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Botanical name: Artocarpus altilis



Breadfruit originally came from the Malay Archipelago, where it is still grown today. In 1793 it was brought to the Caribbean. Meanwhile, cultivation has spread to all tropical regions, where the breadfruit tree is found as both a crop plant and an ornamental tree.




There are two main species of breadfruit, the seedless and those that contain seeds. These are subdivided into different varieties based on their shape and their preferred habitat.


A majority of the seedless breadfruits are grown in Jamaica, while Papua New Guinea produces only fruits containing seeds.


In Germany the fruits are seldom on the market; in France, England and the Netherlands, by contrast, they are available in small amounts year round.


Appearance, taste, characteristics


The tree on which the breadfruit grows is up to 20 m high and has long, shiny green leaves. The fruit itself is rounded and covered with small spines. It can grow to 50 cm in diameter and weigh up to 5 kg.


The unripe fruit is green and has a white, starchy pulp. As it ripens, the skin turns yellow-green or yellow to yellow-brown. The pulp also becomes yellowish and takes on a sweetish but still strong flavour. The pulp becomes mushy and the fruit begins to smell unpleasant.


The nuts of seed-producing breadfruit (breadnut) can be eaten as well as the pulp. Their taste is comparable to sweet chestnuts, that of the pulp to potatoes.




Compared with other fruits, breadfruit contains large amounts of carbohydrates but relatively little water. In addition to potassium and vitamin C, their fibre content is quite high.

100 g contain:



Breadfruit, fresh

Energy (kcal)


Water (g)


Protein (g)


Fat (g)


Carbohydrates (g)


Fibre (g)


Vitamin B1 (mg)


Vitamin C (mg)


Niacin (NE) (mg)


Pantothenic acid (mg)


Potassium (mg)


Calcium (mg)


Magnesium (mg)


Phosphorus (mg)


Iron (mg)



Harmful substances


If small, white drops of latex emerge from the fruit, this is a sign that it can be harvested. The latex is strongly irritating to the skin.


Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions


Ripe breadfruits can be kept for only a few days. If they are wrapped well and kept at about 12°C, the storage time can be increased to up to 2 weeks.


Cut into slices and kept in water, they can also be stored; they may also be dried.


Presumed effect on health


In some of the countries where it is grown, a tea is prepared from the leaves of the breadfruit tree that is said to be effective against high blood pressure.


Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation


The pulp is eaten when ripe as a fruit and when unripe as a vegetable, but then not raw.


Consumption as a vegetable proves to be most common. It is very popular, for instance, to prepare the fruit like a baked potato and eat it with some butter.


The pulp can also be cooked in salt water and served together with other vegetables as a side dish. It also tastes good combined with coconut and sugar, as it is often served in the Philippines. In Malaysia the fruits are cut into thin slices and crisply fried, while in Trinidad overripe fruits are used to make crisps/chips.


In addition, breadfruit can be candied, and with flour from the dried pulp, breads and biscuits can be baked and breakfast porridge can be cooked.


Strange sounding is the preparation of a cheese-like mass, which forms when ripe mashed pulp is kept buried in pits; this mass is very popular in Polynesia.


Breadnuts roasted and seasoned with salt are a popular snack.





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