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Jackfruit hanging.JPG
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Moraceae
Tribe: Artocarpeae
Genus: Artocarpus
Species: A. heterophyllus
Binomial name
Artocarpus heterophyllus
  • Artocarpus brasiliensis Ortega
  • A. maximus Blanco
  • A. nanca Noronha (nom inval.)
  • A. philippensis Lam.

The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), also known as jack tree, jakfruit, or sometimes simply jack or jak[6] is a species of tree in the mulberry and fig family (Moraceae).

It is native to parts of South and Southeast Asia, and is believed to have originated in the southwestern rain forests of India, in present-day Goa, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka[7] coastal Karnataka, and Maharashtra.[8] The jackfruit tree is well suited to tropical lowlands, and its fruit is the largest tree-borne fruit,[9] reaching as much as 35 kg (80 lb) in weight, 90 cm (35 in) in length, and 50 cm (20 in) in diameter.[10]

The jackfruit tree is a widely cultivated and popular food item throughout the tropical regions of the world. Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh, by name Kathal (কাঁঠাল) in Bengali language.[11] The Jackfruit tree can produce about 100 to 200 fruits in a year.


Jackfruit hanging from the trunk
The jackfruit illustrated by Michael Boym in the 1656 book Flora Sinensis.

The word "jackfruit" comes from Portuguese jaca, which in turn, is derived from the Malayalam language term, chakka (Malayalam chakka pazham : ചക്കപ്പഴം).[12] When the Portuguese arrived in India at Kozhikode (Calicut) on the Malabar Coast (Kerala) in 1498, the Malayalam name chakka was recorded by Hendrik van Rheede (1678–1703) in the Hortus Malabaricus, vol. iii in Latin. Henry Yule translated the book in Jordanus Catalani's (f. 1321–1330) Mirabilia descripta: the wonders of the East.[13]

The common English name "jackfruit" was used by the physician and naturalist Garcia de Orta in his 1563 book Colóquios dos simples e drogas da India.[14][15] Centuries later, botanist Ralph Randles Stewart suggested it was named after William Jack (1795–1822), a Scottish botanist who worked for the East India Company in Bengal, Sumatra, and Malaysia.[16]


Artocarpus integer (Thunb.) Merr.[17] is currently accepted name, whereas Artocarpus integrifolius L.f. is synonym. However, in Flora of British India, Volume 5 (Page 541), J.D. Hooker mentions it as Artocarpus integrifolia L.f. Moreover, Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam. is a different species.[18]


Developing jackfruit in Bangladesh

The jackfruit has played a significant role in Indian agriculture for centuries. Archeological findings in India have revealed that jackfruit was cultivated in India 3000 to 6000 years ago.[19] It has also been widely cultivated in southeast Asia. Stingless bees such as Tetragonula iridipennis are jackfruit pollinators and as such play an important role in jackfruit cultivation.[20]


Jackfruit have a distinctive, sweet and fruity aroma. In a study of flavour volatiles in five jackfruit cultivars, the main volatile compounds that were detected were: ethyl isovalerate, propyl isovalerate, butyl isovalerate, isobutyl isovalerate, 3-methylbutyl acetate, 1-butanol and 2-methylbutanol.[21]

Culinary uses of jackfruit[edit]

Jackfruit flesh
Opened jackfruit

The flesh of the jackfruit is starchy and fibrous and is a source of dietary fiber. The flavor is comparable to a combination of apple, pineapple, mango, and banana.[22] Varieties are distinguished according to characteristics of the fruit's flesh.

