Could juice from the persimmon fruit possibly neutralise the coronavirus? That's what a recent study at a Japanese university points to.
But hold up, before you run to the nearest supermarket to stock up on fruit, it's not that simple.
Simply eating the fruit isn't enough. The fruit has to be sour or unripe, and undergo a process of fermentation.
In Japan, fermented tannin juice from unripe persimmon is known as kakishibu and is traditionally used as a dye. The dye is also used to waterproof and insect-proof paper, wood or cloth and is said to have an anti-mould effect.
In an experiment conducted by researchers at Nara Medical University, the juice from unripe persimmons was first extracted, then fermented and aged.
Then, it was mixed in with samples of saliva and the coronavirus. What was found was that after 10 minutes, the virus was "detoxified".
Professor Toshihiro Ito of the immunology department at the university reiterated however, that "it does not mean we should eat persimmons" to stave off or cure possible infections.
There are plans to conduct more extensive clinical research to see if the results are conclusive and how it may be applied commercially.
So yes, while autumn marks the season for persimmons, we're sorry to say the sweet juicy fruits that you love won't be effective in warding off the virus.
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