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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)

Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is the name of a type of tree and its fruit at all. Breadfruit does not have seeds and has a padded section, which is similar to the bread after it is cooked or fried. Because of this, the Europeans know it as "bread fruit.” 

This plant is Polynesia origin, then spread to the South East Asia region.  Now, breadfruit is an important food source of carbohydrates in the various islands in the tropics, especially in the Pacific and Southeast Asia.  Breadfruit can be cooked in different ways: boiled, fried, roasted, or grilled. To make it durable and stored longer, cooked fruit is sliced and dried in the sun or in a furnace.  In Pacific islands, the excess harvest breadfruit will be buried in holes in the ground and allowed to ferment a few weeks away, so it turns into a paste like cheese lasting, nutritious and can be made into a kind of baked cake. 

Characteristics of the tree:
Breadfruit tree is basically a tall tree when grown in natural forests, can reach 30 m, but in rural areas, usually only a dozen feet high. Multiplication results with clones produce shorter trees and low branching, huge trunk and straight, up to 8 m, often with roots boards (buttresses) low and elongated.

Large horizontal branching and leafy, arranged alternately; leaves 20-40 × 20-60 cm, pinnate share in, wiry and somewhat hard as leather, shiny dark green on the upper side, dull, rough and fluffy on the bottom. Leaf buds covered by a large cone-shaped fulcrum. All parts of the tree issued a white sap (latex) when injured.
Flowers grow in axillary panicles, near the end of the branch, male flowers form is long rod-shaped grains. Hanging, 15-25 cm, light green and yellow when ripe, yellow pollen and easily blow away by the wind. Female’s compound flowers are round or cylindrical, 5-7 × 8-10 cm, green.

Fruit compound derived from female compound flowers, with a diameter of 10-30 cm. Yellowish-green rind, with thorns that reduces to the eye pattern facet or aspect-4-6 in the skin.

Breadfruit fruit does not produce seeds, and flowers on the top of the tent together, growing into the 'meat fruit' breadfruit.

Breadfruit like tropical climate: summer temperatures (20-40 ˚ C), a lot of rainfall (2000-3000 mm per year) and humid (relative moisture 70-90%), and is more suitable in the lowlands, below 600 m asl., Although encountered up to about 1500 m asl. Seedlings grow better in the shade, but then require full sun to grow. Although most of its cultivars will grow well in alluvial fertile soils, deep and well drained, but there are varieties that grow well in the marshy soil, limestone soil, soil brackish and others.

The fruit:
Breadfruit tree can produce up to 800 pieces of fruit per tree per year in the peak of production time. Each fruit weighs between 400-1200 grams, but there are also varieties that fruit up to 5 kg. The tree starting to fruit at 5 years of age and will continue to produce up to 50 years. The production peak starting from 8 – 9 years of age and continuing for next some years  depending of cultivation quality.

Fruit form is generally round, but some are oval. His skin thick but not hard and have spines that also not hard. Skin color is light green to dark green, white flesh has a fibrous fruits like jackfruit.

Fruit is generally harvested when young utilized as carbohydrates resources, processed simply by steaming, boiling or frying. Polynesian society even familiar to brood breadfruit for fermentation, and produces a kind of food that richer nutrient. Today the industry has started to produce flour from breadfruit that can be used as raw material for variety of foods.

Breadfruit is roughly 25% carbohydrates and 70% water. It has an average amount of vitamin C (20 mg/100 g), small amounts of minerals (potassium and zinc) and thiamin (100 μg/100 g).

Scientific classification:
  • Kingdom: Plantae (Plants)
  •       Subkingdom: Tracheobionta (Vascular Plants)
  •           Super Division: Spermatophyta (Produces seeds)
  •               Division: Magnoliophyta (flowering plants)
  •                   Class: Magnoliopsida (dashed two / dicots)
  •                       Sub Class: Dilleniidae
  •                           Order: Urticales
  •                               Family: Moraceae (jackfruit tribal)
  •                                   Genus: Artocarpus
  •                                       Species: Artocarpus communis Forst