  • In Bangladesh the fruit is consumed on its own. The unripe fruit is used in curry. The seed is often dried and preserved to be later used in curry.[11] Thailand and Vietnam are major producers of jackfruit, which are often cut, prepared, and canned in a sugary syrup (or frozen in bags/boxes without syrup), and exported overseas, frequently to North America and Europe.
  • In Brazil, three varieties are recognized: jaca-dura, or the "hard" variety, which has a firm flesh and the largest fruits that can weigh between 15 and 40 kg each, jaca-mole, or the "soft" variety, which bears smaller fruits with a softer and sweeter flesh, and jaca-manteiga, or the "butter" variety, which bears sweet fruits whose flesh has a consistency intermediate between the "hard" and "soft" varieties.[23] In Indochina, the two varieties are the "hard" version (more crunchy, drier and less sweet but fleshier), and the "soft" version (more soft, moister, much sweeter with a darker gold-color flesh than the hard variety).
  • In Indonesia, jackfruit is called nangka. The ripe fruit is usually sold separately and consumed on its own; or sliced and mixed with shaved ice as a sweet concoction dessert, such as es campur and es teler. The ripe fruit might be dried and fried as kripik nangka or jackfruit cracker. The seeds are boiled and consumed with salt as it contains edible starchy content, this is called beton. Young (unripe) jackfruit is used in several kinds of curry, such as gulai nangka and gudeg.
  • In Tamil Nadu(India) Panruti the sleepy coastal taluk in Cuddalore district is the heaven of jackfruit. It produces the best jackfruits in the country – fat, sweet and tasty. You can buy the fruit round the year. The biggest jackfruit in Panruti weighs over 70 kg which actually makes it a hot contender for the Guinness Book of Records. A Hawaiian jackfruit, at a mere 34 kg holds the title at present. By not staking a claim, Panruti is depriving itself of a world record title every year.[7][24] From here, jack fruits are exported to many states in India as well as exported to many countries across the world. A place known as 'Chakka Gramam'(Tamil: சக்க கிராமம்)(Jackfruit village), it has large jackfruit tree plantations covering a total area of 1,084 hectares and they yield about 40 tonnes per hectare, earning a revenue of around 18 crore rupees(INR) a year for Panruthi farmers. The village also has the highest jackfruit consumption per annum in the country.[25]
  • In Kerala, India two varieties of jackfruit predominate: varikka (വരിക്ക) and koozha (കൂഴ). Varikka has a slightly hard inner flesh when ripe, while the inner flesh of the ripe koozha fruit is very soft and almost dissolving. A sweet preparation called chakka varattiyathu (jackfruit jam) is made by seasoning pieces of varikka fruit flesh in jaggery, which can be preserved and used for many months. Huge jackfruits up to four feet in length with a corresponding girth are sometimes seen in Kerala.[citation needed] The young fruit is idichakka or idianchakka in Kerala.
  • In West Bengal, India the two varieties are called khaja kathal and moja kathal. The fruits are either eaten alone or as a side to rice, roti, chira, or muri. Sometimes, the juice is extracted and either drunk straight or as a side with muri. The extract is sometimes condensed into rubbery delectables and eaten as candies. The seeds are either boiled or roasted and eaten with salt and hot chillies. They are also used to make spicy side-dishes with rice or roti.
  • In Mangalore, Karnataka, India the varieties are called bakke and imba. The pulp of the imba jackfruit is ground and made into a paste, then spread over a mat and allowed to dry in the sun to create a natural chewy candy.
  • In Coorg, Karnataka, India the culinary items made out of jackfruit are aplenty. Jackfruit is known as Chakke. Jackfruit seeds are fried and a curry is made.
  • In Maharashtra, the hard variety is called kaapa and the soft variety is called barka. The juice of the barka is extracted and spread on greased metal dishes which are then kept for sun-drying. Within 2–3 days, a tasty dried pancake-like dried jackfruit juice called as phansacha saath or phanas poli results.[26]
  • In Sri Lanka the young fruit is called polos - පොලොස් , ripened fruit is called waraka - වරකා and wela - වැල.
  • In Indochina, jackfruit is a frequent ingredient in sweets and desserts.
  • In Vietnam, jackfruit is used to make jackfruit chè (chè is a sweet dessert soup, similar to the Chinese derivative, bubur chacha). The Vietnamese also use jackfruit puree as part of pastry fillings, or as a topping on xôi ngọt (sweet version of sticky rice portions).
  • Jackfruit is known as Rukh-Katahar (= tree katahar) in Nepal, while Bhui-Katahar (= Ground Katahar) denotes pineapple. The ripe fruite is eaten itself (sometimes with a pinch of salt sprinkled) as a delicacy while the unripe fruit is used to prepare savory curry. The ripe fruit is also used to brew alcoholic beverage in some parts of the country.

Jackfruit is commonly used in South and Southeast Asian cuisines.[27][22]

Culinary uses for ripe fruit[edit]

Ripe jackfruit is naturally sweet with subtle flavoring. It can be used to make a variety of dishes, including custards, cakes, or mixed with shaved ice as es teler in Indonesia or halo-halo in the Philippines. In India, when the jackfruit is in season, an ice cream chain store called "Naturals" carries jackfruit flavored ice cream.

