Have you ever asked why my banana has 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.
The most common reason your banana has red in it is due to the fungal disease nigrospora. This will cause the center 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. Does Your Banana Have 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 center.
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. Is Nigrospora 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 hay fever or asthma.
Plus, it is said that the Nigrospora species can be found in the 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 a 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. Should I Panic When 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 about 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 actually 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 another 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.
You might be surprised to learn that not all bananas are yellow anyway and that red bananas could be better for you!