Jackfruit Trees for Delicious Recipes, Feed and Timber for Poverty Alleviation
The jackfruit tree is Artocarpus heterophyllus, a tropical evergreen tree, growing to a very good height of about 15 m, 25 m. It mostly grows straight and it branches unevenly at great lengths. Trees can be raised from seedlings and recently from budded grafts also. The grafted plants have become very much popular, mainly because they yield quickly and produce true to the type of fruits as the mother tree.
There are a number of jackfruit varieties, for example, round ones, oval ones, yellow perianth, orange perianth, white perianth, around the year yielder, etc.
The jack fruit which is a form of composite fruit, used as a vegetable when it is tender and when it becomes mature, it can be used as an alternative for cereals like rice, as it has plenty of carbohydrates. Ripe jackfruit has food value, delicious taste and can be used for making a large number of preparations.
Since jackfruit is having shallow spines on its skin and moreover it is very heavy due to its size, cutting of jackfruit is skilful work. For making the first cut, either a very sharp sickle or an axe is required. Innovative farmers have developed themselves jackfruit cutting devices using the vehicle balance spring leaves.
People themselves individually or collectively in community, process jackfruit in various preparations. These preparation are also sold in village markets. On one hand Jackfruit help in saving on the vegetable expense and on the other, they also help the rural people to do value addition and to earn the income.
A large number of recipes can be made out of jackfruit. It is extremely used, related to the vegetables. The jackfruit perianth can be ground to form a gravy for making the Indian bread. Another method is very simple where the perianths can be salted and stored for the rainy season for making a lot of food preparations. More than 40 types of culinary preparations are made from jackfruit, as one of the main ingredients.
Tender jackfruits are very useful for diabetics
The Jackfruit before it becomes succulent by the accumulation of carbohydrate in the perianth lobes, it contains a lot of dietary fibres. Chopping these dietary fibres into small pieces and cooking and eating helps for the addition of a lot of dietary fibre into the food. This helps to bring down carbohydrate in the food as well as for making weight-loss in the body.
Jackfruits are of feed value
Jackfruit whether it is either mature or ripe, it can be used as a cattle feed. The fruits are cut into pieces and dried in the sun for an extended shelf life of the cattle feed. One of the disadvantages is that the tree and fruits have latex inside, which is also there in the ripe fruits. However, when it is cut, the latex flows out and can be easily removed. After removing the latex, by cutting and wiping out with a stick, it is given as feed. The fresh fruits after cutting can be fed directly, as much as 8 kilos of jackfruit per day, for a moderately sized cow, which is a good quantity. By feeding the jackfruit to the dairy cows, there is a lot of saving on cattle feed. Important gain, that is due to the availability of good amount of potassium in the jackfruit, it has a complementary effect on calcium absorption by the body and it has an advantage on the milk yield also. Whereas, if you feed some sort of other cattle feeds, the cows go on losing the body calcium and demand supplementary calcium diet.
The cows love the taste of either raw or cooked jackfruits cut into pieces and they relish it very much due it's sweetness and its aroma.
Other uses of jackfruit
The Jackfruit tree is very sacred. It is used in the rituals as holy firewood. Priests in the temples are performing religious rituals such as ‘Yagas’ using jackwood, in case if sandalwood is not available. They also use coconut shell and coconut husk. Jackfruit leaves are used to pour the ghee to the ritual sacred fire. They are also used to keep above the tumblers and beneath the coconuts, for the ‘Kalasha Paatram’ or the holy water container.
After an age of about 25 years or more, the jackfruit tree is very valuable. Its timber is golden yellow or reddish in colour giving a very royal elegance to the furniture made out of it. However, compared to the girth of the tree, due to a very thick bark, the hardwood is slightly lesser. The bark is inferior in timber quality. The hardwood is very valuable quality, the middle portion is used for making boards, bars and the outer portion is used for narrow bars for the furniture which are moderately lightweight and amenable for craftsmanship.
In view of the multiple-use, the jackfruit finds its own value in rural life. It is cut only when it is very old in age. When such trees are cut for timber use, its owner gets a very high price and hence it is called a gold yielder tree.
Final words on jackfruits
In a nutshell, jackfruit alleviates the poverty of rural people. Jackfruit season is a festival in the rural villages. A large number of preparations are made out of jackfruit seeds also, which are also tasty and proteinaceous and rich in calcium.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Halemane Muralikrishna