A fruit is the ripened, developed ovary of a seed or flowering plant (angiosperms), together with accessory products such as seeds, pods and other tissues inside. Fruits function both as a protector of seeds as they develop and a dispersing aid — depending on the fruit, seeds get dispersed by animals (fleshy fruits), water (coconuts) or wind (rhubarb).
The simplest distinction between fruits is dry fruits fruits and fleshy fruits. Dry fruits have pericarps (the walls of the fruit) that dry and harden as they mature. Dry fruits consist primarily of legumes, cereal grains, nuts and beans. Fleshy fruits' pericarps develop succulent and fleshy tissues as they mature. Subdivisions of fleshy fruits include aggregate fruits (blackberry, raspberry), multiple fruits (pineapple, fig) and berry fruits (all citrus fruits, grapes).
Many fruits are edible and as a healthy staple of diets worldwide, they serve as a cash crop for many countries. Apart from being consumed whole, fruits can be consumed as juices, smoothies, spreads (such as jelly, jam, nut butter or preserves), purees, sorbets, mixed in a salad or as toppings. Because of the rampant number of minerals and vitamins in fruits, they have become popular ingredients in many beauty products as well. (Photo: Shutterstock)