How to preserve jackfruit

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How to preserve jackfruit ?” and discuss the different techniques of preserving jackfruit.

How to preserve jackfruit

 The value of production of minor tropical fruits is estimated at close to USD 20 billion in 2017. The bulk of these tropical fruits, in both volume and varietal terms, is produced in Asia, which is estimated to have accounted for 86 percent of aggregate global production over the 2015-2017 triennium. India and China rank as the largest producers, accounting for 24 percent and 22 percent of total global output in 2015-2017 respectively (1).

Jackfruit can be preserved by methods such as refrigeration, freezing, dehydration and pickling.

Jackfruit has a high content of water and sugar. Since both water and sugar causes fast spoilage, most preservation methods rely on removing the water content by either sun-drying or dehydration. Pickling can also be used to preserve jackfruit.

Edible parts of a jackfruit

Jackfruit contains a rind, fleshy bulbs and seeds. The bulbs and the seeds are edible and highly nutritious. Jackfruit is best consumed fresh. However, due to the large size of jackfruit, preservation is necessary to avoid wastage.

The jackfruit pulp is processed for juice, biscuits, chutney, jam, jelly, toffee, paste, leather, bar, nectar, squash and pickle. The color and flavor are important for the jackfruit bulb. Ice-cream prepared by using the jackfruit bulbs. The green fruit bulbs and seeds used as cooking materials in the farmers community. An average fruit consists of 27% edible seed coat, 15% edible seeds, 20% white pulp (undeveloped perianth, rags) and bark, and 10% core (2).

Since cutting and cleaning jackfruit is a bit of a hassle, freshly cut raw jackfruit can be purchased at some supermarkets.

Preserving jackfruit bulbs by sun-drying or dehydration

Drying of biological materials is a complicated process involving simultaneous, coupled heat and mass transfer phenomena occurring inside the material.  It intends to enhance the storage life of the product for a longer period at room temperature and also brings about substantial reduction in weight. Drying of food is carried out either by sun drying method or by mechanical means such as hot air dryers (3).

Freshly cut jackfruit can be preserved for up to 10seven days in a refrigerator or up to 20 daysa month in a freezer (4). The fruit must be stored in an airtight container or plastic wrapped. Freshly cut jackfruit will last only for about three days if kept at room temperature (5).

To preserve jackfruit bulbs :

  • Remove the seeds and any white fibres.
  • Slice the bulbs into thin pieces.
  • Sun-dry or dehydrate the bulbs to remove moisture.
  • Store in an air-tight container for up to a month.

Preserving jackfruit seeds by sun-drying or dehydration

Jackfruit seeds can be preserved either as whole seeds or in powdered form. Jackfruit seeds have high water content so the first step for preserving is sun-drying. If the weather does not allow for sun-drying, the seeds must be dehydrated until the moisture is lost. The bakery products such as biscuits, cookies, bread, cake, and muffins. have been formulated by supplementation with different levels of jackfruit seed flour (2).

Preserving whole seeds

The phytonutrients such as lignans, saponins, and isoflavones present in the seeds, plays a beneficial role in human health. The presence of high fiber content (3.6 g/100 g) in the jackfruit seeds improves digestion and produces smooth bowel movements. It also offers protection to the colon mucous membrane by removing carcinogenic chemicals from the large intestine. The addition of the jackfruit seed flour to deep-fried products results in a reduction in fat absorption up to a certain limit. The seeds are rich in dietary fiber and B-complex vitamins. Due to their high fiber content, they help lower the risk of heart disease, prevent constipation and promote weight loss (2).

Whole seeds of jackfruit can be sun-dried and kept at room temperature.

  • Wash the jackfruit seeds with water and remove any fruit tissue.
  • Dry the seeds using a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Sun-dry the seeds for around two days.
  • Sun-dried seeds can be preserved at room temperature for up to a month (2)two weeks.

Jackfruit seeds can also be sun-dried and then frozen in the following method.

  • Dry the jackfruit seeds in sunlight.
  • Boil the seeds.
  • Freeze the seeds in an airtight container.

Preserving jackfruit seeds in powdered form

The jackfruit seeds which privilege all fragrance may be razzed and accepted as a light meal or boiled and consumed as an instant food item. The flour is generally prepared by drying and roasting jackfruit seeds. Hence, this powder may be a substitute food, which can be easily sustained and used for food value extension and to mix with other cereal-like wheat powder without altering the functional and nutritional profiles of the final production. According to a study, prepared jackfruit flour is a natural product having good nutritional value; shelf life is nearly one year and microbiologically acceptable in quality (7).

Jackfruit seeds can be preserved as a powder in the following method.

  • Dry the jackfruit seeds in sunlight.
  • Boil the seeds, allow them to cool and then peel off the outer covering.
  • Dice the seeds into small pieces.
  • Roast the seeds in medium flame and then allow them to cool down.
  • Grind the seeds until they form a fine powder.

