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Star fruit: Facts, Calories, and where there from

Updated on June 5, 2010

Star Fruit

Star Fruit got its name for what it looks like cut sideways.
Star Fruit got its name for what it looks like cut sideways.

Starfruit is...

Star Fruit (Carmbola) is a fruit that looks like a star when cut sideways. The fruit with its shape and unique flavor is a favorite of many Asian people. The tree is native to the Philippines, Indonesia, India, and Sir Lanka. The tree is also grown in tropic areas like Peru, Colombia, Trinidad, Guyana, Dominican Republic, and Brazil. It is also found in south Florida and Hawaii. This fruit starts off completely green like a banana and then turns yellow when it ripens.

Where did a Star Fruit come from?

The fruit is native to Asia and has been grown there for hundreds of years. Most think the plant came from Sri Lanka and Moluccas. Regardless of where it origins lie, Malaysia is the global producer of starfruit by volume and it exports it all over Asia and Europe. The problem with that is, Malaysia due to pests and pathogens cannot export whole starfruits to the US under FDA/USDA regulations. Most star fruit in the US are grown in Florida, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii.

When do you eat a Star Fruit?

Carambolas are most tasty when there ripe, which means they will be yellow with light shades of green on them. The best sign to look for is they will have brown ridges at the 5 points and the fruit will still feel firm. When overripe, the fruit will have brown spots all over it just like a banana. The whole fruit is edible (except the seeds, which are best removed if any). The taste is hard to compare, but some people linked it to tasting like a papaya, orange, and grapefruit at once - or it could be an overly tart and juicy apple.

Carambola, Raw

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
128 kJ (31 kcal)
6.73 g
3.98 g
Dietary fiber
2.8 g
.33 g
1.04 g
Pantothenic acid (B5)
.39 mg (8%)
Folate (Vit. B9)
12 ?g (3%)
Vitamin C
34.4 mg (57%)
12 mg (2%)
133 mg (3%)
.12 mg (1%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. Source: USDA Nutrient database


Star Fruit is rich in antioxidants and especially vitamin C (just like a kiwi fruit). It is low in sugar, sodium, and in acid. There is only roughly 30 calories a fruit - making it a great choice compared to others!

**Note: Like the grapefruit, carambola is considered to be a potent inhibitor of seven cytochrome P450 isoforms. These enzymes are significant in the first-pass elimination of many medicines, and thus, the consumption of carambola or its juice in combination with certain medications can significantly increase their effective dosage within the body. Research into grapefruit juice has identified a number of common medications affected, including statins, which are commonly used to treat cardiovascular illness, and benzodiazepines (a tranquilizer family including diazepam).**

Star Fruit on the Plant

Where are Star Fruits from?

  • Philippines
  • Indonesia
  • Inda
  • Sir Lanka
  • Peru
  • Colombia
  • Trinidad
  • Guyana
  • Dominican Republic
  • Brazil
  • USA (Florida, Hawaii)

The star fruit is a tropical and subtropical fruit. In India, it grows in high areas of 4000 feet. It grows best in full sunlight and need enough rainfall to total 70 inches a year. The carambola trees are planted about 20 feet from each other and are fertilized three times a year to ensure a large turnout. The trees will start producing food in 4 to 5 years, occasionally before that is possible. More rain in actuality reduces how many fruits the tree will grow, but in ideal conditions the carambola can produce 200 to 400 lbs (91 to 180kg) of star fruit each year. Most star fruits are harvested during the months of June, July, and August. The main pests of star fruit effecting productivity and quality are fruit flies, ants ,and birds. If hard frosts hit the trees, they will most likely succumb.


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    • 4FoodSafety profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Fontana, WI

      Great Hub! Everything I needed to know on this fruit which is completely new to me. Thank you!

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 7 years ago from carthage ill

      great excellent food hub thanks sorry was sick

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I often see this fruit at the market. I think I will step out and give it a try!

    • MarkMAllen15 profile image

      MarkMAllen15 6 years ago

      I have that fruit, behind in my house, but I don't really eat that so. I am glad to visit this page.

    • happypuppy profile image

      happypuppy 5 years ago

      I love to eat star fruits. Your photos are very appealing. Thanks for sharing the nutritional facts about this wonderful fruit!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Oh my! I have Carambola tree in my garden in the Philippines and I did not even know its benefits. I can only eat this star fruit when I am at home for I don´t have to pay for it. 1 Carambola costs €1 or more here. This is a very informative hub. Voted up and thanks for sharing.

    • thranax profile image

      Andrew 5 years ago from Rep Boston MA

      @Thelma Alberts I tried one from Florida before and the man charges like $4 each. I thought it was worth it to at least try one but thats really to expensive to eat and ship to where I live on a normal basis.


    • profile image

      lol 5 years ago

      Lol Woowww

    • profile image

      lisa 5 years ago

      ilove it

    • profile image

      nina 4 years ago

      looks nice

    • profile image

      suzie 4 years ago

      i wonder what a starfruit will taste like?:)

    • profile image

      Skye Pearce 4 years ago

      starfruit it is yummy!

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