The New World – North and South America – is home to many fruit-bearing species that could add diversity to farmers' production systems, generate income and improve people's diets. But information about them is scattered or scanty.
The New World Fruits Database aims at providing easier access to some basic, but often difficult to obtain, information on fruits from the New World. Key information provided includes data on nomenclature, taxonomic and vernacular, on fruit and plant uses and on distribution and origin. Links are provided to additional information, such as experts working on the different species, references and URLs, making the database a useful starting point in a search for more information on the selected species.
This information was compiled by Bioversity, CIRAD and CIAT from numerous sources, including so-called gray literature and trustworthy sources on the Internet. As of September 2004 the database holds information on 1253 fruit species belonging to 302 genera and 69 families.
Instead of using the classical botanical definition of a fruit, which includes cucumber, French beans and tomato, a more horticultural approach has been used to decide which species should be included in the database. For the purposes of this database, "fruits" are thus defined by being those reproductive plant parts, botanical definition of fruit, that have an elevated sugar or oil content and which most important consumption pattern is its use as a raw product or in sweet products or drinks.
We hope that this database will form a starting point in your search for information on fruits from the Americas.