From Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforesty
by Craig R. Elevitch and Harley I. Manner
How to tell if a fruit is mature
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;
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.
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.
Harvesting ripe fruits between mid-morning and late afternoon can reduce latex flow (Acedo 1992).
How to avoid a sticky mess
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.