Jackfruit as meat

Jackfruit is becoming one of the new meat substitutes. This big and massive fruit originated from Asia. This fruit has a pulpy flesh containing fibers and providing a meat texture feeling. Before considering vegan applications, let’s talk about this atypical fruit.

Supposed to be born in Bangladesh, Jackfruit is present in India, in Southeast Asia (Viet Nam, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, and in many other Asian countries. Though commercial and geopolitical expansions, the fruit was grown in Africa, Brazil (Jaca) and Pacific Islands and in many tropical Islands. In Madagascar, this is a very common fruit. One specific agronomic student report from Madagascar has been very useful to write this article (Razafindrakotohary T, et al. 2019). In addition, the reading of one National Geographic article on this topic (link provided on this page) is recommended.

Jackfruit is part of Moraceae Botanical family and more precisely the Artocarpus genera.  The Artocarpus genera count also another well know tropical fruit, the breadfruit tree (Artocarpus altilis). Jackfruit scientific name is Artocarpus heterophyllus. The fruit is really enormous and is made of many drupes. The fruits grow directly on the tree trunk and can have a weight of 15 kilograms and 70-centimeter size.

In Madagascar, 3 types of Jackfruits are coexisting:

  • Hard Jackfruit: Mature fruits stay firm.
  • Sosso Jackfruit: With softer flesh
  • Honey Jackfruit : with a very sweet juice.

On top of its medicinal use, jackfruit is consumed as a food, cooked, in jams, jellies or chips. Seeds can be toasted to be consumed.

In the last 10 years, Indian companies such as Wakao Foods Food, launched jackfruit based foods and some products are also available in south America and North America (The JackFruit Company).

Recently, a scientific article described vegan sausage product development using jackfruit flesh, mushrooms, and Coconut flour coco (Paranagama et al., J Microbiol Biotech Food Sci, 2020).

In France, one young company, Nudj, has developed meat substitutes based on jackfruit. The company proposes nuggets and veggie steacks with a texture very close to meat.

Science 2 Food has been working as mentor In Vitagora, Toasterlab startup acceleration program with Nudj.

Picture from Nadine Primeau on Unsplash

Picture from Callum Parker on Unsplash