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Lesson Note

Subject: Food And Nutrition

Topic: Food Study
Sub Topic: Fruits

Lesson Objectives: By the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to:

  1. Define fruits;
  2. Classify fruits into different categories;
  3. State the nutritive value of fruits;
  4. State the factors to be considered when choosing fruits;
  5. Describe different methods of preparing fruits;
  6. Mention the forms or ways fruits can be served;
  7. State the effects of heat on fruits.
Lesson Summary Aids: see reference materials below contents.
Lesson Summary /Discussion


Fruits are the usually edible reproductive body of a seed plants especially one having a sweet pulp associated with the seed.

Classification of Fruit

Do note that when classifying fruits in Food and Nutrition, we use the culinary method and not botanical as both view fruits and other plants from different perspective. Many common language terms used for fruit and seeds differ from botanical classifications. For example, in botany, a fruit is a ripened ovary or carpel that contains seeds; e.g., an apple, pomegranate, tomato or a pumpkin. A nut is a type of fruit (and not a seed), and a seed is a ripened ovule. In culinary language, a fruit is the sweet- or not sweet- (even sour-) tasting produce of a specific plant (e.g., a peach, pear or lemon); nuts are hard, oily, non-sweet plant produce in shells (hazelnut, coconut, acorn). Vegetables, so called, typically are savoury or non-sweet produce (zucchini, lettuce, broccoli, and tomato); but some may be sweet-tasting (sweet potato). Examples of botanically classified fruit that typically are called vegetables include: cucumber, pumpkin, and squash (all are cucurbits); beans, peanuts, and peas (all legumes); corn, eggplant, bell pepper (or sweet pepper), and tomato, (see image). The spices chili pepper and allspice are fruits, botanically speaking. In contrast, rhubarb is often called a fruit when used in making pies, but the edible produce of rhubarb is actually the leaf stalk or petiole of the plant. Edible gymnosperm seeds are often given fruit names, e.g., ginkgo nuts and pine nuts. Botanically, a cereal grain, such as corn, rice, or wheat is a kind of fruit (termed a caryopsis). However, the fruit wall is thin and fused to the seed coat, so almost all the edible grain-fruit is actually a seed.
For Culinary purpose, fruit can be classified into two broad groups:
A. Fresh Fruits: these include;
  • Soft foods such as Berries, banana, guava, etc.
  • Hard fruits such as apples, pears, plums, melons, mangoes.
  • Citrus such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit.
B. Dried Fruits: e.g figs, apricots, dates, prunes etc.

Chart Showing Examples Of Fruits

Nutritive value of fruits

Fruits generally have limited nutritive the major nutrient in fruit is ascorbic acid. Almost all fruits contain physiological a significant amount of this vitamin. Since most fruits are often consumed raw, a large amount of vitamin C present is then consumed. Fruit also contain pectin which assist in the formation of jellies. most fruits contain small quantities of carotene and the B group of vitamins.
Fruit however contain little or no protein or fat. Ripe fruits contain no starch as they have been converted to sugar.

Factors to consider when choosing fruits.

Fruits should be fresh.

They must be free from insect infestation.
They must not be over ripe.
They must be firm to touch.
fruits in season such as bananas purple citrus and carrots are common during the dry season by guava and mangoes are common during the raining season.

Preparation of fruits

Raw Fruit: most fresh fruits when thoroughly ripe are suitable for serving raw. Most of the nutrients especially vitamin C and retained and consume in this manner. However when consuming raw fruit, they must be washed properly. washing is necessary so as to remove dust residual soil and other microorganisms which may be present on the fruit. The washing is then followed by peeling, in respect of some fruits such as banana mangos pawpaw pineapple citrus.
Cooked Fruit: sometimes fruits are cooked for variety to make it more palatable, increase it keeping quality, soften cellulose or cook the starch. for example green apples are cooked so as to improve their starch content.
Stewing: fruit can also be stewed in water or cooked in sugar syrup. Those fruit cooked in syrup usually maintain their shape better than those cooked in water. If the sugar concentration is about the same as the concentration of soluble materials in the fruit, the fruit tends to hold its shape during cooking. if however the sugar concentration in the syrup is higher than that of the fruit, water is withdrawn from the fruit by osmosis. This situation makes the fruit to shrinks and becomes tough.
Baking: this is another method of fruit preparation. This metal takes place in fruits such as apples. Apples are prepared for baking by coring and slitting the skin at right angles to the call around the middle of the Apple to avoid splitting during baking. For variety, fruit can be baked together with different ingredients.

Effect of Cooking Or Heat On Fruits

  1. When fruits are cooked or heated, the vitamin C content is partially destroyed and may even be completely destroyed if the cooking is very intense.
  2. The cellulose is is soften and the fruit therefore become softer and more digestible.
  3. Minerals are leached out into the water but are not lost if syrup made from the cooking water is served along with the fruit.
  4. Cooking help to destroy bacteria which may be present in the fruit.
  5. Burton necessary for the setting of jams and jellies is released or so when fruits are heated or cooked.

Methods of serving fruit

Fruit can be served whole fresh ripe and roll why they are ripe fruit fruit and fruit with hard seeds may be cooked. The juice can be squeezed out like citrus fruits and served in cups. also the juice can be squeezed from the fruit after it has been cooked and then used for making jellies or the fruit may be cooked to a pulp and served for making fruit fool. Fruit can also be served in form of salads.
Done studying? See previous lessons in Agricultural Science

Lesson Evaluation /Test

  1. What are fruits?
  2. State the classification of fruits with examples.
  3. List the factors that should be considered when choosing fruits.
  4. State the methods of serving fruits.
  5. What are the effects of heat on fruits?
Teachers/ Learners Discussion: List the various fruits in your locality and the season they are produced. Share your knowledge in the comment section.

Describe the various forms in which you consume fruits in your home. Share your knowledge in the comment section.

Questions answered correctly? Bravo!Do stay connected toMyschoollibrary for more educational contents!


McGee, Harold (2004). On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. Simon & Schuster. pp. 247–48. 

For a Supreme Court of the United States ruling on the matter, see Nix v. Hedden.


Olusanya et al. (2009), Food And Nutrition for Senior Secondary Schools. University Press Ibadan.

Image Credit: Pinterest.com, shutterstock.com

Note: Myschoollibrary considers the above academic resources appropriate and so were sourced for the development of this lesson. Hence no part of these reference materials should be lifted from this blog without due credence to the various sources.