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The Perfect Fruit

The Hawaii Papaya: Safe, Nutritious, Delicious!

The Hawaii Papaya delivers superior taste and unsurpassed health value. Numerous scientific studies tout the benefits of Hawaii papayas as a perfect part of a healthy lifestyle. They’re rich in vitamins A and C, high in potassium and fiber— and despite their lusciousness, they’re a fat-free, cholesterol-free treat you can enjoy guilt-free.

Eating Healthy

Health and wellness experts backed by scientific studies tout papayas as a perfect part of a healthy lifestyle.

Papayas are rich in protein-digesting enzymes that aid digestion, such as papain and chymopapain. They are also low in fat and are a good source of fiber, which has been shown to lower high cholesterol levels.

Papayas are an excellent source of three powerful antioxidants: Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene. These nutrients help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol that may damage the blood vessel walls and eventually cause heart attack or stroke.

In a scientific study, men who regularly ate lycopene-rich fruits such as papaya and drank green tea were less likely to have prostate cancer than those who consumed the least lycopene-rich foods.

Vitamin A-rich foods such as papaya can help smokers reduce chances for developing emphysema.

Other data indicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower risk of age-related macular degeneration, the primary cause of vision loss in older adults.

Vitamins C and A, which are produced in the body from beta-carotene, are both needed for the proper function of a healthy immune system.

The Nutritious Superfood

Hawaii papayas offer more than only a delicious tropical taste. They are rich sources of nutrients that together promote healthy living.

Papayas are one of the healthiest fresh fruits. The nutritional scoreboard here was developed by the highly respected Center for Science in the Public Interest. In its “Top 5 Fantastic Fruits” ratings for fresh fruits, papaya was impressively ranked in the Top 5 with guava, watermelon, grapefruit and kiwifruit well ahead of traditionally thought of healthy fruits as orange, apple, and banana. The score for each fruit is gotten by adding up its percent of the Daily Value for six key nutrients: vitamin C, folate, potassium, iron, calcium, and fiber plus carotenoids.

Papayas are rich in enzymes that stimulate stomach secretions and aid digestion. They contain protein-digesting enzymes including papain and chymopapain.

Papayas are low in fat and are a good source of fiber. Papayas are an excellent source of Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene, three strong antioxidants. Papayas are also a very good source of calcium, potassium and Vitamins A and B.

Nutritional Comparison of Papayas, Apples and Oranges

Nutrient Papaya Apple Orange
Calories 39 52 47
Fat (g) 0 0 0
Cholesterol (mg) 0 0 0
Sodium (mg) 3 1 0
Carbohydrate (g) 10 14 12
Calcium (mg) 24 6 40
Potassium (mg) 257 107 181
Vitamin A* 22% 1% 4%
Vitamin C* 103% 8% 89%
Beta Carotene (mcg) 276 27 71

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Based on 100 gram samples. Source: USDA National Nutrition Database for Standard Reference (2007) and

Selecting & Storing The Perfect Papayas

Just like a banana, papaya tastes best when not too green, and not too ripe – it’s perfect when its three quarters yellow. To keep the same perfect taste and texture, put it in the fridge.

Hawaii Papayas are picked tree ripe all year-round and are always shipped fresh to your grocer!

Experience Delicious


Chill, wash and cut the papaya lengthwise; scoop out the seeds; and eat with a spoon.

Fill It Up

Use the papaya as its own bowl. Fill with cottage cheese, ice cream, or tuna-salad.

Mix It Up

Peel and cut into smaller pieces for fruit salads, along with pineapple and mango slices.

Blend It Up

Blend papaya seeds into creamy salad dressings for peppery flavor and add to your favorite salad.

Click on any of the delicious dishes below for the easy-to-prepare recipe!

  • Aloha Breakfast Bowl




A: Yes. Papayas are one of the most nutritious fruits available. Papayas are rich in enzymes that help with digestion and are a good source of calcium, potassium and Vitamins A, E and C. A single 200g serving provides almost twice the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C. Go to Nutrition for more information.

A: Yes. Papayas are one of the most nutritious fruits available. Papayas are rich in enzymes that help with digestion and are a good source of calcium, potassium and Vitamins A, E and C. A single 200g serving provides almost twice the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C. Go to Nutrition for more information.


  1. Hawaii papayas are picked tree ripe all year-round and distributed across the US, Canada, Japan and Germany. 


  1. Hawaii papayas are picked tree ripe all year-round and distributed across the US, Canada, Japan and Germany. Enter your ZIP code in our store locator to find the retail outlet nearest you.

A: There are two basic types of papayas, the Hawaii papaya varieties and the Mexican variety. The Hawaii varieties are more pear-shaped, weigh about one pound each, and have a yellow skin when ripe. The flesh is golden yellow or red-orange, depending on the variety. The Mexican variety is much larger (weigh up to 20 pounds and be more than 15 inches long) with flesh that is reddish, and the flavor is less intense than the Hawaii types.

A: Papayas are typically harvested at ¼ to ½ color change and will continue to turn from green to full yellow when left at room temperature. The PERFECT papaya is best eaten at ¾ color.  Papaya should be refrigerated at ¾ color to prevent further color change and retain the perfect texture for up to several weeks.  Click here to read how to select the PERFECT papaya.

