Breadfruit is a species of flowering tree that grows widely in tropical regions. It belongs to the Moraceae family and the Artocarpus genus. Hence, it is closely related to tropical fruits such as jackfruit. Breadfruit is native to the Polynesian islands, the Philippines and the Caribbean Islands.
It is now widely cultivated in the Southeast Asian countries, Central America and the Caribbean island. Breadfruit is also a major source of food in some African countries.
- Origin: Western Pacific Islands
- Common names: Breadfruit, Bakri Chajar in Hindi, Seema Panasa in Telugu, Nirfanus in Marathi, Irpla in Tamil, Kada Chakka in Malayalam and Gujjekai in Kannada.
- Scientific name: Artocarpus altilis
- Botanical family: Moraceae
- Edibility rating: 8/10
- Health Benefits: 8/10
Breadfruit is a fast-growing tree. It grows in a wide variety of climatic conditions. A well-drained soil with good organic content is best suited for growing breadfruit. Air-layered plants typically produce fruit in two years. Apart from removing dead branches, the breadfruit tree does not require pruning.
Breadfruit Taste And Description
Breadfruit is best grown using only organic inputs.
A single breadfruit, on average, weighs about 1 kg. It has a rich nutrient profile, and is used as a starchy staple food in many tropical regions. The fruit picked from the tree will not mature or ripen any further. When fully ripe, it will become soft and pale yellow. Breadfruit is used as a vegetable, and for this, the fully mature fruit is picked before it ripens.
If the fruits are for sale, then the breadfruit should not be allowed to fall to the ground while harvesting, as that will impact its shelf life. However, it should not make a difference when used immediately for home use.
The skin of the fruit has milky-coloured latex, which is seen as small droplets. There are three stages of maturity for the breadfruit. green, mature, and ripe. The immature fruit has a fresh green colour and a rubbery texture, and it has less flavour. A developed or mature fruit has a smooth texture, and the bright green outer colour turns to a pale yellow-green colour. This is the best time to harvest the fruit.
A mature breadfruit may be refrigerated to slow down the ripening; otherwise, it will ripen in 2–3 days.
It has very impressive nutritional content that provides many medicinal and therapeutic benefits. It contains fibre and proteins, including essential amino acids that are valuable in controlling diabetes, lowering cholesterol levels, and promoting healthy skin and hair.