Passion Fruit Seeds, Oil, and Peel
Purple granadilla, aka purple passionflower, (Passiflora edulis, Passifloraceae) grows throughout the world, mainly in sub-tropical and tropical regions. The main fruit varietals consist of purple and yellow (Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa), with the purple being more widely distributed. The purple variety has less acid in the pulp as well as a higher juice concentration, but the yellow fruits tend to be larger, and the plants are less prone to disease. 1 The vine of the passionflower fruit grows quickly and is shallow rooted. The aromatic flowers are 2-3 inches in width. Passion fruit and its glycoside, passiflorine, have been used medicinally as a sedative, digestive stimulant, and for treating gastric cancer.1
The fruits, high in vitamins A and C, also contain beta-carotene, flavonoids, potassium, niacin, riboflavin, and the minerals iron, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus.2 Considered a good source of fiber, the passion fruit can be eaten similarly to kiwi or guava.
The fruit contains an orange-colored, pulpy juice and as many as 250 small, hard, dark-brown or black, pitted seeds.1 These aromatic edible seeds yield about 23% oil. The aroma of the oil is similar to the fruit and is yellow to vibrant yellow in color. Passion fruit oil, also high in vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and essential fatty acids, is used for both skin and hair care. As it is said to balance skin sebum, the oil is used to both control acne and moisturize dry skin, improving skin softness. The oil has been used to treat dry, brittle, and damaged hair as well as to balance scalp oil. Suggested concentration for use is between 2-7% for both hair and body care, but it can be applied directly to the skin. The oil can also have a sedative effect in massage oil.1
Yellow passion fruit peel, mostly consisting of pectin, has been shown to increase high density lipoproteins (HDL), reduce glucose and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and decrease body weight.3 Flour from the peel has been found to decrease insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes (See HC 121266-473).4
1Passion fruit nutrition facts. Power your diet website. Available at: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/passion-fruit.html. Accessed May 7, 2013.
2Morton J. Passionfruit. In:Morton JF. Fruits of warm climates. Miami, FL: Creative Resource Systems, Inc.; 1987:320-328.
3Smith RE, da Silva Menezes EM, Sabaa-Srur AUO, Wycoff W. Potential health benefits of passion fruit peel flour. Nat Prod J. 2013;2(2):104-107.4de Queiroz MdSR, Janebro DI, da Cunha MAL, et al. Effect of the yellow passion fruit peel flour (Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa Deg.) in insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. Nutr J. October 22, 2012;11:89. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-89.