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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

JACKFRUIT - DESCRIPTION

a) Description
The largest tree-borne fruit in the world, Buah Nangka (Malay) or Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is grown on a species of tree in the mulberry family. There are grown in tropical climate with good soil fertility and drainage system. Jackfruit are grown in Malaysia for fresh and export market and estimated about 3,640 hectare in 2013 with annual production about 29,000 metric ton. The evergreen trees are large, often reaching a height of above 20 meter but normally pruned for 4-5 meter for harvesting purpose. The jackfruits can sometimes weigh over 60 kg. however, the average sized fruits are 1-2 feet long, and 9-12" wide are weighed about 20 - 30 kg. The exterior of the fruit is green-yellow, with small spiky knobs, while the flesh is custard yellow, with a banana-like flavor. The leaves are oblong, oval or elliptic, usually 4 to 6 inches in length and leathery, glossy and deep green in color. Among other characteristic for most jackfruit are the  white latex produced by most part of the tre include in the leaves, stems and fruits skin.



b) Varieties
There are two varieties of jackfruits: one that is small, fibrous, soft, and mushy and the carpels are sweet, with a texture like that of a raw oyster. The other variety is crisp and crunchy, but not very sweet. In Malaysia among popular varieties grown for commercial production such as Nangka Tekam Yellow, Nangka Mastura, Nangka Mantin, Nangka Subang, Nangka Madu Kristal and few other local varieties. nangka Tekam Yellow are identified by Department of Agriculture Malaysia (DOA) as premium varieties for domestic and export market (See photo beside). From literature, jackfruits are believed to have originated in the rain forests of the Western Ghats in India. They are vegetated in other parts of India, South-East Asia (Mostly in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand), East Indies, Philippines, Brazil and Surinam also. Jackfruit is known as kanthal in Bangla, panasa in Sanskrit, katahal in Hindi, pala in Tamil and chakka in Malayalam. In Malaysia it was vegetated in TKPM Projects (Permanent Food Production Park) projects organised by DOA to promote jackfruit production in this counter. I also informed that the plant Chemicals for jackfruit are contain of (+)- all-trans-lutein (24-44%), all-trans-beta-carotene (24-30%), all-trans-neoxanthin (4-19%), 9-cis-neoxanthin (4-19%), 9-cis-violaxanthin (4-10%).

c) Uses and Benefits of Jackfruit
The leaves of jackfruit tree are useful for curing fever, boils and skin diseases. When heated, they prove useful in curing wounds. The latex of the fruit is helpful in treating dysopia, opthalmities and also for pharyngitis. The latex can also be mixed with vinegar to heal abscesses, snakebites and glandular swellings. The wood of jackfruit tree is widely used in the industry in manufacturing musical instruments, furniture, doors, windows and roof constructions. The seed starch is useful in relieving biliousness, while the roasted seeds are regarded as aphrodisiac. To heal ulcers, the ash of jackfruit leaves is burnt with corn and coconut shells and used either alone or mixed with coconut oil.  The root of jackfruit tree forms the remedy for skin diseases, fever and diarrhea. The heartwood of the tree is used by Buddhist forest monastics in Southeast Asia, for dying the robes of the monks to light brown color.
In China, the pulp and seeds of jackfruit are considered as a cooling and nutritious tonic. The fruit is useful in overcoming the influence of alcohol on a person’s body system. The wood of jackfruit tree has sedative properties, due to which its pith can result in abortion. Jackfruit can increase coagulation. People who are allergic to birch pollen can show signs of allergy towards jackfruit.

Writer with 'Jackfruit fruit wrapper' equipment
- has won National Innovation Award in 2000.
By,
M Anem
Senior Agronomist,
Horticulture Division,
DOA Malaysia,
Putrajaya,
Malaysia.
(25 Syawal 1434H)

 

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