Breadfruit Tree

The breadfruit tree (Artocarpus altilis) is considered an evergreen, traditional and multipurpose agroforestry species that bear starchy fruits, which results in flavor, similar to the freshly cooked bread.

The tree typically reaches a height of 15-20 m while the trunk ranges between 60 and 120 cm in diameter. The branches of the tree appear above 4 m from its base. It also contains a smooth bark. The conical shape of the crown in the first years of growth gradually turns into a round shape with maturity. The leaves of the tree are alternate with dark green and smooth upper side, and lighter green underside with reddish hairy veins. They are very variable in shape, with a length that can range from 15 to 90 cm, depending on the variety.

The same tree bears club-shaped male flowers with a length of 45 cm and female inflorescences that appears like small globose clusters. Once pollinated, the flowers develop into a spherical to a cylindrical shape fruit with a honeycombed appearance with smooth to rough-skin. The fruit can be 10 to 30 cm in diameter and 0.25 to 6 kg in weight. It has a yellow to a green rind and a starchy and a creamy white to a yellow pulp. The Colour of the pulp depends on the starch content of the fruit. It can be seedless, depending upon the variety.

Where it is found ?

The species was originated in Oceania and later grown across the Pacific region. Present days it is found across the world in many tropical countries, including in Africa, Australia, South America, South, and Southeast Asia. The fruit is extremely versatile. It can be prepared and eaten at every stage of development and maturity. Ripen ones can be eaten as a fruit, and the mature ones can be eaten as a vegetable. Today mature fruits are often used for most dishes due to their texture similar to the potatoes.

Breadfruit nutritional facts

Breadfruit is gluten-free, super-food packed with valuable nutrients. It is high carb food and a good source of antioxidants, calcium (Ca), carotenoids, copper (Cu), dietary fibers, energy, iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), niacin, omega 3, omega 6, phosphorus (P), potassium (K), protein, thiamine, vitamin A and vitamin C. Breadfruit also contains certain carotenoids and lutein which is not present in white rice or white potato. A ½ cup of breadfruit provides 25% of the RDA for fiber and 5 to 10% of the RDA for protein, magnesium, and potassium. As the fruit ripens, starches convert to sugars, and the fruit softens to a custard-like consistency that can be eaten raw.

Special qualities
• contains high levels of starch and can be used in place infections. certain cultivars are a good source of potassium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.

Utilization

Artocarpus altilis considered a multipurpose fruit. It is a staple food in most Pacific Islands. The mature fruits are eaten raw or cooked, steamed, and fried forms. It can transfer into flour and baked roasted or freeze-dried, or traditionally fermented forms. Canned breadfruit is sold in the Caribbean, USA, Europe, and Canada. Boiled young, immature fruits have a flavor similar to artichoke hearts. The edible seeds, referred to as breadnuts, are eaten boiled or roasted.

Preservation

Fresh breadfruit only takes 1-3 days to be mature. After harvesting, it becomes highly perishable. Prolonged shelf life can be obtained by careful harvesting and pre-cooling the fruit with chipped ice. Long-term storage required for shipment can be achieved by using low temperatures (12-15°C); otherwise, the product needs to be dehydrated.

Detoxification

Breadfruit contains oxalates, tannins, trypsin inhibitors, and haemagglutinin. Processing methods such as cooking and soaking helps to reduce the concentration of oxalate and tannins. The trypsin inhibitors and haemagglutinin eliminate during cooking. Phytic acid is reduced by soaking and cooking for 20 minutes, reduced tannins, phytate, and α-amylase inhibitor activity.

Summary

Breadfruit is a tropical multipurpose fruit that can be eaten at every stage of its maturity. It can be eaten in boiled, roasted, fermented, or in flour forms, which can be transferred into tasty dishes. It can also be used to replace potato dishes such as mashes, salads, etc. It is highly nutritious than potatoes.

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