Eggplant

what is Eggplant?

Eggplant, also known as aubergine, is a fruit that belongs to the nightshade family Solanaceae. The scientific name of the plant is Solanum melongena, and it is native to the Indian subcontinent. The plant is known for its elongated, egg-shaped, and glossy purple fruit. However, eggplants also come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, including white, green, and yellow.

Eggplants are known by different names around the world. For instance, in the United Kingdom, the plant is called "aubergine," while in the United States, it is called "eggplant." In Australia, it is called "eggfruit," while in India, it is called "baingan." Other names for the fruit include "brinjal," "melanzane," and "garden egg."

The plant has been cultivated for over 1,500 years and has been used in various cuisines around the world. The fruit is known for its meaty texture and versatile flavor, making it a popular ingredient in vegetarian and vegan dishes. Additionally, the plant is easy to grow and is considered a low-maintenance crop, which has contributed to its popularity in many parts of the world.

In addition to its culinary uses, eggplant has also been used for medicinal purposes in some cultures. For example, in traditional Chinese medicine, the fruit has been used to treat ailments such as constipation, fever, and high blood pressure. Similarly, in Ayurvedic medicine, the plant has been used to treat conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and stomach ulcers.

Eggplant Production in the World

China is the top country producing Eggplant in the world. As of 2022, China produced 38,284,897 tonnes of Eggplant, accounting for 64.55% of the total production. India is the world's second-largest Eggplant producer, with 12,765,000 tonnes, which represents 21.52% of the total production. In terms of Eggplant yield, the Netherlands (Kingdom of the) is the most productive country on the planet with 5,076,923. Egypt, Türkiye, and Indonesia are the top three leading countries with '1,396,725', '781,242', '691,738', and '618,542' tonnes respectively. Nauru has the lowest production of Eggplant in the world with only 1 tonne in 2022. The world's total production of eggplant was estimated at 59,312,598 tonnes in 2022.

