The Life of Pi

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Chapter II
Review of Related Literature

Calabash tree Fruit (crescentiacujete)
Crescentiacujete is an evergreen tree reaching six to ten meters in height, broad and irregular crown composed of long, spreading branches which creates a moderate shade beneath the tree. The tree is most outstanding in the landscape for its year round production of flowers and fruit, both of which are unusual. The five centimeter flowers which bloom at night are yellow or green with red or purple veins , cup shaped, and appear to emerge directly from the branches. These are followed by the emergence of the large, round fruit, twelve to thirty centimeters in diameter with a smooth hard shell which hang directly beneath the branches. Inside there is pulp which has medicinal properties.

The part of the tree that is used mostly is the fruit. Its uses are mainly in phytopharmaceuticals. The extract of the fruit is effective in treatment of diseases of the respiratory tract such as: bronchitis, cough, asthma and those related illnesses caused by cold(Pimentel, 2005).

The tree grows in clayey soils with deficient drainage subject to frequent floods. It grows at elevations from sea level eight hundred meters and an annual rainfall between 1,500 to 1,300 millimeters and an annual temperature of twenty-six degrees Celsius (Olanu, 2011).

The chemical constituents of the crescentiacujete; the crude carbohydrate found in the fruit is 18%. The fruit can be considered a good source of crude carbohydrate. Carbohydrate supplies energy to the cells. The mean value of sucrose content of the fruit is fifty-nine percent. The high carbohydrate and sucrose content of the fruit is 59% which makes the fruit a good source for ethanol production through fermentation. The mean energy value is high when compared with those of banana and other fruits. The value recorded for lead, chromium and nickel in the fruit sample were found to be 0.17, 0.07 and 0.10 ppm (Patzek, 2009) Biofuel

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