KOZHIKODE: The first full-fledged industry for jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) products has begun in Kannur with a dozen value added products.
Artocarpus Foods Private Limited started its operation two weeks back at the KINFRA industrial park, at Nadukani in Kannur to tap the potential of the fruit which is wasted to a large extent in Kerala.
Under the brand name, ‘Hebon’, the products are jackfruit chicken masala, jackfruit seed porridge, unripe flour, dehydrated unripe jackfruit, halwa, jackfruit seed puttu podi, chakavaratti, juice, pulp etc.
The chicken masala, instant porridge and jackfruit seed flour for bakeries are new products. “All the products are purely organic and made out of fruits being collected from Kannur households,” said Subhash Koroth, Artocarpus MD.
Anyone can sell the jackfruit directly to the factory at the rate of Rs 5 per kg. Mr Koroth elaborated that they were processing 300 fruits per day and had been receiving 1000 fruits a day.
The Editor of agri magazine, ‘Adhika Patrike’, Shree Padre observes that it might be the first time in the world that jackfruit seeds were being brought out commercially. “Jack seed flour in bakery products like cake can totally replace ‘maida’ that is considered as unhealthy,” he says.
Mr James Joseph, the founder of ‘Jackfruit 365’, an initiative to create an organized market for jackfruits in India says that the low sugar level combined with the high dietary fibre in the unripe jackfruit would help India shake off the tag of being the world capital of diabetes. Padre says that Kerala wastes around 35 crore jackfruits annually.
But the government role in promoting the fruit is still in its infancy. “Currently, we are only acting on the specific projects submitted here,” said Horticulture mission Additional Director Sheela P.
According to Rufus Daniel, chairperson of the state jackfruit promotion council, people now knew about the fruit but marketing was a major problem.
Artocarpus has plans to export and has entered into an agreement with a firm in Australia for the purpose.