Ripe jackfruit arils are sometimes seeded, fried, or freeze-dried and sold as jackfruit chips.

The seeds from ripe fruits are edible, are said to have a milky, sweet taste, and may be boiled, baked, or roasted. When roasted, the flavor of the seeds is comparable to chestnuts. Seeds are used as snacks either by boiling or fire roasting, or to make desserts. For making the traditional breakfast dish in southern India: idlis, the fruit is used with rice as an ingredient and jackfruit leaves are used as a wrapping for steaming. Jackfruit dosas can be prepared by grinding jackfruit flesh along with the batter.

Culinary uses for unripe fruit[edit]

Developing jackfruit

The cuisines of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam use cooked young jackfruit.[22] In Indonesia, young jackfruit is cooked with coconut milk as gudeg. In many cultures, jackfruit is boiled and used in curries as a staple food. In northern Thailand, the boiled young jackfruit is used in the Thai salad called tam kanun. In West Bengal, the unripe green jackfruit called aechor or ichor is used as a vegetable to make various spicy curries and side dishes, and as fillings for cutlets and chops. It is especially sought after by vegetarians who substitute this for meat, hence is nicknamed as gacch-patha (tree-mutton). In Odisha jackfruit is called Panasa Katha and used to make Panasa Tarkari (Raw Jackfruit curry), it is also used to make achar (Pickel).In the Philippines, it is cooked with coconut milk (ginataang langka). In Réunion Island, it is cooked either alone or with meat, such as shrimp or smoked pork. In southern India, unripe jackfruit slices are deep fried to make chips. In Udipi cuisine, jackfruit is used make appa and addae.

Because unripe jackfruit has a meat-like taste, it is used in curry dishes with spices, in Bihar, Jharkhand, Sri Lankan, Andhran, eastern Indian (Bengali) and (Odisha) and Keralan cuisines. The skin of unripe jackfruit must be peeled first, then the remaining whole jackfruit can be chopped into edible portions and cooked before serving. Young jackfruit has a mild flavor and distinctive meat-like texture and is compared to poultry. Meatless sandwiches have been suggested and are popular with both vegetarian and nonvegetarian populations.


Jackfruit, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 397 kJ (95 kcal)
Sugars 19.08 g
Dietary fibre 1.5 g
0.64 g
1.72 g
Vitamin A equiv.
5 μg
61 μg
157 μg
Thiamine (B1)
0.105 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.055 mg
Niacin (B3)
0.92 mg
0.235 mg
Vitamin B6
0.329 mg
Folate (B9)
24 μg
Vitamin C
13.8 mg
Vitamin E
0.34 mg
24 mg
0.23 mg
29 mg
0.043 mg
21 mg
448 mg
2 mg
0.13 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

The edible jackfruit is made of easily digestible flesh (bulbs); a 100-g portion of edible raw jackfruit provides about 95 calories and is a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C, providing about 13.7 mg.[28] Jackfruit seeds are rich in protein. The fruit is also rich in vitamin B6, potassium, calcium, and iron.[29]


In general, the seeds are gathered from the ripe fruit, sun-dried, then stored for use in rainy season in many parts of South Indian states. They are extracted from fully matured fruits and washed in water to remove the slimy part. Seeds should be stored immediately in closed polythene bags for one or two days to prevent them from drying out. Germination is improved by soaking seeds in clean water for 24 hours. During transplanting, sow seeds in line, 30 cm apart, in a nursery bed filled with 70% soil mixed with 30% organic matter.[30] The seedbed should be shaded partially from direct sunlight to protect emerging seedlings.

Boiled jackfruit seeds are also edible. Often compared to Brazil nuts, they are quite commonly used in curry in the Indian state of Kerala and used in Dalema (traditional Odiya lentil and vegetable mix curry) in Odisha. In Java, the seeds are commonly cooked and seasoned with salt as a snack.


