What is fruit?
Fruit is broadly defined as the organ of any plant which contains the seeds for that plant's reproduction. Many fruits are edible to humans, while others are deadly toxic. Essentially, the term "fruit" indicates a vary diverse and broad spectrum of different entries.
What is the purpose of fruit?
From a botanical perspective, fruit is intended to accomplish the dispersal of its plant's seeds in order to ensure reproduction. Some fruiting plants employ bright colors and delicious plant tissue in order to entice creatures large and small to consume the fruits, along with the seeds, and thereby serve as vehicles for the plant's reproduction by carrying the seeds far off and defecating them in a new area of growth.
Why is fruit valued?
Many animals value fruits of all kinds for their remarkable nutritive qualities and taste. Fruits contain high levels of essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, which humans cannot synthesize on their own. British sailors still retain the old nickname "limeys" referring to their ration of limes that was enacted to ward off scurvey. Fruits are also packed with antioxidants, compounds which protect our bodies from oxidative stress caused by the release of free radicals during the process of cellular respiration.
Fruit in Cooking
Fruit is also valued for its diverse culinary applications. Not only do vintners produce wines and other alcoholic beverages from grapes, apples, raspberries and other fruits, but chefs worldwide have found inspiration in the preparation of fruit desserts like candied figs with balsamic vinegar, apple and pumpkin pies, grilled pineapples, and more. Syrups, jams, preserves, compotes and many ice creams are all fruit based.
Other Uses of Fruit
Non-edible plant fruits include the poppy of the opium plant, which contains both morphine and codeine. Many fruits, such as cranberries for urinary tract infections, are used medically. Waxes and cleaners are also derived from fruits; orange oil is an extremely powerful cleaner used in industrial grease removers.