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Ask the Expert Archive

I consumed a small bit of banana that had a red, crunchy inside. Is this dangerous to my health?


Q. A banana had a reddish brown center about a eighth of an inch long all the way down its center. I had bit into it and it had a crunchy consistency. I did accidently swallow some of it. Since the banana did look normal from the outside. I did some research and found information on a fruit fungus called Nigrospora. Does this sound like what it might be — and if so is this dangerous if any of the banana was consumed? Thanks.


A. Needless to say, without examining the banana directly we couldn’t confirm any cause, but based on the description the fruit may be affected by Mokillo (aka Red Finger) which is a bacteria that can occur naturally on the banana flower tip. Infrequently, this bacteria enters into the banana through wind, water, or birds and produces an effect similar to the ones described. Despite its unattractive appearance, a banana with Mokillo is not harmful if consumed. Mokillo is rarely found in bananas.

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