Jackfruit tree

The wood of the tree is used for the production of musical instruments. In Indonesia, hardwood from the trunk is carved out to form the barrels of drums used in the gamelan, and in the Philippines, its soft wood is made into the body of the kutiyapi, a type of boat lute. It is also used to make the body of the Indian string instrument veena and the drums mridangam, thimila, and kanjira; the golden, yellow timber with good grain is used for building furniture and house construction in India. The ornate wooden plank called avani palaka made of the wood of jackfruit tree is used as the priest's seat during Hindu ceremonies in Kerala. In Vietnam, jackfruit wood is prized for the making of Buddhist statuaries in temples,[31] and fish sauce barrels.[32]

Jackfruit wood is widely used in the manufacture of furniture, doors and windows, and in roof construction. The heartwood is used by Buddhist forest monastics in Southeast Asia as a dye, giving the robes of the monks in those traditions their distinctive light-brown color.[33]

Commercial availability[edit]

Outside of its countries of origin, fresh jackfruit can be found at Asian food markets, especially in the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Bangladesh. It is also extensively cultivated in the Brazilian coastal region, where it is sold in local markets. It is available canned in sugary syrup, or frozen, already prepared and cut. Dried jackfruit chips are produced by various manufacturers. In northern Australia, particularly in Darwin, jackfruit can be found on the outdoor produce markets during the dry season. Outside of countries where it is grown, jackfruit can be obtained year-round both canned or dried. It has a ripening season in Asia of late spring to late summer.[34]

Jackfruit industries are established in Sri Lanka and Vietnam, where the fruit is processed into products such as flour, noodles, papad, and ice cream. It is also canned and sold as a vegetable for export.[29]

Production and marketing[edit]

The marketing of jackfruit involves three groups: producers, traders (middlemen) including wholesalers, and retailers.[35] The marketing channels are rather complex. Large farms sell immature fruits to wholesalers which help cash flow and reduce risk, whereas medium-sized farms sell fruits directly to local markets or retailers.

In Kerala, a large amount of jackfruit production occurs naturally, but around 97% of its production is wasted because of lack of processing units and marketing.

Cultural significance[edit]

The national fruit of Bangladesh is the Jackfruit.[11] The Jackfruit is the state fruit of the Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, one of the three auspicious fruits of Tamil Nadu, along with the mango and banana.[36]

Invasive species[edit]

In Brazil the jackfruit can become an invasive species as in Brazil's Tijuca Forest National Park in Rio de Janeiro. The Tijuca is mostly an artificial secondary forest, whose planting began during the mid-19th century, and jackfruit trees have been a part of the park's flora since its founding. Recently, the species has expanded excessively; its fruits, which naturally fall to the ground and open, are eagerly eaten by small mammals such as the common marmoset and coati. The seeds are dispersed by these animals, which allows the jackfruit to compete for space with native tree species. Additionally, as the marmoset and coati also prey opportunistically on bird's eggs and nestlings, the supply of jackfruit as a ready source of food has allowed them to expand their populations, to the detriment of the local bird populations. Between 2002 and 2007, 55,662 jackfruit saplings were destroyed in the Tijuca Forest area in a deliberate culling effort by the park's management.[37]

Production trends[edit]

the top 5 producers of Jackfruits (in 1000 tonnes) were as follows:[38]

Rank Country Production
(1000 tonnes)
1  India 1436
2  Bangladesh 926
3  Thailand 392
4  Indonesia 340
5    Nepal 18.97


