Star fruits are generally used as a garnish in salads, sorbets, drinks, as well as to impart tart flavor in dishes. In general, because of their high oxalic acid content and extreme tartness, they are used quite less frequently in food industry.
To prepare, wash them thoroughly in cold water, dry mop using absorbent cloth. Trim off the ends and dry edges of the ribbed angles. Cut the fruit crossway into thin sections, which resemble like a starfish. Pick out any seeds located near the center.
Here are some serving tips:
- Only sweet variety carambola are eaten fresh, or mixed with other fruits in salads. Fresh fruit can also be processed into juice and used in cocktails with other complementing tropical fruit juices.
- Sour type fruits are favored in cooking as they give unique tart flavor to poultry, meat, and seafood dishes.
- Cut sections of fresh fruit added in stews, curries, and stir-fries with chicken, and fish and shrimp.
- The fruit can be used to make sauce, pickle, chutney, tarts, and jam.
Star fruit is one of the plant sources that contain highest concentration of oxalic acid; 100 g of fresh fruit contains 50,000-95,800 ppm of oxalic acid. Oxalic acid has been considered as anti-nutrient compound as it interferes with absorption and metabolism of several natural minerals such as calcium, magnesium, etc. It also predisposes to a condition known as oxaluria, which leads to the formation of oxalate kidney stones. In some people with impaired kidney function, its consumption would result in renal failure and may cause death. People with known kidney disease should therefore, advice to avoid eating star fruit.
Further, Star fruit, like grapefruit, has been found to interact adversely with many drugs. Some of the compounds in carambola irreversibly inhibit cytochrome P450 3A4 isoenzymes (3A4) in the intestines and liver. This resulting increase in drug levels leads to adverse effects and/or toxicity. It is therefore, strongly advised to consult your healthcare practitioner before eating star fruit or its products if taking any kind of pharmaceutical drugs.