Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The King of Fruits in Space

Thailand to send durians to space
In the future, astronauts might be able to enjoy the king of fruit in space

The Thai government’s space research agency — yes, we have one — is aiming to send baked durians to space in July, as a part of their research to produce Thai food suited for consumption in space.

Dr. Ammarin Pimnoo of the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) presented their “Thai Food to Space” project to media yesterday and revealed packages of baked durians ready to be shipped off the earth.

The space-friendly durians were developed by two private companies — Daily Food Ltd. and Signature Marketing Co. Ltd. — and the durian species they chose is Monthong, arguably the most delicious variety from Thailand.

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Durian in space: Thailand to send smelly fruit into orbit
The thorny durian has been commonly dubbed the world's smelliest fruit

Imagine being trapped in a spaceship with the world's smelliest fruit. Thailand's space research agency has just announced plans to send durian to space by July, as part of a project to produce Thai food suitable for future space travel.

The baked durian will stay in space for five minutes before coming back to Earth, where scientists will see if it has undergone any textural changes.

Durian, known for its strong, stinky smell, is native to South East Asia. According to local media reports, the fruit will be launched into space via a rocket.

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Thailand wants to send smelly, ‘king of fruits’ durian into space

It’s one small step for Thailand, one giant leap for Southeast Asia’s smelliest fruit.

Thailand plans to shoot durian into orbit to test its durability in a project that could see the staple “king of fruits” consumed in zero-gravity conditions.

“In the future we want astronauts to be able to eat Thai food,” said a spokesperson for Thailand’s Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA). “We want to see whether there are any physical changes after it returns to earth, for example it might get smaller, or cracked.”

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Thailand is gearing up to launch durian into orbit

Thailand's space research agency wants to make history by sending Durian -- the smelliest fruit on Earth -- into orbit.

The Thai space operator Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency reportedly plans to launch the baked aromatic fruit into space next month on a rocket. The mission is about testing whether the smelly fruit could be a viable food for Thai astronauts, GISTDA says.

“Our main goal is to eventually bring Thai food up to space to be consumed by astronauts,” a spokesman for the agency told the BBC.

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Thailand to send stinky fruit to space

Thailand's space research agency on Friday announced plans to send the durian fruit, which is known for its strong, stinky smell, to space by July, as part of a project to produce Thai food suitable for future space travel.

The baked durian will stay in space for five minutes before coming back to Earth, where scientists will see if it has undergone any textural changes, reports the BBC.

Durian, a tropical fruit, is native to Southeast Asia. According to local media reports, the fruit will be launched into space via a rocket made by a US company. Thailand is not yet in the group of nations to have been to space, but they are making sure the catering is in place for future trips.

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Thailand to Send Smelly Durian Into Space Because Future Astronauts Should be Able to Enjoy Thai Food

Durian, widely recognized as the world’s smelliest fruit, could one day be wafting its pungent odors through the space station. Thailand’s space research agency wants to send the divisive fruit into space by July, not to banish its notorious smell, but to test its viability as food for astronauts.

Baked durians have already been packaged and are ready for lift off, Ammarin Pimnoo of the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) told Bangkok-based news site Coconuts. The agency plans to launch the durian from Earth with the help of a U.S. rocket company.

The packages will initially stay in space for just five minutes before coming back to the blue planet for an examination of any textural changes, according to the BBC. That information will be used to develop Thai food suitable for space.

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Final Fruit-ier: Thailand sends smelly durian into space
Durian is eaten across Southeast Asia and is both famous for its popularity and infamous for its pungent smell

It's one small step for Thailand, one giant leap for Southeast Asia's smelliest fruit. Thailand plans to shoot durian into orbit to test its durability in a project that could see the staple "king of fruits" consumed in zero-gravity conditions.

"In the future we want astronauts to be able to eat Thai food," said a spokesperson for Thailand's Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA).

"We want to see whether there are any physical changes after it returns to earth, for example it might get smaller, or cracked."

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What makes the durian fruit stink? Cancer scientists crack the durian genome

Durian (intact and opened). Credit: Kevin Lim, Yong Chern Han, Cedric Ng
Singaporean scientists and international collaborators have achieved a world's first by deciphering the complete genetic map of durian, a prized tropical fruit delicacy known in Asia as the "king of fruits." The Singapore team's efforts were driven by both innate scientific curiosity and a love of the fruit.

"Being a geneticist, I was naturally curious about the Durian genome—what gene causes its pungent smell? How did its spiny husk arise?" said study co-author Professor Teh Bin Tean, a durian lover and currently the deputy director of the National Cancer Centre Singapore.

Using state-of-the-art sequencing platforms, the team mapped the genome of a particular durian variety called Musang King ("Mao Shan Wang" in Chinese), known for its exceptionally delicate texture and potent aroma and considered as the King of Kings in the local durian world. The team's analysis revealed that the durian genome comprises approximately 46,000 genes —almost double that in humans, who have about 23,000 genes. Based on the newly generated genomic data, the team also studied the evolution of durian and traced its relationship 65 million years back to the cacao plant, which produces chocolate.

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lllegal Durians: How Much Trouble Will You Really Get In?

I think the first thing I learned about durian is that it’s banned in public spaces because of it’s supposedly foul odor. That’s usually the first thing Westerners learn about durian. A fruit that is not allowed on buses, trains or in hotels has a certain shock factor, a fact that most journalists disclose in their “hook” or lead-in.


But how much trouble will you really get in for sneaking a little creamy fruit on the subway, a bus, or a hotel? I took the trouble to find out. This is the famous sign making the rounds on most media stories about durian. It’s from the Singapore subway, and while it’s clear that you shouldn’t be munching a packet of Musang King while staring at the sign, does anybody else notice something strange? The sign doesn’t actually say what the fine is for durian. It’s a clear $1,000 SGD fine for smoking on the subway. Taking flammables on the train is the worst offense, with a fine of $5,000 SGD.


But the fine for durian is blank. What does that mean?


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Hail the King of Fruits


Durian is affectionately called the King of Fruit throughout Southeast Asia. With it's size, bristly appearance, and fanatic following, it's an appropriate nickname.


But like in any empire, there is more than one claim to the throne. The Aztecs once hailed the avocado as King. In India, the mango reigns supreme. To find out which fruit deserves the crown, Rob and I traveled to the International Mango Festival in Delhi. Our verdict is in, and here's why.

  • Durian Has a Crown
  • More Countries Call Durian King
  • Durian Kills People
  • The Favorite Fruit of the King of the Jungle
  • Durian Is Just More Awesome.
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related:
Hail the King of Fruits
The King of Fruits in Space
A Rotting Durian Fruit Smelled So Bad
Wild Durians From East Malaysia - Sabah & Sarawak‏