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okra
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{{other uses}}{{speciesbox|name = Okra|image = Hong Kong Okra Aug 25 2012.JPG|image_caption = Okra plant with mature and developing fruits in Hong Kong|image2 = Ladies' Finger BNC.jpg|image2_caption = Okra in longitudinal section|genus = Abelmoschus|species = esculentus
Carl Linnaeus>L.) Moench|range_map = Okraoutput.png|range_map_alt = Map showing worldwide okra production|range_map_caption = Worldwide okra production|synonyms =
  • Abelmoschus bammia Webb
  • abelmoschus longifolius (Willd.) Kostel.
  • Abelmoschus officinalis (DC.) Endl.
  • Abelmoschus praecox Sickenb.
  • Abelmoschus tuberculatus Pal & Singh
  • Hibiscus esculentus L.
  • Hibiscus hispidissimus A.Chev. nom. illeg.
  • Hibiscus longifolius Willd.
  • Hibiscus praecox Forssk.|synonyms_ref = WEB,weblink The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, 3 October 2014,
}}Okra ({{IPAc-en|US|ˈ|oʊ|k|r|ə}}, {{IPAc-en|UK|ˈ|ɒ|k|r|ə}}), Abelmoschus esculentus, known in many English-speaking countries as ladies' fingers or ochro, is a flowering plant in the mallow family. It is valued for its edible green seed pods. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of West African, Ethiopian, and South Asian origins. The plant is cultivated in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world.BOOK, National Research Council, Lost Crops of Africa: Volume II: Vegetables,weblink 2008-07-15, Lost Crops of Africa, 2, 2006-10-27, National Academies Press, 978-0-309-10333-6, Okra,weblink

Etymology and common name

First used around 1670, the name okra is from a West African language, possibly Igbo .WEB,weblink Okra, Etymology Online Dictionary, Douglas Harper, Inc, 2019, 6 August 2019, Gombo (from American-French)WEB, Gumbo,weblink Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 6 August 2019, 2019, has origin around 1805, becoming the name gumbo used in parts of the Southeastern United States and the English-speaking Caribbean (via Portuguese and Spanish quingombo). In India, it is known by the names vendakkai (alternatively bendakkai) and bhindi even in English.NEWS,weblink A strange correlation between maths and a vegetable, Srikrishna, Chitra, 29 October 2017, The Hindu, 2 May 2018, NEWS,weblink 'Food was my saviour', Sharma, Priyanka, 25 August 2012, Business Standard, 20 September 2018,

Origin and distribution

(File:Okra(Abelmoschus esculentus).JPG|thumb|left|Whole plant with blossom and immature pod)Okra is an allopolyploid of uncertain parentage (proposed parents include Abelmoschus ficulneus, A. tuberculatus and a reported "diploid" form of okra). Truly wild (as opposed to naturalised) populations are not known with certainty and the species may be a cultigen. The geographical origin of okra is disputed, with supporters of South Asian, Ethiopian and West African origins. The Egyptians and Moors of the 12th and 13th centuries used the Arabic word for the plant, bamya, suggesting it had come into Egypt from Arabia, but earlier it was probably taken from Ethiopia to Arabia. The plant may have entered southwest Asia across the Red Sea or the Bab-el-Mandeb straight to the Arabian Peninsula, rather than north across the Sahara, or from India. One of the earliest accounts is by a Spanish Moor who visited Egypt in 1216 and described the plant under cultivation by the locals who ate the tender, young pods with meal."Okra, or 'Gumbo,' from Africa, tamu.edu From Arabia, the plant spread around the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and eastward. The plant was introduced to the Americas by ships plying the Atlantic slave trade" Okra gumbo and rice" {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20051028115752weblink |date=2005-10-28 }} by Sheila S. Walker, The News Courier, unknown date by 1658, when its presence was recorded in Brazil. It was further documented in Suriname in 1686. Okra may have been introduced to southeastern North America from Africa in the early 18th century. By 1748, it was being grown as far north as Philadelphia. Thomas Jefferson noted it was well established in Virginia by 1781. It was commonplace throughout the Southern United States by 1800, and the first mention of different cultivars was in 1806.

