Ever heard Ackee fruit? This is one of the most dangerous foods in the world and is prohibited in the United States.
Ackee or Achee fruit comes from the ackee plant (Blighia sapida), which grows in West Africa. The name ackee itself comes from the word ‘ankye,’ which is a word in the Ghanaian language.
Summarized from Landdisposition.com, the fruit, which is now an icon of Jamaica, was brought by African slaves to the Caribbean and Jamaica. In 1793, Captain William Bligh brought the ackee plant to England and made it known to the western world. William Bligh also played a role in giving the botanical name to this plant.
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The red Ackee is ripe with the characteristics of its lower part being split and showing three shiny seeds. The seeds are surrounded by yellowish, greasy, and thick flesh. This fruit contains vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, to calcium. Besides, according to the Pan American Health Organization, Ackee is a good source of fat.
Various products are produced from processed Ackee, one of the famous Jamaican foods called Ackee and saltfish. Because of its popularity, this food is even called national food. A dish made from boiled ackee stew, cod, tomatoes. And this onion has also been named the 10th best national food in the world, according to the National Geographic version.
In addition to being a favourite dish, Ackee has also become an important role in socio-economic Jamaica because it has opened up employment opportunities for rural communities who plant and process it. But behind its positive effects, Ackee turns out to be a big threat when consumed carelessly. This fruit must be consumed in a ripe condition. If it’s still raw or undercooked, the fruit causes people to vomit and even die.
Green to yellow ackee fruit contains hypoglycin A, and hypoglycin B. Hypoglycine A is a more benign amino acid propionate than hypoglycin B, which is a derivative of hypoglycin A. Both of these substances play a role in reducing blood sugar levels in the body. In addition, these fruit seeds are also poisonous.
People who have eaten raw Ackee will usually start experiencing nausea and vomiting after consuming it for 2-6 hours. These symptoms are exacerbated by palpitations, headaches, to the body limp. After 18 hours, symptoms of nausea and vomiting will reappear. If not treated immediately, that person can die.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services, bans the import of fresh Ackee except for some producers who are still permitted to sell frozen Ackee. Also, the FDA continues to provide guidelines for monitoring ackee products that are approved for marketing.