Atis Fruit

Sugar-apple or atis has the scientific name Annona squamosa. Other name in use include custard apple, sweet sop, and sugar apple in the Philippines. The name atis came from old Mexican name ate that was brought to the Philippines by Spaniards. Other English name for atis is sweet sop. Atis originated as a native specie in the Americas and was introduced to the Philippines and to the rest of Asia. Atis fruit is mainly produced for its sweet and nutritious fruit. The fruits are green ripe and raw. The young fruit is hard and dark green in color while the near-ripe fruit is yellow green or whitish green. The flowers of the fruit are yellowish or green. The ripe fruits are eaten by opening the segments that tend to easily separate when ripe, exposing the fleshy white and creamy interior. Seeds are not eaten since it is not edible.

Atis Fruit Nutrient Value

Shown below is the nutritional value for 100 grams of ripe Sugar apple apple or atis fruit:

Energy 94 kcal
Carbohydrates 23.64 g
Dietary fiber 4.4 g
Fat 0.29 g
Protein 2.06 g
Vitamins
Vitamin B1 (10%) 0.11 mg
Vitamin B2 (9%) 0.113 mg
Vitamin B3 (6%) 0.883 mg
Vitamin B5 (5%) 0.226 mg
Vitamin B6 (15%) 0.2 mg
Vitamin B9 (4%) 14 μg
Vitamin C (44%) 36.3 mg
Minerals
Calcium (2%) 24 mg
Iron (5%) 0.6 mg
Magnesium (6%) 21 mg
Manganese (20%) 0.42 mg
Phosphorus (5%) 32 mg
Potassium (5%) 247 mg
Sodium (1%) 9 mg
Zinc (1%) 0.1 mg

Atis Fruit Production

Atis fruit is easy to propagate. It’s production in the Philippines is sufficient available to local markets thanks to local atis fruit producers. Atis is a small tree that grows between 10 – 20 ft in height with oblong leaves with pointed tip and green heart-shaped conical or spherical fruits with polygonal tubercles. The small tree height of atis enables dense planting for atis farm. Separate every atis tree at 1.5 to 2 meter distance.
Seeds can be obtained from a ripe fruit. The color of the seeds are black when fully mature. Each fruit may bear 20-50 seeds. It can be placed on black plastic bags to be grown as seedlings. The seedlings can be transplanted after the atis develops 5 real leaves. Transplanting the seedlings involves clearing the field by weeding and loosening of the soil. The organic matter content of the soil can be enhanced by adding compost materials. Fertilizers can also be applied for fast growth of the young atis tree. You may apply slow release tree fertilizers from commercial inorganic fertilizers of the form 6-6-6. Tree fertilizers has nitrogen to speed plant growth and makes green leaves. Phosphorous is good for the formation of plant stems and branches. Potash encourages the growth of a healthy root system.

Fertilizers

Fertilizers are applied to enrich the nutrient content of the soil. The tree will need complete fertilizers. The tree may get the nutrients from applied organic fertilizers in the form of composts and leaf mulching. Apply 14-14-14 or complete commercial fertilizer if compost is not available.

Weeding can be done and the weeds may be turned as mulching for added organic matter to the atis tree roots and also to retain moisture near the plant root. The plant is not sensitive to low precipitation. The tree has extensive root system that grows well on any soil. Irrigating the atis tree farm can be done every 2-3 weeks using hose or manually watering the trees when in the middle of dry season. Cultivation of the soil is optional but can be done along weeding.

Pest and Disease Management

Insect Pests include Annona Seed Borer which are pests laid to the young fruit by female annona seed borer. The fruits are damaged as the larvae grow from the inside of the atis fruit which causes the fruit to either die or have damaged mature fruits. The fruits has noticeable holes and dark marks that indicates that the fruit is infected. Plumose Scale causes poor tree branch strength, leave loss, yellow leaves, and non-developing leave shots that may result to stunted atis tree growth. Mealy Bugs infects the end of the fruit stem or the shaded part of the atis fruit. Mealy bugs are small, white, scale insects. They produces a dark sugary coating int he atis fruit that can become a host site for fungi. As a result, the fruit is covered with dark coat or sooty mold. Ambrosia Beetles attack branch and trunk of sugar apple trees. They hide in the bark of the atis tree and bore holes in the process which may attract fungi infestation. The damage to the branch and wood of the atis tree causes drying of the tree that may result to tree death.

Diseases are also present on atis trees. Fruit Rot causes the fruits to die and fell fruit the tree. The fruit is turned into dark fruits colored brown or dark drown. The fruits will not recover in the start of the seed borer infestation and with the fungi spread, the fruits will loose the green color. 

Harvesting

Flowers begin to appear at March, April and May. Atis fruits will start as small fruits and become ready for harvesting during its fruiting season in the months of July, August, September, October, and November. Harvesting is done by hands. Fruits are carefully collected in plastic baskets or woven baskets or kaing. A fruit may bear 10 to 30 fruits per season that may range in size as small, medium and large. Smaller fruits are cheaper per kilo versus the bigger fruits. The quality of the fruits are seen based on size, color, and degree of ripening. The ripening fruit has dark outer marks on the fruit skin. The fruits that are mature has shallower tubercles compared to younger fruits which has deep ridged fruit skin. They are also more whitish and bigger in terms of size. The fruits are sold locally on fruit shops or stalls and at public market. They are also seen on some hypermarket and supermarket. Fruits may be sold per kilo or by piece. Harvesting immature atis fruit should be avoided since the fruit will not become edible and will turn brown. The immature fruits dont have good value in the market.

By Kyle

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