The jackfruit is a species of tree in the Artocarpus genus of the mulberry family (Moraceae). Enormous and prickly on the outside, jackfruit looks somewhat like durian, though jackfruit is usually even larger. Once a jackfruit is cracked open, you will find inside pods or “bulbs “,often reffered as seeds.Thesse bulbs are actually a kind of fleshy covering for the the true seeds or pits, which are round and dark like chesnuts. the fleshy part can be eatan as is, or cut up and cooked. When unripe (green), it is remarkably similar in texture to chicken, making jackfruit an excellent vegetarian substitute for meat. In fact, canned jackfruit (in brine) is sometimes referred to as “vegetable meat”.
The jackfruit tree is believed to be indigenous to the southwestern rain forests of India. It is widely cultivated in the tropical regions of Indian subcontinent, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brazil for its fruit, seeds and wood. The tree grows best under tropical humid and rainy regions but rarely survives cold and frosty conditions, grows to as high as 30 meters, higher than the mango tree. The jackfruit tree is a multi-purpose species providing food, timber, fuel, fodder, medicinal and industrial products. It is a nutritious fruit, rich in vitamins A, B and C, potassium, calcium, iron, proteins and carbohydrates. Due to the high levels of carbohydrates, jackfruit supplements other staple foods in times of scarcity in some regions. It is also a relatively cheap fruit in some countries such as Bangladesh, where it has been declared the ‘national fruit’ because of its socioeconomic importance. During the season, each tree bears as many as 250 large fruits, supposed to be the largest treeborne fruit in the world. The fruit varies widely in size, weigh from 3 to 30 kg and has oblong or round shape measuring 10 cm to 60 cm in length, 25 to 75 cm in diameter. The unripe fruits are green in color; When ripen, might turn to light brown color and gives pungent smell.
Its outer surface is covered with blunt thorn like projections, which become soft in ripened. The interior consists of orange-yellow colored edible bulbs.
Jack fruit nutrients facts & Health benefits
Fresh fruit is a good source of potassium, magnesium, manganese and iron.
Jackfruit Seeds: Jack fruit seeds are indeed very rich in protein and nutritious. In general, the seeds are gathered from ripe fruit, sun dried and stored for use in rainy season in many parts of South Indian states. Different variety of recipes prepared in Southern India where they are eaten either by roasting as a snack or added to curries in place of lentils.The seeds, which appeal to all tastes, may be boiled or roasted and eaten, or boiled and preserved in sirup like chestnuts. They have also been successfully canned in brine, in curry, and, like baked beans, in tomato sauce. They are often included in curried dishes
Generally you will find the jackfruit most acceptable in the full-grown but unripe stage, when it has no objectionable odor and excels cooked green breadfruit and plantain. The fruit at this time is simply cut into large chunks for cooking, the only handicap being its copious gummy latex which
accumulates on the knife and the hands unless they are first rubbed with salad oil. The chunks are boiled in lightly salted water until tender,when the really delicious flesh is cut from the rind and served as a vegetable, including the seeds which, if thoroughly cooked, are mealy and agreeable. The latex clinging to the pot may be removed by rubbing with oil. Tender young fruits may be pickled with or without spices. If the jackfruit is allowed to ripen, the bulbs and seeds may be extracted outdoors; or, if indoors, the odorous residue should be removed from the kitchen at once. The bulbs may then be enjoyed raw or cooked (with coconut milk or otherwise); or made into ice cream, chutney, jam, jelly, paste, “leather” or papad, or canned in syrup made with sugar or honey with citric acid added. If the bulbs are boiled in milk, the latter when drained off and cooled will congeal and form a pleasant, orange colored custard.
The ripe fruit is somewhat laxative; if eaten in excess it will cause diarrhea. Raw jackfruit seeds are indigestible due to the presence of a powerful trypsin inhibitor. This element is destroyed by boiling or baking
In some areas, the jackfruit is also fed to cattle. The tree is even planted in pastures so that the animals can avail themselves of the fallen fruits. Surplus jackfruit rind is considered a good stock food.
Leaves:Young leaves are readily eaten by cattle and other livestock and are said to be fattening. In India, the leaves are used as food wrappers in cooking, and they are also fastened together for use as plates.
Latex: The latex serves as birdlime, alone or mixed with Ficus sap and oil from Schleichera trijuga Willd. The heated latex is employed as a household cement for mending chinaware and earthenware, and to caulk boats and holes in buckets.
Wood: The timber is a medium hardwood with desirable characteristics in making furniture, oars, implements and musical instruments and the wood is also used in construction. It is termite proof and fairly resistant to fungal and bacterial decay. The roots of older trees are good materials for carving and picture framing. With its dense crown and leathery broad glabrous leaves, it is an attractive tree. The trees may also serve as shade for coffee and as support for black pepper (Piper nigrum). Palaces were built of jackwood in Bali and Madagascar, and the limited supply was once reserved for temples in Indochina.
Bark:There is only 3.3% tannin in the bark which is occasionally made into cordage or cloth. From the sawdust of jackwood or chips of the heartwood, boiled with alum, there is derived a rich yellow dye commonly used for dyeing silk and the cotton robes of Buddhist priests. In Indonesia, splinters of the wood are put into the bamboo tubes collecting coconut toddy in order to impart a yellow tone to the sugar.
Different parts of the jackfruit tree have medicinal properties. The Chinese consider jackfruit pulp and seeds tonic, cooling and nutritious,The seed starch is given to relieve biliousness and the roasted seeds are regarded as aphrodisiac. The ash of jackfruit leaves, burned with corn and coconut shells, is used alone or mixed with coconut oil to heal ulcers. The pulp and seeds are used as a tonic, the warmed leaves have healing properties if placed onto wounds and the latex, mixed with vinegar promotes healing of abscesses, snakebite and glandular swellings. The wood has a sedative effect and its pith is said to cause abortion. The root is used as a remedy against skin diseases and asthma, and its extract is taken in cases of fever and diarrhea.
Prepration and serving methodThe fruit is cut in a similar fashion like other larger fruits like watermelon. White, gummy latex oozes from the cut ends even in ripen fruit but to a lesser extent than in the unripe ones. The latex problem can be overcome by applying little coconut oil on the hands. Another great way of dealing with this problem is mopping or rubbing the cut sections with lemon slice. The thick rind that runs through the middle of the fruit is then removed and the whole section is gently twisted few times in order to loosen individual bulbs