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Introduction > Origin and Spread > Area and Production > Uses >
* The brinjal , also knows as "Guinea squash," is a member of the nightshade family, along with the tomato, pepper, and potato.
* The plant is grown for its purple fruits that are usually baked, boiled, or fried.
* The common large-fruited forms are believed to have originated in India, with a possible secondary center of origin in China for the small-fruited types.
* Although several different types of eggplants are grown around the world, they are not considered as major crop except in Asia, where the plants are grown on a fairly wide scale in China, India, and Japan.
* It is one of the most common vegetables grown throughout the Country.
* This can be grown successfully under the climatic conditions prevailing in South India and the Deccan Plateau.
* It comes up well even in hilly regions where the temperature does not come down below 5o C.
* It is rich in Vitamin A and B.
Origin and Spread
* The brinjal is believed to have been domesticated in north-eastern India where wild forms still grow.
* The seeds were carried to China more than 1500 years ago where small fruited types were later developed.
* It was introduced from India by early traders from Arabia and Persia to the countries of the eastern and southern shores of the Mediterranean early in the Middle ages.
* Portuguese colonies took it to Brazil. It is now widely cultivated for its fruits in the tropical, subtropical and warm temperate zones, especially in southern Europe and the southern United States.
* In 1806, it was introduced to American gardens primarily as an ornamental curiosity and was probably introduced into Europe during the Moorish invasion of Spain.
* It gained popularity in 1890s, as minor vegetable.
* The ancestral form was very likely a spiny plant with small, bitter fruit, but selection for improved palatability and for relative spinelessness resulted in gradual emergence of an acceptable type.
* Brinjal has been cultivated for many centuries in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China, Arabia and Philippines.
* There are several names by which the crop is known in India, but brinjal is the most familiar. Brinjal is also called 'eggplant' or 'aubergine'.
* The name eggplant is believed to derive from Gerard's description of early forms with small, white fruit resembling eggs.
* In early years, eggplant was also termed 'Male insana' and the 'Italian Melazana', both of which translate to "made apple".
* Brinjal is grown commonly in almost all the parts of the country and liked by both poor and rich.
* It is a main vegetable to the plains and is available more or less throughout the year.
* Used primarily as cooked vegetable,
* Brinjal is popular for the preparation of various dishes in different regions of the country.
* It is supposed to contain certain medicinal properties in ayurvedic medicines.
* It is rich in Vitamin A and B.
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 20 kcal 100 kJ
Carbohydrates 5.7 g
- Sugars 2.35 g
- Dietary fiber 3.4 g
Fat 0.19 g
Protein 1.01 g
Thiamin (Vit. B1) 0.039 mg 3%
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.037 mg 2%
Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.649 mg 4%
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.281 mg 6%
Vitamin B6 0.084 mg 6%
Folate (Vit. B9) 22 μg 6%
Vitamin C 2.2 mg 4%
Calcium 9 mg 1%
Iron 0.24 mg 2%
Magnesium 14 mg 4%
Phosphorus 25 mg 4%
Potassium 230 mg 5%
Zinc 0.16 mg 2%
Manganese 0.25 mg
Percentages are relative to US
recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database
Studies of the Institute of Biology of São Paulo State University, Brazil (Instituto de Biociências of the UNESP de Botucatu, São Paulo) showed that eggplant is effective in the treatment of high blood cholesterol hypercholesterolemia.
It can block the formation of free radicals, help control cholesterol levels and is also a source of folic acid and potassium.
Eggplant is richer in nicotine than any other edible plant, with a concentration of 100 ng/g (or 0.01mg/100g). However, the amount of nicotine from eggplant or any other food is negligible compared to passive smoking.