Among the fruits, durian is one of the most popular in Asia. It is known in many countries as the king of tropical fruits because of its unique aroma, high nutritional value, and good flesh. Although not yet widely grown commercially in Sri Lanka, it is a very cheap commercial fruit grown in countries such as Thailand and Malaysia. Originating in the Malaysian Peninsula in Southeast Asia, durian is one of the world’s most popular fruits. Durian botanically names Durio Zibethinus. It is also a fruit of the genus Bombacaceae. The crop is native to Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Borneo, and New Guinea and was later introduced to Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Vietnam, and Australia.
The average weight of a durian fruit varies from 800 g to 2.1 kg, of which 60% – 80% is peeled. Seed weight is between 7% – 8%. The weight of the seedless pulp eaten varies between 9% – 25%. The energy value of 100 grams of pulp is 820 kJ. Durian is therefore a very nutritious and energetic fruit. Durian fruit is used to flavor a wide variety of sweet edibles. Durian ice cream is a popular dessert in Indonesia, sold at a street-side stall in Indonesian cities. Durian’s specific odor is caused by chemicals such as sulfides, esters, thioether, and Nicole. The unusual taste and smell of the fruit have led many to express a variety of emotions, ranging from deep appreciation to deep resentment.
Durian grows well in the lowland and midland wetlands and requires high humidity throughout the year. Among the districts in the wet zone, mainly Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Galle, Ratnapura, Matara, and some areas around Kandy, Matale and Kegalle are suitable for durian cultivation. The temperature range for successful durian cultivation is 27oC – 30oC. Also, 75% – 80% humidity is required for good growth. The optimum rainfall for durian cultivation is 2000-5000 mm. Wet weather should last from 9 months to 11 months per year. Deep sandy loam soils with good drainage and organic matter are best.