Botany and cultivation

(File:Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) cross-section - 20080613.png|thumb|left|Latitudinal cross-section of the okra pod)The species is a perennial, often cultivated as an annual in temperate climates, and often grows to around {{convert|2|m|ft}} tall. As a member of the Malvaceae, it is related to such species as cotton, cocoa, and hibiscus. The leaves are {{convert|10–20|cm|in}} long and broad, palmately lobed with 5–7 lobes. The flowers are {{convert|4–8|cm|in}} in diameter, with five white to yellow petals, often with a red or purple spot at the base of each petal. The pollens are spherical with approximately 188 microns diameter. (File:Pollens of Abelmoschus esculentus.jpg|thumb|Pollens of Abelmoschus esculentus) The fruit is a capsule up to {{convert|18|cm|in}} long with pentagonal cross-section, containing numerous seeds.Abelmoschus esculentus is cultivated throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions of the world for its fibrous fruits or pods containing round, white seeds. It is among the most heat- and drought-tolerant vegetable species in the world and will tolerate soils with heavy clay and intermittent moisture, but frost can damage the pods. In cultivation, the seeds are soaked overnight prior to planting to a depth of {{convert|1–2|cm|in}}. Germination occurs between six days (soaked seeds) and three weeks. Seedlings require ample water. The seed pods rapidly become fibrous and woody and, to be edible as a vegetable, must be harvested when immature, usually within a week after pollination.WEB,weblink Okra Seed, 2012-10-17, Okra is available in two varieties, green and red. Red okra carries the same flavor as the more popular green okra and differs only in color. When cooked, the red okra pods turn green.WEB,weblink Red Okra Information, Recipes and Facts, 2015-09-30, The most common disease afflicting the okra plant is verticillium wilt, often causing a yellowing and wilting of the leaves. Other diseases include powdery mildew in dry tropical regions, leaf spots, and root-knot nematodes.WEB,weblink Growing okra, 19 September 2007, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Queensland, 24 June 2012, dead,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20120611011649weblink">weblink June 11, 2012,

Food and uses

{{anchor|Okra bean}}(File:Stir-Fried-Okra-2008.jpg|thumb|left|Stir-fried okra with diced chili peppers){{nutritional value| name=Okra, raw| kJ=138| water=89.6 g| protein=1.9 g| fat = 0.19 g| carbs=7.46 g| fibre=3.3 g| sugars=1.48 g| calcium_mg=82| iron_mg=0.62| magnesium_mg=57| potassium_mg=299| phosphorus_mg=61| zinc_mg=0.58| vitC_mg=23| thiamin_mg=0.2| riboflavin_mg=0.06| niacin_mg=1| folate_ug=60| vitA_ug=36| vitE_mg=0.27| vitK_ug=31.3| note=Link to Full USDA Database entry| float = right}}The products of the plant are mucilaginous, resulting in the characteristic "goo" or slime when the seed pods are cooked; the mucilage contains soluble fiber.JOURNAL, 27004112, 4779480, 2015, Gemede, H. F., Proximate, mineral, and antinutrient compositions of indigenous Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) pod accessions: Implications for mineral bioavailability, Food Science & Nutrition, 4, 2, 223–33, Haki, G. D., Beyene, F, Woldegiorgis, A. Z., Rakshit, S. K., 10.1002/fsn3.282, Pods are cooked, pickled, eaten raw, or included in salads. In India the pods stuffed with spices are a popular dish.BOOK, Shubhra Ramineni, Healthy Indian Vegetarian Cooking: Easy Recipes for the Hurry Home Cook [Vegetarian Cookbook, Over 80 Recipes],weblink 25 June 2013, Tuttle Publishing, 978-1-4629-1177-6, 92, Okra may be used in developing countries to mitigate malnutrition and alleviate food insecurity.

Nutrition

Raw okra is 90% water, 2% protein, 7% carbohydrates and negligible in fat. In a 100 gram amount, raw okra is rich (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) in dietary fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K, with moderate contents of thiamin, folate and magnesium (table).

