The edible portion of durian, pulp, is only 30% or one-third of the whole fruit. However, the husk and seeds can still be useful. The seeds can be fried like other snacks. The husk can be dried and used as fuel or fertilizer for trees. Fresh consumption is by far the most important. Durians, harvested at 80-90% maturity, have a long shelf life of 5-10 days before consumption.
The Monthong durian ripens slower than Chanee so it can be kept longer. But natural drop or overripe durians should be consumed as quickly as possible; however they are unpopular with Thais. They are generally processed into durian paste, candy or sticky rice with durian in coconut milk.
Due to popular durian consumption, farmers have doubled the land used to grow durian. An unavoidable result is a slump in durian prices. This encourages people to seek new outlets for durian by developing products from the excess of fresh fruit. To absorb excess supplies during harvest, durian is sometimes processed into frozen durian, durian chips, durian cake, sweet dried durian, French-fried durian, ice cream and candies. Processed durian products are mostly supplied to the domestic market, while frozen durian is not common among local consumers.
Other motivations for developing durian products are to :
- Develop value -added products.
- Extend the shelf life of durian.
- Extend the marketing period.
- Solve the odor problem (unlike fresh durian, durian products can be shipped by air without becoming odorous)
- Reduce the cost shipment (some durian valued-added products are less heavy than fresh durian).
Pre-processed durian is almost the same as fresh durian. Minimally processed, ready-to-eat durian is easier for people who have difficulty dehusking the fresh fruit. Durian should be half-ripe before being dehusked.
The durian aril with seeds intact is removed from the locules and placed in a foam tray before being wrapped with polyvinyl chloride (PVC) film to prevent condensation inside the package. Paper towel is sometimes laid on the foam tray beneath the aril to reduce humidity within the package and prevent the aril becoming watery. Caution should be taken in the processing of durian to ensure that conditions remain hygienic and prevent microbial contamination which causes rapid decay, particularly at room temperature.
Frozen durian is the exported product which requires high quality fruit. The popular types of frozen durian are Monthong with the seeds removed and Chanee whole or only the unpitted pulp. Monthong is usually pitted and the pulp frozen because the pulp is rather thick and firm. Chanee will be frozen whole as its pulp is thinner and not attractive. The frozen markets are the USA, Canada, Australia and Europe. Most consumers in these countries are Asian.
- Raw material : Mature durian
- Production process: The most efficient frozen method now is the Individual Quick Freezing (IQF). The durian flesh is frozen at -40 degrees celsius for 30-40 minutes then stored at -20 to -25 degrees celsius. The product can be stored for a whole year without affecting its quality.
- Serving: Serve at room temperature.