The powdered jackfruit seeds can be preserved in an airtight container at room temperature for up to more than six months (7).

Jackfruit seed powder is gluten-free, highly nutritious and can be mixed with wheat flour in baking.

Preserving jackfruit by pickling

Ripe jackfruit bulbs are canned in syrup, made into jams either pure or mixed with dehydrated bulbs, chutney, preserves, candy, and concentrate and powder. Raw jackfruit can be preserved by pickling. If done correctly, pickling enables jackfruit to be stored for at least a year (8).

To preserve jackfruit by pickling :

  • Cut and clean a raw jackfruit and remove the seeds. 
  • Add rock salt to the bottom of a ceramic or glass jar as the first layer.
  • Add the cut-up jackfruit as the second layer.
  • Keep adding rock salt and jackfruit layer after layer until the jar is three-quarters full.
  • Tightly close the jar and keep it in a cool, dry place for at least 2 weeks.

Care must be taken not to allow water to enter the jar during preparation and storage as it may cause spoilage.

In a study, pickled jackfruit was prepared by adding 10% salt, vinegar, oil and spices, cooking and canning, followed by pasteurization of the canned product at 85°C. Result of the shelf life of the pickled jackfruit showed that the quality factors such as color, taste, flavor and texture remain unchanged even after 12 months of storage (8).

Using pickled jackfruit in cooking

Pickled jackfruit can be used in a variety of dishes such as curries, fritters and stir-fries.

Pickled jackfruit must be soaked in water for about three hours before being used in cooking. The water must be changed at least every thirty minutes. This is done to remove excess salt from the jackfruit. 

Cooking and preserving cooked jackfruit

Ripe jackfruit has a sweet taste and can be eaten fresh. Ripe jackfruit can also be incorporated into baked desserts, ice creams and drinks.

Unripe jackfruit is commonly used to make curries or salads in South Asian cuisine. In western cuisine, unripe jackfruit is used as a meat substitute in many vegan dishes.

Cooked jackfruit can be refrigerated and reheated when needed. Three common methods of cooking jackfruit in South Asian cuisine from Sri Lanka are as follows (5,8).

  • Jackfruit curry with coconut milk  (Known as “Kiri Kos” in Sinhala)

“Kiri Kos” curry is prepared from partially ripe jackfruit. The cut-up bulbs and seeds of jackfruit are cooked with coconut milk and spices. Jackfruit curry can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two days.

  • Jackfruit curry (Known as “Polos” in Sinhala)

Polos” is prepared from raw jackfruit. Raw jackfruit is cooked with coconut milk and plenty of spices. This curry can be preserved for about five days when refrigerated in an airtight container.

  • Jackfruit and coconut (Known as “Kos Mallum” in Sinhala)

Kos Mallum” is prepared by mixing boiled jackfruit with scraped coconut and spices. This is used as a side dish and it can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two days.

Other FAQs about Jack Fruit that you may be interested in.

​​Can you eat jackfruit when pregnant?

Can you eat jackfruit raw?

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “How to preserve jackfruit?”. We discussed the different methods used to preserve jackfruits such as dehydration and pickling. We also discussed cooking with jackfruit with examples of a few traditional jackfruit dishes from South Asian cuisine.

References

  1. Altendorf, Sabine. Minor tropical fruits. Food Outlook. FAO. http://www. fao. org/fileadmin/templates/est/COMM_MARKETS_MONITORING/Tropical_Fruits/Documents/Minor_Tropical_Fruits_FoodOutlook_1_2018. pdf, 2018, 67-75. 
  2. Khan, Ahasan Ullah, et al. A review on importance of Artocarpus heterophyllus L.(Jackfruit). J Multidisc App Nat Sci, 2021.
  3. Saxena, J., and K. K. Dash. Drying kinetics and moisture diffusivity study of ripe Jackfruit. Int food res j, 2015, 22, 414.
  4. Sally, Kubasa Mary, B. Ranganna, and K. B. Munishamanna. Study on the post harvest shelf life of minimally processed jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus L.) bulbs. Mysore J Agri Sci, 2011, 45, 528-536.
  5. Love, Ken, and Robert E. Paull. Jackfruit. 2011.  University of Hawai‘i.
  6. Leite, Daniela Dantas de Farias, et al. Mathematical drying kinetics modeling of jackfruit seeds (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.). Rev Ciên Agron, 2019, 50, 361-369.
  7. Morshed, M. H., et al. Storage life and quality characteristics of nutritious flour from ripe jackfruit seed. J Eng, 2019, 10, 19-24.
  8. Mondal, C., et al. Product development from jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) and analysis of nutritional quality of the processed products. J Agri Vet Sci, 2013, 4, 76-84.