Jackfruit- Background, History, and Origin of a Unique Fruit

Essay by Jay21601High School, 12th gradeA+, January 2005

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Jackfruit, Artocarpus Heterophyllus, is said to originate from the Western Ghats although no one is definite on this. It grows in rain forests and along low-elevations through out India, Burma, Ceylon, Southern China, Malaya, some small parts of Australia and the East Indies. It was introduced into Florida in approximately 1887 but few trees now remain. The jackfruit comes from a very large and bushy tree, which is also used for shade, and can range from 30-70 tall with glossy, green, leathery leaves. The fruit is the largest tree borne fruit and can range from 8 inches to 3 feet in length and 6-20 inches wide. These fruits can weigh anywhere from 10-60 and have been reported up to almost 200 pounds. The fruit is yellowish green in appearance and has numerous cone points on its skin. The fruit is suspected to taste like juicy fruit gum, bananas and nectarines combined.

The seeds can vary from ¾ to 1 ½ inches in length and there can be anywhere from 100 to 500 seeds in a single fruit. A milky white latex rubber surrounds all of the seeds. Jackfruit only come in only two varieties but the names very from area to area the basic types are "Khuja" which is green, hard and smooth, with juicy pulp and small seeds and "Ghila" which is rough, soft, has thin pulp, isn't very juicy, and has large seeds. This fruit has very picky growing conditions which are only in tropical or near-tropical climates which require a very hot, humid, and wet weather constantly. The soil this plant needs must be rich, deep soil of medium or open texture. The tree cannot stand wet feet and if the roots touch water it may not bear fruit or may die. The temperature must...