Durian is in the News – Again!

Durian is in the News – Again!
Durian is in the News – Again!

Last month the ‘King of Fruits’ was in the news following record Chinese sales. Exporting the fruit in huge quantities to China benefits both the Thai economy and boosts the income of local producers; however the export of durian saplings is prohibited.

Border checks have now been stepped up to prevent smuggling of durian saplings and the Agriculture Ministry is seeking cooperation from border officials to watch out for durian saplings being taken into Myanmar, according to a senior official.

Suwit Chaikiarttiyos, director general of the ministry’s Agriculture Department, said he has instructed officials from his department to step up their checks at border checkpoints in Ranong and Prachuap Khiri Khan following a spate of attempts to take durian saplings into Myanmar. In the latest incident, Suwit said many durian saplings were found at a house near the Singkhon border checkpoint in Prachuap Khiri Khan. He said the Agriculture Ministry prohibits the exports of durian saplings for fear that it would affect the durian industry in the country.

A New Record Price
Volcanic Durian; the most expensive around

At the grand opening of the “2018 Kantharalak Superior Fruit Festival” in Kantharalak, Sisaket Province an auction took place where the local specialty, “volcanic durian”, was sold for around 150,000 THBB. This price set a new record for most expensive durian auctioned in the northeast of Thailand. The durian was also labelled as “Thailand’s tastiest durian”.

A local farmer stated that the production volume of volcanic durian is extremely small. This year the production volume only reached around 3000 tons.

Fried Durian in Space!

Fried durian will soon be the first Thai food item to be sent into space to see how it is affected by weightlessness. The experiment is part of the “Thai Food to Space” project with advisor Dr Amarin Pimnoo, who heads the National Space Exploration Project of Daily Foods Co. If everything goes as planned, the first batch of fried durian will be sent into space in July. The fried durian will be floating in space around 4-5 minutes before it is sent back home, after which scientists will see how weightlessness affects the packaging and the fried durian.

Too Much of the “King of Fruits”
Might Not be Good for You

As durian fever sweeps Thailand, comes a warning from Thai doctors. The department of public health has said that you should not overdo your durian intake. They said that eating the flesh surrounding two kernels each day is more than enough. But that is just for healthy people – for those suffering from chronic conditions the advice was stronger. Those with diabetes, kidney problems, high blood pressure and heart disease should certainly not eat durian every day, said the medical professionals.

As decadent as its creamy flesh tastes, durians do possess some health benefits. “Durian contains fibre and antioxidants,” says Natalie Goh, a consultant dietitian. In fact, a study conducted by the Swiss Society of Food Science and Technology found that when a durian is ripe, it contains higher levels of antioxidants than other Asian fruits of a similar ripeness, such as mangosteen, lychee and mango (in descending order).

But here’s why you shouldn’t go wild over the tropical favourite: It’s a fruit with one of the highest fat content. “Apart from avocado, durian is a fruit that contains a significant amount of fat,” says Natalie. Plus, it can pack up to three times more calories compared to most other fruits. A saving grace; the high-fat content gives it a lower glycaemic index, says Gladys Wong, chief dietician at Alexandra Hospital. Durian also contains some protein, but it’s nothing to shout about – only around 3g per 100g of flesh, says Natalie. What’s more, protein from plant sources is “nutritionally incomplete,” she adds, meaning it lacks a balanced set of amino acids that are critical for muscle building. With the average portion in Thailand costing about 100 baht, it is unlikely that many people will eat it every day, however – even though many agree that it is the most heavenly taste on earth.

Valuable enough to steal!

Police Captain Ronachai Chopkha Prachachai, a Deputy Inspector of the Hua Hin Police has been notified of a fruit shop snatch and grab and rushed to the premises named the King of fruits, Hua Hin. The owner of a shop gave testimony to police officers that, whilst waiting to serve customers, two men riding a Honda motorcycle and wearing full helmets, making it impossible to see their faces, approached the shop then the man on the back seat jumped down from the bike and grabbed two durians.

He then and rushed back to the bike and fled the scene/ The culprits only held on to one durian as the second one fell to the ground. As they were in a hurry to escape, it was not retrieved. The durian that has stolen was unripe, weighed about 6 kilograms and is worth about a thousand baht. The owner of the shop said that if you want to eat durian, you do not have to run the risk of prison; just let him know. The police have pictures from CCTV and are urgently pursuing the durian bandits.