Have you ever asked, “Why Does My Banana Have Red in it?”
There’s nothing worse than peeling a banana, biting into it, and finding that it has a completely red core.
Then again, perhaps you’ve noticed red spots on the inside fleshy part of a banana.
Either way, it doesn’t look particularly appetizing, but is it something you should be concerned about?
Allow me to reveal all.
Why Does My Banana Have Red in it?
The most common reason your banana has red in it is due to the fungal disease, nigrospora. This will cause the centre of a banana to turn dark red. If you see red spots on your banana it could also point to bacterial diseases such as mokillo, moko, and blood disease bacterium. None of these diseases are actually harmful to humans. However, there have been reported instances of illnesses, but it is felt that this is more down to psychosomatic reasons.
1. Your Banana Has a Fungal Disease
If you find that your banana has red in it this is likely to be the fungal disease, nigrospora.
This is an airborne bacterium typically found in soil, air, or the leaves of plants.
However, it is most commonly found in decaying plants.
When it comes to bananas, nigrospora is instantly recognizable by the dark red color through the centre.
Nigrospora is prevalent in tropical climates, where bananas are grown, and will also infect other tropical fruits.
If you notice red spots, red bruising, or red discoloration of a banana this could also point to mokillo, moko, or blood disease bacterium.
These are all bacterial diseases related to nigrospora.
With that being said, mokillo, often referred to as red finger, is rarely found in bananas.
If you don’t immediately notice nigrospora by sight it does have a crunchy texture, something you wouldn’t expect to find in a banana.
Furthermore, there were even once claims that this discoloration meant that a banana contained blood.
However, this is completely false.
Red Fungus Inside Banana
2. It’s Not Harmful to Humans
There has been much debate over the years as to whether nigrospora is harmful to humans.
A common response to this bacteria in humans is hayfever or asthma.
Plus, it is said that the Nigrospora species can be found in human eye and skin infections.
that being said, there have only ever been 4 reported cases of nigrospora-related eye or skin infections.
So, hardly what you’d call epidemic proportions.
Realistically, nigrospora cannot be considered to be a true human pathogen.
There have been reported cases of illnesses that stem from consuming bananas with red in them.
But, in truth, this is more psychosomatic than anything else.
Even so, there are a couple of well-documented cases of nigrospora in humans.
Firstly, there was the case of the 21-year old man who had onychomycosis, a fungal nail infection
Upon further investigation and DNA-testing it was found that the onychomycosis was caused by nigrospora.
Then there was a woman from South India who had been hit in the eye by a cow’s tail.
She was later diagnosed with a fungal corneal ulcer, which showed the presence of nigrospora.
3. The Panic of Seeing Red Inside a Banana
So, as you can see nigrospora is hardly something for humans to worry about.
However, that doesn’t mean that the mere sight of it doesn’t cause utter panic.
One such case was reported in the UK in 2015.
An eight-year-old girl bit into a banana to be greeted with a red streak inside.
It is said that the experience left her feeling sick, so after a non-emergency phone consultation, her mother took her to Accident and Emergency.
She was discharged the same day.
The incident actually caused quite a stir, but possibly more because of the lack of knowledge around nigrospora.
The girl’s mother spoke to the press, and the “offending” supermarket was made to issue an apology for the girl’s “distress”.
But, in reality, as we now know, any illness was potentially more in her mind than anything actual physical.
If your banana has red in it this is likely to be the fungal disease, nigrospora.
This is most commonly detected by dark red coloring through the core of a banana.
However, red spots or red streaks may be a sign of other closely-related bacterial disease.
Even though nigrospora doesn’t look particularly appealing, it is not actually harmful to humans.
But, if it is of concern to you, simply throw the banana away.
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