Banana is a starchy fruit having rich contents of indigestible compounds; resistant starch (RS) and nonstarch polysaccharides make up its DF (Ovando-Martinez and others 2009 ). At its unripe state, banana pulp contains about 70% to 80% starch on dry weight basis, which is similar to starch content in endosperm of corn and pulp of white potato. Upon ripening, this starch content is degraded to less than 1% with a concomitant accumulation of sucrose and fructose when the fruit becomes fully ripe. There is thus an increase in sugars, mostly sucrose constituting more than 10%, and total soluble sugar of about 16% or more of fresh weight of fruit (Zhang and others 2005 ).

Although banana is produced at any time of the year and widely consumed fresh in most parts of the world, its conversion into processed products, as well as the consumption of these products is slowly developing (Sole 2005 ). Optimization of banana processing for bioavailability and utilization of nutrients available in this fruit should be scaled up. This review therefore seeks to examine various cultivars of banana with a view to determining the nutritional and functional ingredients, suitability for industrial utilization and product development, and thereby availing concise information for farmers, exporters, and food processors.

Some commercial (Williams, Grand Nain, Dwarf Cavendish, and Goldfinger) and noncommercial (Mabounde, Luvhele) banana cultivars.

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