Go to Selecting & Storing for more information.

A: Store at room temperature until papaya becomes ¾ color then, place into the refrigerator to preserve the texture and color.


  1. Papayas are usually eaten fresh as is or eaten with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. After washing the papaya, cut it lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and then eat it with a spoon.  The outer skin is not edible.  Go to Experience Delicious for suggestions on the multitude of ways to enjoy the delicious taste of Hawaii papaya.

Go to Experience Delicious

A: Hawaii papayas are grown in the USA using the strictest USDA guidelines and standards for safe food.

Learn More about Proven Safe

A: Yes, the “Rainbow” and “Sun-up” varieties are genetically engineered. Over a quarter billion pounds of these varieties have been consumed safely since the approval by the US government in 1998.  Go to Proven Safe to find out how genetic engineering saved the Hawaii papaya industry.

Learn More about Proven Safe

Merchandising & Handling

Merchandising Tips

  • Surround papayas with pineapples, bananas, mangoes, and coconuts in a tropical fruit display.
  • Offer fruit in various stages of ripeness, so shoppers can buy for immediate use and still have some for later.
  • Conduct in-store demonstrations to introduce or remind shoppers of the delectable taste of a papaya from Hawaii.
  • Ask your shipper for our full-color POP material to call attention to your papaya section, and to remind shoppers that papayas are exceptionally nutritious.
  • Place a cut papaya in the center of the display to show new customers what a papaya look like inside.

Proper Care & Handling

  • Handle with care and stack no more than two high avoid bruising.
  • Rotate stock forward to reduce shrinkage.
  • Keep papayas out of the sun to prevent accelerating the ripening process.
  • Place papayas in a refrigerated display area between 50 and 55°F (10-12.8°C) to maintain a shelf life of 5-7 days.
  • Never cool less than half-ripe papayas below 45°F (7.2°C), as this permanently stops the ripening process.

About Us

Hawaii papaya farmer holding papaya

The Hawaii Papaya Industry Association (HPIA) envisions making delicious, nutritious, high-quality, Hawaii-grown papayas available to consumers around the world.

The HPIA strives to improve business conditions for the papaya industry in Hawaii, including those related to the cultivation, distribution, sales and use of papayas.

The HPIA is committed to developing and improving the papaya industry through research, education and cooperation on a non-partisan basis.

A Brief History

1965: Inception

The first formal meeting of papaya producers in Hawaii was held on November 13, 1965, in the city of Hilo, Hawaii. Approximately 150 producers; handlers; wholesalers; shippers; University of Hawaii and government officials met at the old Hilo Hotel. This was the inception of the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association, marking a milestone in the development of the papaya industry in Hawaii.

1971: Marketing Order of the USDA

Organizers hoped to establish an organization of the papaya industry and not a marketing cooperative. Marketing, however, became one of the most serious problems of the papaya industry. Being subject to anti-trust laws came into discussions and led to consider the idea of becoming a Marketing Order. The papaya industry became a Federal Marketing Order, an entity of the United States Department of Agriculture.

1978: Incorporation

The HPIA was officially incorporated in the state of Hawaii as a non-profit organization to complement the Marketing Order and pursue its vision.

1990s: papaya ringspot virus

With the unprecedented economic losses in papaya production due to the devastating papaya ringspot virus (PRSV), the development of the transgenic Rainbow was the focus of activity for the papaya industry.

2002: marketing order

The Hawaii Papaya Industry Association exists to continue to promote the improvement of business conditions in the State of Hawaii for the papaya industry.

Proven Safe

Our papayas are grown in Hawaii, USA, using the strictest USDA food safety guidelines

The genetically engineered Rainbow Papaya saved the Hawaii papaya industry from near extinction in the 1990s. That’s when the devastating papaya ringspot virus, a plant virus, decimated papaya farms on Oahu and Hawaii Island.

Cornell scientists joined with University of Hawaii researchers and figured out a way to use the genetic portion of the virus to “inoculate” papayas against the disease. 

This made the papaya resistant to the ringspot virus—similar to the way a vaccine makes people immune to H1N1 flu virus. Immunizing papayas in this way is safe and does not change its food characteristics.With unanimous approval by the U.S. government Papaya farmers across the state began planting Rainbow papaya in 1998 following stringent reviews for health and environmental safety and unanimous approval by the U.S. government.

Without biotechnology, there would be very little—if any—papaya grown in Hawaii today. It allowed farmers to continue doing what they love to do—growing food that nourishes the people of Hawaii and the world. The Rainbow Papaya gave Hawaii’s papaya farmers a second chance and gave everyone a vitamin-rich superfood that compares to no other.

Hawaii-grown Rainbow Papayas have been distributed across the U.S. since 1998, Canada since 2003, and most recently to Japan. For the past 15 years, consumers have enjoyed more than 260 million pounds of Rainbow Papaya in the U.S. and Canada, safely and happily.

Contact Us

We would love to hear from you. Call or write to us at the information given below or send us an e-mail using this form.

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