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Durian in the Philippines

The durian is the fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio. Many people in Southeast Asia call it the “king of fruits”. The durian is distinctive for its large size, strong odor, and formidable thorn-covered rind. The fruit can grow as large as 30 centimeters (12 in) long and 15 centimeters (6 in) in diameter, and it typically weighs one to three kilograms (2 to 7 lb.). Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the color of its husk green to brown, and its flesh pale yellow to red, depending on the species. There is some debate as to whether the durian is native to the Philippines or was introduced, particularly in the Davao region on the island of Mindanao.

Cultivation

It is strictly tropical and stops growing when mean daily temperatures drop below 22 °C (72 °F). A “durian crop production cycle” generally refers to the sequence of vegetative growth and reproductive development processes of the durian trees and how the farmer manipulates these processes that influence fruit production and quality in a growing season. Durian orchard management includes many farm activities and the use of production materials. Some of these activities are pruning, irrigation, fertilizer applications, pests and disease control, flower thinning, assisted pollination, fruit thinning, control of young shoot development during fruit growth, harvesting index, techniques, etc.

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Depending on the durian cultivars or clones, the fruits will mature and drop 3-5 months after flowering. In the Philippines, durian flowers usually bloom from April to June and the durians are harvested from August to November. This gives the Philippines great prospects for export as the harvest season is later than in other Southeast Asian countries. The ideal stage of ripeness to be enjoyed varies from region to region in Southeast Asia and by species. Some species grow so tall that they can only be collected once they have fallen to the ground, whereas other varieties are nearly always cut from the tree and allowed to ripen while waiting to be sold.

Varieties

Popular durian cultivars include two local selections (DES 806 and DES 916) and four selections developed from introduced cultivars Chanee, Monthong, Umali and CA 3266) and the hundreds of local durian selections which are not registered.

There are 10 varieties recommended for the planting in The Philippines:

Arancillo (ACC. 1497)

Tree height of 7-8 meters and has an intermediate to spreading growth habit. The ovoid, brownish green fruit weighs about 1,560 grams with Mimosa yellow, firm and creamy flesh. It has a mild aroma. It is prolific and consistent, has excellent eating quality and bears off-season fruits.

Oboza

The tree is strong with drooping branches and simple, alternate dark green, linear-oblong leaves. It has green fruit which is ellipsoidal in shape. The flesh is yellow in color and firm, soft and buttery.

Puyat

Like Oboza, Puyat is strong with drooping branches and has an intermediate growth habit. However, it has cylindrical greenish brown fruit with chrome yellow, firm, soft and buttery flesh. Puyat is Philippine’s main commercial durian variety. It’s exported to Singapore and China and is the main durian variety you’ll find if you visit Davao City when it’s not technically durian season.

Umali

This cultivar was selected from a seedling introduced from Thailand by the late Dean Umali of University of the Philippines at Los Banos (UPLB). The fruit is globose to elongated, 2-3 kg, yellowish-brown with golden yellow flesh. The recovery ratio is about 32% edible portion.

DES 806

The fruit is ellipsoid, weighs 2-4 kg, yellowish-green with a thick rind, medium length densely spaced spine and a short stalk. The flesh is yellow, sweet, very glutinous with a slightly bitter taste. The fruit has a 25% recovery edible portion.

DES 916

2-4 kg, greenish-brown with long, sharp, dense spines. The yellow flesh is sweet and glutinous and makes up about 25% edible portion.

Lacson #1

This tree has spreading growth habit with simple, alternate, dark green oblong leaves. It has obovate, brownish green fruit with yellow, smooth and firm flesh.

Chanee

This has come from Thailand. The fruit is ovoid with a broad and obtuse tip and greenish-brown rind. Each fruit weighs 2-5 kg. The golden yellow flesh is sweet and makes up 32% edible portion.

Monthong

Another introduction from Thailand. The fruit is elongated with a pronounced beak at the base. Each fruit weighs 2-5 kg and has a yellowish-brown rind. The flesh is creamy yellow, sweet and makes up 30% edible portion.

CA 3266

This cultivar comes from Indonesia. The fruit is globose, 1.5-2.5 kg, greenish-yellow and produces pale yellow and sweet flesh. The recovery ratio is about 25 % edible portion.

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Diseases

Leaf Spot

Leaf spot disease of durian caused by Phomopsis durionis is variable in size, ranging from 1 to 10 mm in diameter, with dark red-brown margins and yellow halos surrounding the lesions. The disease expresses on both mature and young leaves, but numerous spots are prevalent on the maturity stage of the leaf.

Phytophthora

Phytophthora palmivora (Butler) is one of the most destructive organisms causing several diseases in almost all growth stages of durian. The disease symptoms come in various forms such as root rot, seedling and tree die-back, patch canker or stem rot, and fruit rot before and after harvest, leading to high mortality and more than 30% yield loss in durian plantations.

Anthracnose

Anthracnose, caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, is one of the main diseases of this crop. This disease not only infects the stem but also the fruit. Diseased stem and fruit have symptoms of reddish-brown lesions with chlorotic haloes. The lesion has brown centers. The highest disease incidence happens due to farm unfavorable environmental condition and poor hygiene.

Uneven fruit ripening (UFR)

Uneven fruit ripening (UFR) is one of the three common physiological disorders that occur in durian fruits. UFR means a hardened leathery aril, and a whitish color, odorless and tasteless pulp. It normally occurs when the fruits are about to ripen and remains invisible until the fruits open.

Wet core

Wet core or water core makes the core at the center of the fruit and the flesh of the fruit very moist and soft. The main cause is heavy rain just before harvesting. Other factors include a high-water table during harvesting and low potassium in the soil. This disease occurs more often with young bearing trees.

Tip Burn

Tip burn of durian occurs when the tips of durian flesh turn dark brown. It usually occurs when there is the rapid growth of the flesh, insufficient nutrients supplied, or insufficient water during the flesh formation. Tip burn usually occurs in young bearing trees, large fruits which are early maturing, and unhealthy trees.

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Uses

Raw durian consists of 65% water, 27% carbohydrates (including 4% dietary fiber), 5% fat and 1% protein. In 100 grams, raw or fresh frozen durian provides 33% of the Daily Value (DV) of thiamin and moderate content of other B vitamins, vitamin C and the dietary mineral, manganese (15–24% DV).

Durian fruit is good to flavor a wide variety of sweet edibles such as traditional candy, rose biscuits, ice cream, milkshakes, mooncakes, and cappuccino. Dried durian flesh is good for durian chips. You can cook unripe durians as a vegetable, except in the Philippines, where all uses are sweet rather than savory. The durian seeds, which are the size of chestnuts, can be eaten whether they are boiled, roasted or fried in coconut oil, with a texture that is like yam, but stickier. Uncooked durian seeds are potentially toxic due to cyclopropane fatty acids and not good for eating. You can cook young leaves and shoots of the durian as greens. Sometimes people add the ash of the burned rind to special cakes. The nectar and pollen of the durian flower that honeybees collect is an important honey source, but the characteristics of the honey are unknown.

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Production

Presently, the country is actively expanding durian production, especially in the typhoon-free areas in Mindanao. Durian trees grow almost exclusive in Mindanao, particularly in Davao, Cotabato, Sulu and Agusan. In fact, Southern Mindanao is the ‘durian republic’ in the Philippines.

For more information on our export activities of Durian please contact us

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