Breadfruit Institute

Breadfruit: Artocarpus altilis

Boy holding breadfruit
   

The breadfruit tree has an amazing range of uses. The fruit can be cooked and eaten at all stages of growth; from small and immature, when it is similar to artichoke hearts; to starchy mature; to ripe when it is soft and sweet. It is typically consumed when mature, but still firm, and is a delicious substitute for starchy root crops like potatoes, pasta, or rice. The fresh fruit can baked, boiled, roasted, or steamed. There are numerous ways to prepare delicious dishes based on breadfruit. Most breadfruit is consumed and marketed as a fresh fruit. Entrepreneurs and food technologists are exploring ways on how to freeze or can fruit slices and produce chips, crackers, snacks, infant food, flour and starch, all from breadfruit. From a nutritional perspective, breadfruit is high in energy from carbohydrates and low in fat. It is a good source of fiber, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, thiamine, and niacin. Some varieties are good sources of anti-oxidants and carotenoids. These multipurpose trees also provide construction materials, medicine, fabric, glue, insect repellent, animal feed, and more. Breadfruit is an important component in traditional agroforestry systems and can be grown with a wide range of plants. The trees support sustainable agriculture, improve soil conditions and watersheds, and provide food security. Breadfruit trees also give shelter and food for important plant pollinators and seed dispersers such as honeybees, birds, and fruit bats.