Jackfruits are rich in nutrients and can be used to make a variety of delicacies, say experts.
In spite of its huge production, its utilisation as food is less than 40 per cent and the rest goes waste, which amounts to approximately `2,000 crore per annum. Jackfruit must be popularised both as a fruit as well as a vegetable because the whole tree has huge value and can bring economic benefits, they said.
Dr Shyamala at the Dept of Biotechnology in the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore, said jackfruit is rich in vitamin A and C, potassium, phosphorus and calcium. It has 10-12 per cent carbohydrate content, 6-7 per cent protein and 2-3 per cent fibre in every 100 grams. It also contains flavonoids that fight free radicals responsible for ageing.
Vice-Chancellor Prof Narayana Gowda said UAS, Bangalore has carried out identification of elite jackfruit genotypes from 1990s, resulting in the establishment of a jackfruit germplasm block and the release of an elite variety in 2009 called ‘Swarna Halasu’.
Shyamala said a total 10 good varieties of jackfruit have been identified, and will be showcased at an upcoming international symposium. The Dept of Biotechnology, Government of India has sanctioned a multi-institute project on jackfruit and its value-added products from 2012 with a funding of `4.65 crore. The project also involves Assam, Tripura and Mehgalaya along with Kerala and Karnataka.
Several value-added products such as squash, chips, papad, peda, wine, juice, muffins, jackfruit flour etc. have been developed and standardised by the Post Harvest Technology Department of UASB. These products are now ready for international markets, Shyamala said.
The V-C said jackfruit trees can grow both during droughts and floods, and all its parts are useful as feed, fuel, timber, vegetables and fruits. “It is aptly called the second ‘kalpavruksha’, next only to coconut,” he said.
Source: New Indian Express