The Many Uses of Jackfruit (Langka)

There are at least 18 uses of jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophylls L.) both for commercial and non-commercial purposes. Its fruits, trunk, leaves, and roots can be for household consumption or processed commercially this added to the already high rating popularity of jackfruit. It’s one of the most widely cultivated fruits in the country due to its excellent adaptation to a wide range of growing conditions.

In the Visayas, jackfruit is a priority commodity. In fact, major jackfruit growing areas in the country are located in Western, Central, and Eastern Visayas. At the Eastern Visayas Integrated Agricultural Research Center (EVIARC), an R&D network of the Department of Agriculture where jackfruit is one of their priority commodities for research, it was noted that this production of this fruit has been steadily growing through the years. It enables Eastern Visayas to export 100-500 fruits or 2-3 tons/week to other regions and major cities like Cebu and Manila.

For many years, jackfruit is continuously grown as backyard crop mainly for family consumption, either as vegetable if it is still young or as dessert and processed food when mature or ripe. It is planted erratically and usually left to grow until it bears fruits. Jackfruit trees are not demanding and bear fruits as early as three years after planting. It grows up to 70 feet and produces fruits that weigh as heavy as 50 kg per fruit.

Accession/Cultivars of Jackfruit

EVIARC has identified four jackfruit cultivars/varieties for commercial production in Eastern Visayas: AES Jak#1, AES Jak#2, AES Jak#3, and AES Jak#4. They are differentiated according to height of tree, growth and habit, type of leaf, type of fruit, and seeds. The fruits are distinguished according to weight, size, shape, flesh color, skin thickness, texture, percentage of edible portion, total soluble solids (TSS), and latex. Meanwhile, seeds are differentiated according to size and weight. All of the 4 cultivars have a spreading growth and habit; and an alternate, oblong, and dark green type of leaf.

Among the four cultivars developed by EVIARC, AES Jak#4 bears the heaviest fruit at 12.3 kg, the largest percentage of edible portion (46%), and the highest TSS, which is 27 degrees Brix. Meanwhile, AES Jak#3 or more popularly known as Noknokan is the sweetest and preferred for preparing juices and processed sweets. It is the tallest among the cultivars growing to about eight meters and bears the second smallest fruit weighing 6.9 kg only and the least percentage of edible portions (31.5%).

Innovative Uses of Jackfruit

The demand for jackfruit is high. Farmers can sell their produce either to retailers or wholesalers from within the region or fruit processors outside the region. Jackfruit is mostly sold fresh from picking but it can also be processed for longevity and easy transport.

With the recommended cultivars developed by EVIARC for commercial production, the Center has also developed various technologies to process jackfruit adding its market value. Jackfruit is being processed into preserves, puree, tart, jam, tart, pastilles, and juice. Marketing of these products is done either through orders or sold during agri fair, symposium, and farmers’ field day. Processing of jackfruit is being done in Abuyog Experimental Station wherein EVIARC has a cooperative that handles the marketing of these products from the developed cultivars.

Aside from its usual food use (young fruits cooked as vegetable and seeds are either boiled, roasted, and slated dried as table nuts), jackfruit has other uses. The rags or the non-edible portion of jackfruit is very rich in pectin and can be used in the preparation of jelly, tart, and leather (chewy sweets). There is now a great demand for it among local manufacturers. Unknown to many, its wood is used in the manufacture of guitars, good source of timber, furniture, and carvings. The jackfruit latex, in combination with vinegar promotes healing of wounds and glandular swellings. Its wood has a sedative property and its roots can be prepared as a remedy for asthma.

At the international market, the potential of this fruit lies on the processed products. In 1995, the Animal Husbandry and Agricultural Journal reported that the Philippines export earnings from jackfruit averaged about half a million dollars annually.

This earning could go higher if the jackfruit’s potential is developed. Likewise, the country could develop the other uses of this multi-purpose fruit tree for value-added benefits.

For more information on jackfruit and its processed products, please contact Ms. Teodora C. Sacay, Main RIARC, Brgy. Bagong Silang, Babatngon, Leyte or through her mobile phone no. 09198201989.

Bureau of Agricultural Research
Department of Agriculture
3/F RDMIC Bldg., Visayas Ave.
cor. Elliptical Rd., Diliman Quezon City 1104

Trunklines: 928-8505 or 927-0226
Local Nos. 2043, 2042, 2044
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.bar.gov.ph

source: Rita T. dela Cruz of www.bar.gov.ph

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