From Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforesty
by Craig R. Elevitch and Harley I. Manner

Jackfruit Tips

How to tell if a fruit is mature

In order to achieve best fruit quality, the fruit must be allowed to develop to full maturity on the tree, then ripen after harvest. Harvested even a few days too early, the fruit will not ripen to its best quality. Fruits take 3–8 months from flower to mature fruit, depending on the individual tree, growing conditions, and weather; therefore, time from flowering alone is not a good indicator of maturity. It takes some experience to gauge maturity.

There are four primary indicators.

1) The skin turns from light green to yellowish or brownish green;
2) the points of the spines grow further apart and flatten slightly, and the skin yields slightly to pressure;
3) The last leaf on the stalk turns yellow;
4) the fruit produces a dull, hollow sound when tapped. Usually two or more of these indicators are used to evaluate the maturity of fruit. After harvesting a mature fruit, it ripens in 3–7 days and begins to emit its strong, characteristic fragrance. For most people, the fragrance is too strong to bear indoors, and the fruit is kept outside or in an open shed until eaten.

Harvesting fruit

Fruits are collected using an orchard ladder or by climbing the trees, cutting the stem of the fruit, and carefully lowering the fruit to the ground with a rope if necessary.

Reducing latex

Harvesting ripe fruits between mid-morning and late afternoon can reduce latex flow (Acedo 1992).

How to avoid a sticky mess

When cutting into a jackfruit, a very sticky latex is exuded from the rind and fibrous parts of the fruit. Coating the knife and hands with edible oil (such as coconut oil) will prevent the latex from sticking. If some latex becomes inadvertently stuck to the skin or hair, it can be removed by rubbing with edible oil.

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Elevitch, Craig R. and Manner, Harley I. "Artocarpus heterophyllus (jackfruit)." Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforesty.  Apr. 2006. Web. 19 Dec. 2014.

Published 20 Dec. 2014 LR
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