D&T Farms in Okayama Prefecture, Japan, has developed a banana with a thin, digestible peel.
The Mongee banana (roughly translated as ‘incredible banana’) is currently being grown in small batches, with a tenfold expansion planned this year, a spokesman told The Guardian.
The banana was produced by Setsuzo Tanaka who was researching methods of growing banana trees in cold climates.
Following the research, he developed the fruit with digestible peel as a hobby.
The outcome of his research is called ‘freeze thaw awakening’ and involves slowly cooling the banana growth cells to -60°c, before they’re thawed and planted, causing them to flourish.
The plants are kept at a maximum daytime temperature of 13 degrees, and zero at night.
This method produces a thin lettuce-like skin on the resultant banana which is flavourless and easy to eat.
The fruit went on sale last year in a Japanese department store in Okayama and retails for around US$6 a piece.
Currently the banana is only available inside Japan, with exports a future consideration for the company.