpy through stenospermocarpy.
Why Do People Cultivate Seedless Fruit?
People often wonder if there are any reasons to generate fruits without seeds besides consumer preference purposely. The answer is yes. There are two chiefs reasons why people choose to grow and cultivate seedless fruit. It’s because they do not have to deal with invasive insects or pollination.
In fact, farmers can utilize healthier methods to protect their crops from nasty bugs if they do not have to rely on pollination to produce fruit. That is to say, chemicals and pesticides are not necessary to treat seedless produce.
Not having to use chemical or organic pesticides is a massive game-changer in the world of organic farming. Without pesticides, farmers can bring healthier produce to market, and with natural growth hormones, their fruit grows larger. Farmers have to worry less about poorly formed vegetables. Also, this process allows for higher crop yields.
Another lesser reason people decide to grow seedless fruit is because of the cost. With parthenocarpic fruit, the entire cultivation process is less costly as compared to farming that relies on pollination. In fact, farming seedless fruit may expand production by extending climate and geographical ranges.
What Makes it a Fruit
Two characteristics define whether or not a food can be called a fruit. If produce has seeds on the inside or outside, that means it is a fruit.
This is an easy way to distinguish between fruit and vegetables; however, having a seed is not the defining characteristic of fruit. The most important requirement of a fruit is that it grows from the ovary of the flower part of the plant.
To me, the difference is that fruit makes great jelly or jam and vegetables, not so much.
Learning that there are many fruits I had been avoiding that are available in a seedless form is exciting news for me. I gotta hunt these down and add them to my kitchen as soon as possible.
Thanks for stoppin’ by!
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