Leaves and seeds

Young okra leaves may be cooked in a similar way to the greens of beets or dandelions.network.com: Okra Greens and Corn Saute {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20071015114924weblink |date=2007-10-15 }}, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, 1996 The leaves are also eaten raw in salads. Okra seeds may be roasted and ground to form a caffeine-free substitute for coffee. When importation of coffee was disrupted by the American Civil War in 1861, the Austin State Gazette said, "An acre of okra will produce seed enough to furnish a plantation with coffee in every way equal to that imported from Rio."Austin State Gazette [TEX.], November 9, 1861, p. 4, c. 2, copied in Confederate Coffee Substitutes: Articles from Civil War Newspapers {{webarchive |url=https://web.archive.org/web/20070928062031weblink |date=September 28, 2007 }}, University of Texas at TylerGreenish-yellow edible okra oil is pressed from okra seeds; it has a pleasant taste and odor, and is high in unsaturated fats such as oleic acid and linoleic acid.JOURNAL, Okra, Potential Multiple-Purpose Crop for the Temperate Zones and Tropics, Martin, Franklin W., 36, 1982, 340–345, Economic Botany, 10.1007/BF02858558, 3, The oil content of some varieties of the seed is about 40%. At 794 kg/ha, the yield was exceeded only by that of sunflower oil in one trial.JOURNAL, Mays, D.A., W. Buchanan, B.N. Bradford, and P.M. Giordano, 1990, Fuel production potential of several agricultural crops, 260–263, Advances in New Crops, A 1920 study found that a sample contained 15% oil.JOURNAL, 10.1021/ja01446a023, Okra Seed Oil.1, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 42, 166, 1920, Jamieson, George S., Baughman, Walter F.,weblink A 2009 study found okra oil suitable for use as a biofuel.JOURNAL, Farooq, Anwar, Umer Rashid, Muhammad Ashraf, Muhammad Nadeem, March 2010, Okra (Hibiscus esculentus) seed oil for biodiesel production, Applied Energy, 87, 3, 779–785, 10.1016/j.apenergy.2009.09.020,

Industrial uses

Bast fibre from the stem of the plant has industrial uses such as the reinforcement of polymer composites.JOURNAL, De Rosa, I.M., Kenny, J.M., Puglia, D., Santulli, C., Sarasini, F., 2010, Morphological, thermal and mechanical characterization of okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) fibres as potential reinforcement in polymer composites, Composites Science and Technology, 70, 1, 116–122, 10.1016/j.compscitech.2009.09.013, The mucilage produced by the okra plant can be used for the removal of turbidity from wastewater by virtue of its flocculent properties.{{Citation|title=Flocculation behavior of mallow and okra mucilage in treating wastewater |author=Konstantinos Anastasakis, Dimitrios Kalderis, and Evan Diamadopoulos |journal=Desalination |year=2009 |volume=249 |issue=2 |pages=786–791 |doi=10.1016/j.desal.2008.09.013 }}{{Citation|title=Study on Flocculation Efficiency of Okra Gum in Sewage Waste Water |author=Monika Agarwal, Rajani Srinivasan, and Anuradha Mishra |journal=Macromolecular Materials and Engineering |year=2001 |volume=286 |issue=9 |pages=560–563 |doi=10.1002/1439-2054(20010901)286:93.0.CO;2-B }} Having composition similar to a thick polysaccharide film, okra mucilage is under development as a biodegradable food packaging, as of 2018.JOURNAL, Araújo, Antonio, Galvão, Andrêssa, Filho, Carlos Silva, Mendes, Francisco, Oliveira, Marília, Barbosa, Francisco, Filho, Men Sousa, Bastos, Maria, Okra mucilage and corn starch bio-based film to be applied in food, Polymer Testing, 71, 2018, 0142-9418, 10.1016/j.polymertesting.2018.09.010, 352–361,

Gallery

{{Gallery|title=Okra
height=150|align=center|footer=|File:Giant okra plant.jpg|Large okra plant|File:Okra blossom with pollen.png|Okra flower blossom close-up|File:Okra seedling, hydroponic, 7days.JPG|Okra cotyledon|File:Okra with corriander.pngSautéing>Sautéed okra with corianderShrimp gumbo with pieces of okra|File:బెండకాయ పోపు కూర.jpg|Okra curry|File:Манџа од бамји.jpgtomato>tomatoes|File:Ladies finger bharta.jpg|Bhindi bharta, a south Asian okra dish}}

References

{{Reflist|30em}}

External links

{{Commons category|Abelmoschus esculentus}}{{Cookbook|Okra}}{{Wiktionary}}{{WestAfricanPlants|Abelmoschus esculentus}}{{Taxonbar|from=Q80531}}{{Authority control}}


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