There are loads of reasons why papaya smell so bad. Some people say it’s because of the plant’s natural latex. Others believe that it causes the smell when a fruit is ripe enough to start rotting. But, these are just myths and not true. Here are some unusual things that you might know about the fruit.
If you’re not familiar with papaya, then you may be wondering how this fruit that’s so delicious in tropical countries could smell so bad. The answer lies in the leaves of the plant where a chemical called malic acid is found. This acid gives papayas their sour and sharp taste.
A lot of people who are allergic to it will experience itchy eyes, sneezing, and coughing when they eat or even smell it for too long. In addition to that, certain fruits like mangoes and bananas can also cause allergic reactions which is why these fruits are often paired with papayas in dishes like fruit salad.
You might be wondering why more people don’t have this reaction since eating foods that contain malic acid isn’t usually a problem for most people. Here are some theories as to why some people might have reactions while others don’t.
Why Does Papaya Smell So Bad?
Papaya is often mocked for its smell and unique shape. If you don’t know what to do with the fruit, you can give it away or compost it. While the taste of the papaya is not as bad as its smell, it often still leaves consumers feeling disappointed. The fruit is also known for being one of the most toxic fruits on earth.
Malic acid can also be found in apples, pears, cherries, plums, and apricots. This acid tastes sour or sharp because it contains the carbonyl group (-C=O). The carbonyl group attaches to water molecules on its surface which makes the molecule highly reactive. on its surface to make hydrogen sulfide gas which makes the fruit smell bad.
The malic acid gives papayas their smell by breaking down proteins within avocado leaves which cause the reaction between malic acid and proteins to release sulfur dioxide gas. The sulfur dioxide gas then binds with water molecules
Unusual Facts About The Fruit
- Papaya is also known for being one of the most toxic fruits on earth
- Papaya contains a chemical called methyl mercaptan. This chemical is known to be very strong, and it’s what gives the fruit its distinctive smell
- The other weird thing about this fruit is that it has an enzyme called papain that breaks down proteins in the stomach. This makes digestion harder for your body, and if you’re not careful with how much of these fruits you eat, you could end up with serious nausea or vomiting.
- Papaya seeds are poisonous because of the neurotoxin chaconine
- The last bizarre fact about this fruit is that when it’s ripe enough to eat, it tastes sweet. But when it’s unripe, the fruit will taste really sour and unpleasant to eat.
The Most Common Reactions To Eating Or Smelling The Papaya
The most common reactions that people have to eat or smelling papaya are a sore throat and itchiness in their eyes.
This occurs because malic acid can cause irritation on your throat and nose as well as lightheadedness and sneezing.
If someone’s malic acid allergy is more severe, then other reactions include hives, abdominal cramps, vomiting, swelling of the tongue, difficulty breathing, and even swelling of the lips.
One major reason why people have reactions to the malic acid in papayas is that it can irritate mucous membranes which include your nose, throat, and lungs.
Papayas have a lot of natural sugars and vitamins which makes them a healthy snack and food option. Sugars in the fruit can cause allergic reactions in some people
How To Reduce The Smell
But what can you do to reduce the smell? Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to avoid unpleasant situations and make your papaya smell better!
- Soak the fruit in vinegar for 20 minutes before cutting
- Cut off the top of the fruit and put it in the freezer for 10 minutes
- Put the fruit in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes before cutting
- Put two tablespoons of baking soda in a blender with 8 cups of water and mix. Pour into a bowl and put the fruit in it for 10 minutes
- Place an avocado seed in a bowl of water, then put the papaya on top of it for 10 minutes. The avocado seed will absorb the smell and create an air freshener for your fruit bowl!
- Put a handful of activated charcoal in a bowl and put your ripe papaya on top of it. The charcoal will absorb the smell so it doesn’t make you sick when you cut into the fruit.
Ever wonder why the fruit you love to eat smells so bad when you cut into it? There is a lot more to the papaya than meets the eye. These are the most interesting facts about the fruit that you may not have been aware of.
One of the most unusual facts about the fruit is that papaya contains a chemical called methyl mercaptan. This chemical is known to be very strong, and it’s what gives the fruit its distinctive smell.
The fruit is that it has an enzyme that breaks down proteins in the stomach. This makes digestion harder for your body, and if you’re not careful with how much of these fruits you eat, you could end up with serious nausea or vomiting.
The malic acid gives papayas their smell by breaking down proteins within avocado leaves which cause the reaction between malic acid and proteins to release sulfur dioxide gas. The sulfur dioxide gas then binds with water molecules.
Intrigued right? Now you know why papaya smells.