Quince A Fruit of Prophets: The quince (Cydonia oblonga) is a sole member of genus Cyodonia in family Rosaceae. It is deciduous tree which bears a pome fruit (similar to pear).when it is mature, become bright golden in color. In history, it has been used as food, but its tree can be used for ornamental qualities such as attractive pale pink blossoms.
It is native to rocky sloops and woodland margins in Armenia, South –West Asia, Turkey, Georgia, and Northern Iran to Afghanistan, however it can be grown at latitudes as far north as Scotland. There should be no confusion with its relatives like Pseudocydonia sinensis and Chaenomeles which are used for culinary purpose sometime.
The fruit known as safarjal Arabic “quinces (collective plural)” as well as in Israel as “Perishin”. Quince was successfully grown in Mesopotamian plain, where apples were not found.it was grown from anarchic period around Mediterranean. It should be noted that it does not come true from a seed.
Quince is hardy and drought-tolerant which adapts many soils of low to medium pH .It can tolerate both sun and shade, but sunlight is necessary for producing larger flowers and fruit ripening .it is a tough plant and does not require much maintenance. It can tolerate years without pruning and has very low disease problems. It is cultivated in temperate and warm temperate climates in all countries. It needs a cooler period of the year like 7⁰ C to flower properly. Propagation can be done by cutting or layering, but layering is batter method but take long time to mature. Named cultivars can be propagated by layers or cutting on quince rootstock. Commercially, seed is not used for propagation. Quince produces thick bushes which must be reduced to a single stem by pruning for commercial use as fruit-bearing trees. Tree can be self-pollinated, but produces batter results when cross pollinated.
Hadees and science regarding quince
The Holy Prophet وسلم علیہ اللہ صلی said, “Eat quince, for it sweetens the heart. For Allah has sent no prophet as HIS messenger without feeding him on the Quince of Paradise. For quince increases the strength. It is said that eat quince on an empty stomach is good for soul. Dry and cold, quince is astringent to stomach and checks thee excessive menstrual flow. If we place few seeds in in water for few minutes, it will form mucilage which can be used as best remedy for sore throat and cough, particularly in young. It is best to eat the quince cooked in honey. The seeds of quince help against many diseases like dryness in throat. Quince oil helps to strengthen the stomach and stops sweating. Quince jam strengthens the liver and stomach and relieves heart and soul.
Quinces are known for their intense aroma and flavor. Most varieties of quince are too hard to be eaten raw. Ripe fruits should be decay or subject to bletting by frost for consumption. However, they can be cooked to make jellies, jams, marmalade and pudding.
Some quince varieties like ‘Kuganskaya’ and ‘ Aromatnaya’ can be used without cooking. However, most varieties are hard and require softening by frost and subsequent decay. They contain high percentage of pectin, so it can be used to make jelly; jams and quince pudding .the flesh of the fruit become red after long cooking with sugar and formation of anthocyanins occur. Adding quince to the apple sauce increase the taste of the apple sauce .
It was originated from lberian peninsula. It is sticky, firm, sweet reddish hard paste of quince fruit. It is eaten in sandwiches and can be used in a variety of recipes.
Quince rajika is made in Balkans and other places.it is a fermented product. To make rajika drink, wash the quince properly and crush it, mixed with boiling or cold sweetened water and wine making yeast, left for many weeks for fermentation. Fermented mash will be distilled two times to get approximately 60% alcohol by volume liquor. It is diluted with distilled water to get a final product with 42-43% liquor.
Quince is the most popular species of deciduous bonsai specimens with related Japanese quince and Chinese quince which are native to Eastern Asia.
In Balkans, a quince tree is planted as a logo of love, life and fertility when a baby is born.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF QUINCE
It is a delicious fruit and beneficial for human health. Quince is rich source of iron, potassium, copper, vitamin C and dietary fiber. It is rich in organic compounds like limonene, catechin, epicatechin and phytonutrients which are beneficial for health.
Quince has many health benefits such as weight loss, cancer prevention, skin care etc.
One way to keep your weight down and speedy metabolism which maintained your system optimally is by improving digestion. Like other fruits quince has a large amount of fiber which make digestion efficient and regular.
Quince contains antioxidants including phytonutrient and phenolic compounds in large amount which are effective in eliminating or neutralizing free radicals in body. Free radicals are very dangerous for cells which can cause mutation or death of cells. Antioxidants present in quince effectively reduce many types of cancer.
High levels of vitamins and antioxidants present in quince are beneficial to keep your skin young and healthy. Antioxidants reduce or eliminate damage which is caused by free radicals to skin. Ultimately eliminate bleminess, wrinkles and help against UV rays which can damage the skin.
Blood pressure regulation
Quince contains potassium which is an important mineral in the body for effective fluid transfer in body cells and maintaining blood pressure. Potassium causes relaxation of blood vessels and arteries and reduces strain on cardiovascular system. It decreases the chances of atherosclerosis which decrease strokes and heart attacks
Quince has the ability to inhibit allergic reactions. High levels of vitamin C in quince help to inhibit inflammation and improve appearance and health of your skin.
Treatment of Gastrointestinal diseases
Quince has high percentage of fiber which prevents gastrointestinal diseases like inflammatory bowel diseases. Epicatechin and catechin in fiber can bind cancer causing agents which are found in colon and saves mucous membrane of this organ.
A high amount of antioxidants and vitamins like vitamin E and present
In quince energize immune system and increase white blood cells which effective against viruses, pathogens and bacteria.
Circulation and hair health
Quince is rich in minerals like iron, zinc and copper. It also contains trace minerals for red blood cell production. Increased red blood cells production cause increase in oxygen throughout the body. Blood flow to the scalp and skin increases which stimulate growth and increase hair follicle.
Quince contains phenolics which have anti-influenza activity and antioxidant properties. These help to protect against flues, colds and some other viral pathogens.
Reduce cholesterol level
Regular utilization of quince lowers bad cholesterol or LDL and maintains our heart healthy.
Treatment for liver and eye
Quince is beneficial for the patients suffering from eye and liver diseases. In China, quince seeds are soaked then boiled to make jelly which is best for sore throat, eye problems and inflammation of mucous membranes.
Quince has antioxidants which are best for decreasing stress and keep our mind calm.
Quince oil and seeds
Quince oil strengthens the stomach and the liver. Its oil fortifies the heart and prevents sweating.
Quince seeds are used for the treatment of trachea and throat.
Treatment for nausea and vomiting
Baked or boiled quince can be used for treatment of vomiting and nausea. It helps to eliminate fluid buildup because it is a good diuretic.quince
I am Lecturer in government college university Faisalabad, Pakistan. I have completed my Ph.D in Food Science and Technology.