Source: FAOSTAT

Top 10 Countries by Eggplant Production in 2022

Top Countries by Production of Eggplant in 2022

Rank Country production(Tonnes) acreage(Hectare) Yield
1
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China
38,284,897816,769468,736
2
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India
12,765,000675,000189,111
3
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Egypt
1,396,72541,808334,079
4
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Türkiye
781,24216,675468,511
5
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Indonesia
691,73850,400137,249
6
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Bangladesh
618,54254,205114,112
7
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Iran (Islamic Republic of)
595,94320,478291,022
8
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Italy
307,4309,600320,240
9
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Japan
294,6007,950370,566
10
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Spain
276,3203,650757,041
11
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Philippines
248,15121,963112,988
12
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Algeria
207,5496,626313,214
13
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Uzbekistan
203,8899,183222,037
14
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Iraq
183,05612,388147,769
15
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Syrian Arab Republic
141,1227,641184,690
16
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Sri Lanka
128,24910,772119,058
17
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Kazakhstan
125,1935,316235,502
18
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Saudi Arabia
118,8503,980298,618
19
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Côte d'Ivoire
110,84520,00055,423
20
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Mexico
108,3581,899570,651
21
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Mali
106,8457,059151,360
22
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United States of America
98,5852,650371,967
23
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Pakistan
95,0016,667142,494
24
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Azerbaijan
91,6754,451205,959
25
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Rwanda
89,2658,564104,226
26
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Sudan
87,83411,77474,603
27
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Jordan
79,8541,991401,133
28
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Netherlands
66,0001305,076,923
29
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Romania
64,5604,140155,942
30
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Morocco
60,9982,690226,758
31
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Armenia
57,3481,599358,647
32
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Guyana
52,8523041,740,917
33
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Ghana
52,6856,53980,572
34
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Democratic People's Republic of Korea
49,5885,60288,521
35
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Palestine
48,7311,020477,860
36
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Malaysia
46,1292,606177,011
37
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Greece
44,500970458,763
38
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France
42,4801,410301,277
39
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Israel
38,6221,642235,155
40
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Oman
38,004992383,252
41
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Malawi
35,0641,103317,965
42
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Albania
33,8901,180287,223
43
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Taiwan
33,3571,297257,150
44
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Kuwait
32,514436746,351
45
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Ukraine
30,3502,200137,955
46
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Lebanon
26,7751,353197,881
47
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Dominican Republic
25,3893,53871,760
48
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Thailand
21,032715294,046
49
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Honduras
18,963540351,199
50
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Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
16,4291,433114,667
51
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United Arab Emirates
15,158426356,241
52
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Niger
14,967706212,022
53
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Belgium
13,800304,600,000
54
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Colombia
13,5841,195113,690
55
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Bulgaria
9,690420230,714
56
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Fiji
7,128320223,000
57
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Republic of Moldova
6,20090068,889
58
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Qatar
5,684213266,942
59
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Portugal
5,39090598,889
60
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Republic of Korea
5,141304169,073
61
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Yemen
4,71262475,551
62
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Senegal
4,372432101,196
63
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Mauritius
3,165279113,441
64
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Georgia
2,9001,25423,119
65
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Congo
2,62126698,606
66
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Libya
2,570133192,621
67
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Cameroon
2,17732467,267
68
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Serbia
2,052100204,609
69
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Madagascar
1,78643541,062
70
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Austria
1,770101,770,000
71
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Bahrain
1,62622735,917
72
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Croatia
1,50090166,667
73
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Cyprus
1,30030433,333
74
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Puerto Rico
1,08189122,059
75
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North Macedonia
97153183,545
76
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Poland
900--
77
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Trinidad and Tobago
88636124,542
78
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Haiti
86268126,433
79
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Malta
820--
80
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Hungary
74030246,667
81
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Tunisia
70851139,890
82
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Kyrgyzstan
58530019,509
83
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Dominica
50310050,261
84
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Jamaica
46036127,778
85
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Slovenia
34020170,000
86
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Peru
28624119,167
87
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Hong Kong
27117156,274
88
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Brunei Darussalam
2112679,807
89
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Bhutan
1976928,408
90
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New Caledonia
1537210,285
91
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Gabon
1022051,886
92
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Costa Rica
961852,241
93
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Djibouti
592263,088
94
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Antigua and Barbuda
35843,628
95
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Sweden
20--
96
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Nauru
1--

Cultivation of Eggplant

Cultivation of eggplant involves several key steps, including site selection, seed selection, soil preparation, planting, fertilization, pest management, and harvesting.

Here are some important points to keep in mind when cultivating eggplant:

  1. Site selection: Eggplants require a warm and sunny location, sheltered from the wind, with well-drained soil. The ideal temperature range for eggplant cultivation is between 24-30°C (75-86°F).
  2. Seed selection: Choose high-quality seeds from a reputable supplier. Eggplant seeds should be sown in trays indoors about 8 weeks before the last expected frost date.
  3. Soil preparation: Eggplants require well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0. The soil should be prepared by adding organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve soil fertility and structure.
  4. Planting: Once the final frost date has passed, it is recommended to transplant the seedlings outdoors. The seedlings should be placed in rows with a spacing of about 90-120cm (36-48in) and each plant should be placed approximately 45-60cm (18-24in) apart from one another.
  5. Fertilization: Eggplants require regular fertilization with a balanced fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Fertilizer should be applied every 2-3 weeks throughout the growing season.
  6. Pest management: Various pests, such as aphids, flea beetles, and spider mites, can cause harm to eggplants. To avoid plant damage, it is essential to implement pest management strategies at the beginning of the growing season.
  7. Harvesting: Eggplants are ready for harvest when they are firm, shiny, and have a uniform color. They should be harvested by cutting the fruit from the plant with a sharp knife or pruning shears.

By following these key steps, eggplant growers can successfully cultivate this delicious and nutritious fruit.

Health Benefits of Eggplant

Eggplants, also known as aubergines, are nutritious fruit that can provide several health benefits when consumed regularly. Here are some of the health benefits associated with eating eggplants:

  1. Rich in antioxidants: Eggplants are rich in antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and chlorogenic acid, which can help protect against oxidative stress and cellular damage.
  2. May lower the risk of heart disease: The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 found in eggplants may help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and reducing cholesterol levels.
  3. May improve digestion: Eggplants are a good source of fiber, which can promote healthy digestion and reduce the risk of constipation.
  4. May aid in weight loss: Eggplants are low in calories and high in fiber, making them an excellent food for those looking to lose weight.
  5. May improve brain function: The phytonutrients found in eggplants, such as nasunin, may help protect brain cells from damage and improve overall brain function.
  6. May reduce the risk of certain cancers: Some studies suggest that the antioxidants found in eggplants may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as colon cancer.

