We always tend to overlook and take for granted the small things in the world, even though they are sometimes more wondrous and impressive than the huge obvious details. Such is the case with the world’s smallest fruit, Wolffia Globosa. This fruit is so small you can barely see it if one is kept in your palm.
What makes this tiny thing possible?
Wolffia Globosa grows on the world’s smallest flowering plant called the Asian Watermeal.
This plant is a type of duckweed which grows rapidly on the surface of water and floats on it. It consists of a single pistil and stamen, reproduces asexually and occasionally produces Wolffia Globosa also known as the utricle. The plant is less than one-third of an inch wide at its largest, while the tiny fruit ranges from 0.7 to 1.5 millimeters. You can compare it with the thief ant which is almost similar in size.
Does Wolffia Globosa have any nutritional value?
Cultivated largely in South Asia in still freshwater bodies, these microscopic fruits are high in dietary protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin12.
They taste like watercress, and a handful of these fruits makes a great ingredient for various healthy salads and smoothies. A 2/3rd cup of this tiny fruit contains about 5 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and just 45 calories. Research show that Wolffia Globosa also reduces the risks of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, in which fat increases in the liver leading to dangerous complications like liver failure and liver inflammation.
Is it a superfood?
With Food Network claiming it to be the “new superfood” you can expect it to hit the markets for you to consume. However, currently it is as exotic as its features. Not even a popular grocery item in South Asian markets as of now, you cannot expect to grow it in your gardens anytime soon.
Wolffia Globosa is also being investigated as a possible biofuel and space-food. It purifies water balancing levels of phosphorus and nitrogen. Additionally it also pulls arsenic and cadmium from the environment.
All this when it’s the size of an art?
Nature will never stop surprising us!
If you liked knowing about this tiny little fruit, you’re going to love knowing how rice is growing under the sea!