  1. ^ Under its accepted name Artocarpus heterophyllus (then as heterophylla) this species was described in Encyclopédie Méthodique, Botanique 3: 209. (1789) by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, from a specimen collected by botanist Philibert Commerson. Lamarck said of the fruit that it was coarse and difficult to digest. "Larmarck's original description of tejas". Retrieved 2012-11-23. On mange la chair de son fruit, ainsi que les noyaux qu'il contient; mais c'est un aliment grossier et difficile à digérer. 
  2. ^ "Name - !Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.". Tropicos. Saint Louis, Missouri: Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  3. ^ "TPL, treatment of Artocarpus heterophyllus". The Plant List; Version 1. (published on the internet). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden. 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  4. ^ "Name – Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam. synonyms". Tropicos. Saint Louis, Missouri: Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  5. ^ GRIN (2006-11-02). "Artocarpus heterophyllus information from NPGS/GRIN". Taxonomy for Plants. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  6. ^ "Artocarpus heterophyllus". Tropical Biology Association. October 2006. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  7. ^ a b "Jackfruit Paradise". Civil Society. 
  8. ^ Boning, Charles R. (2006). Florida's Best Fruiting Plants: Native and Exotic Trees, Shrubs, and Vines. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press, Inc. p. 107. 
  9. ^ "Jackfruit, Breadfruit & Relatives". Know & Enjoy Tropical Fruit. 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  10. ^ "Jackfruit Fruit Facts". California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc. 1996. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  11. ^ a b c Matin, Abdul. "A poor man's fruit: Now a miracle food!". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2015-06-12. 
  12. ^ Pradeepkumar, T.; Jyothibhaskar, B. Suma; Satheesan, K. N. (2008). Prof. K. V. Peter, ed. Management of Horticultural Crops. Horticulteral Science Series 11. New Delhi, India: New India Publishing. p. 81. ISBN 978-81-89422-49-3. The English name jackfruit is derived from Portuguese jaca, which is derived from Malayalam chakka. 
  13. ^ Friar Jordanus, 14th century, as translated from the Latin by Henry Yule (1863). Mirabilia descripta: the wonders of the East. Hakluyt Society. p. 13. Retrieved 2012-11-23. 
  14. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, 1989, online edition
  15. ^ Anon. (2000) The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition.
  16. ^ Stewart, Ralph R. (1984). "How Did They Die?". Taxon 33 (1): 48–52. doi:10.2307/1222028. 
  17. ^ "Artocarpus integer (Thunb.) Merr. — The Plant List". Theplantlist.org. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  18. ^ "Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam. — The Plant List". Theplantlist.org. 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  19. ^ Preedy, Victor R.; Watson, Ronald Ross; Patel, Vinood B., eds. (2011). Nuts and Seeds in Health and Disease Prevention (1st ed.). Burlington, MA: Academic Press. p. 678. ISBN 978-0-12-375689-3. 
  20. ^ Kothai, S. (2015). "Environmental Impact on Stingless Bee Propolis (Tetragonula iridipennis) Reared from Two Different Regions of Tamilnadu - A Comparative Study". International Journal of ChemTech Research.
  21. ^ Ong, B.T.; Nazimah, S.A.H.; Tan, C.P.; Mirhosseini, H.; Osman, A.; Hashim, D. Mat; Rusul, G. (August 2008). "Analysis of volatile compounds in five jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus L.) cultivars using solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOFMS)". Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 21 (5): 416–422. doi:10.1016/j.jfca.2008.03.002. Retrieved 2013-02-02. 
  22. ^ a b c The encyclopedia of fruit & nuts, By Jules Janick, Robert E. Paull, p. 155
  23. ^ General information, Department of Agriculture, State of Bahia. seagri.ba.gov.br (in Portuguese)
  24. ^ http://www.indiawaterportal.org/news/jackfruit-paradise-panruti-tn-breaks-all-records-terms-production
  25. ^ http://unparalleledindia.blogspot.in/2013/07/jackfruit-village-panruti.html
  26. ^ Morton, J. "Jackfruit – Artocarpus heterophyllus". 
  27. ^ The encyclopedia of fruit & nuts, By Jules Janick, Robert E. Paull, pp.481–485
  28. ^ "Show Foods". Ndb.nal.usda.gov. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  29. ^ a b Goldenberg, Suzanne (2014-04-23). "Jackfruit heralded as 'miracle' food crop". The Guardian. 
  30. ^ Jackfruit Artocarpus heterophyllus. Field Manual for Extension Workers and Farmers (PDF). Southampton, UK: Southampton Centre for Underutilised Crops. 2006. ISBN 0-85432-834-3. 
  31. ^ "Gỗ mít nài". Nhagoviethung.com. Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  32. ^ "Nam O fish sauce village". Danang Today. 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2015-09-22. 
  33. ^ Forest Monks and the Nation-state: An Anthropological and Historical Study in Northeast Thailand J.L. Taylor 1993 p. 218
  34. ^ Jackfruit. Hort.purdue.edu. Retrieved on 2011-10-17.
  35. ^ Haq, Nazmul (2006). Jackfruit: Artocarpus heterophyllus (PDF). Southampton, UK: Southampton Centre for Underutilised Crops. p. 129. ISBN 0-85432-785-1. 
  36. ^ Subrahmanian, N.; Hikosaka, Shu; Samuel, G. John; Thiagarajan, P. (1997). Tamil social history. Institute of Asian Studies. p. 88. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  37. ^ Livia de Almeida, "Guerra contra as jaqueiras" ("War on Jackfruit"), Revista Veja Rio, 2007-05-05; see also [http:/,/www.jbrj.gov.br/enbt/posgraduacao/resumos/2008/rodolfo_de_abreu.htm]
  38. ^ "Jackfruit: Improvement in the Asia-Pacific Region" (PDF). Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions. 

External links[edit]