Overall, eggplants are a healthy and nutritious food that can be easily incorporated into a balanced diet.

Nutritional Information of Eggplant

Here is the approximate nutrition information for 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of raw eggplant:

  • Calories: 25
  • Carbohydrates: 5.7 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 2.2 milligrams (4% of the Daily Value)
  • Vitamin K: 3.5 micrograms (4% of the Daily Value)
  • Folate: 22 micrograms (5% of the Daily Value)
  • Potassium: 229 milligrams (6% of the Daily Value)
  • Manganese: 0.2 milligrams (9% of the Daily Value)

Note that these values may vary slightly depending on the specific variety and preparation method of the eggplant.

Structure of Eggplant

Belonging to the nightshade family, the eggplant (or aubergine) possesses a distinct structure that sets it apart from the majority of other fruits and vegetables. Below are some of the essential structural characteristics of the eggplant:

  1. Shape: Eggplants typically have a bulbous or oval shape with a slightly curved stem at one end.
  2. Skin: The skin of an eggplant is typically smooth, shiny, and deep purple. However, there are also other varieties with colors ranging from white to green to purple.
  3. Flesh: The flesh of eggplant is spongy and contains numerous small seeds. It is typically white or pale yellow.
  4. Stem: The stem of an eggplant is woody and slightly curved, and is usually removed before cooking.
  5. Leaves: Eggplant plants have large, lobed leaves that are slightly fuzzy to the touch.
  6. Size: Eggplants can range in size from small and round to long and thin, depending on the variety.

Overall, the unique structure of the eggplant makes it a versatile ingredient in a wide range of dishes, from stews and curries to dips and salads.

Types of Eggplant

There are several different types of eggplant, each with its unique characteristics. Here are some of the most common types of eggplant:

  1. Classic eggplant: This is the most commonly recognized type of eggplant. It has dark purple, shiny skin and a large, oval shape.
  2. Italian eggplant: This type of eggplant is smaller and more elongated than the classic eggplant. It has thinner skin and is often used in Italian cuisine.
  3. Japanese eggplant: This type of eggplant is long and thin with dark purple skin. It has a sweeter, milder flavor than the classic eggplant and is often used in stir-fries and tempura.
  4. Chinese eggplant: This type of eggplant is long and thin with light purple skin. It has a delicate flavor and tender texture and is often used in Chinese cuisine.
  5. Indian eggplant: This type of eggplant is small and round with green or purple skin. It has a slightly bitter taste and is often used in Indian curries and stews.
  6. White eggplant: This type of eggplant has pale white skin and a mild, slightly sweet flavor. It is often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Overall, the various types of eggplant offer a range of flavors, textures, and sizes that make them versatile ingredients in many different dishes.

Uses of Eggplant

Eggplant is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are some common uses for eggplant:

  1. Roasted: Roasting eggplant brings out its natural sweetness and gives it a tender texture. Roasted eggplant can be used as a side dish or added to salads, pasta dishes, or sandwiches.
  2. Grilled: Grilled eggplant has a smoky flavor and can be used as a side dish or added to sandwiches or burgers.
  3. Fried: Fried eggplant, also known as eggplant parmesan, is a classic Italian dish that involves breaded and fried eggplant slices layered with tomato sauce and cheese.
  4. Stewed: Eggplant can be stewed with other vegetables and spices to create hearty and flavorful stews and curries.
  5. Pureed: Cooked eggplant can be pureed and used as a base for dips like baba ghanoush or added to hummus for extra flavor and nutrition.
  6. Used as a substitute: Eggplant can be used as a healthy and low-carb substitute for pasta in dishes like eggplant lasagna or eggplant roll-ups.

Overall, the versatility of eggplant makes it a great ingredient for a wide range of dishes, from appetizers to main courses to side dishes.