Breadfruit commonly known as Ji enu and Ukwa by the Igbos, is a member of the Moraceae family. It is a tropical tree commonly grown in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, South Pacific, the Caribbean and Central America, that produces a large, round starchy fruit. This fruit can be used as a vegetable and sometimes to make flour.
SPECIES OF BREADFRUIT
There are two main species;
- Breadnuts (Artocarpus camansi): known as the wild ancestors of breadfruits and are commonly found in New Guinea, Indonesia, and possibly the Philippines.
- Seedless breadfruits (Artocarpus altilis): usually light green, yellowish-green or yellow in color when matured. In Nigeria, it is predominantly found in the South-West; Ile-Ife, Ikire, Ogbomosho, Akure and Ekiti.
NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF BREADFRUIT
|Polyunsaturated fatty acid||0.066g|
|Saturated fatty acid||0.048|
UTILIZATION OF BREADFRUITS
- Breadfruits can be mixed with yam in the preparation of pounded yam
- The pulp can be boiled, steamed, baked, roasted, or fried like yam
- It can be fried like plantain chips
- It can be made into porridge
- It can be processed into flour
- It can be cooked with coconut cream
- It can be used as a complementary food
- As bread made from fermented breadfruit flour
- As sweet snack made from preserved paste
BENEFITS OF BREADFRUITS
- Breadfruit helps the body develop resistance against infections due to the presence of antioxidants
- It helps reduce blood pressure in the body due to the presence of potassium
- It helps in regulating heart rate by minimizing the effects of Sodium
- It reduces cholesterol level
- Source of energy
- Aids digestion
SKIN BENEFITS OF BREADFRUITS
- Breadfruit helps to prevent excessive skin inflammation
- High amount of vitamin C in breadfruit helps in the production of collagen
- It encourages new cell growth
- It cures skin infections
- Treat skin diseases
Breadfruit benefits the body as it contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which stimulates skin and hair growth, regulate metabolism and promote bone health. It inhibits the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes and prevents overproduction of nitric oxides,thus preventing skin inflammation.
STORAGE AND ITS EFFECTS ON BREADFRUIT
Breadfruit is stored under water to delay its ripening process and extend its shelf life for a few more days.
- Research by Ragone in 2006 showed that, storing in cool place or under water delayed ripening by 3-5 days
- Research by Worrell in 2002 showed that, storing at low temperature (13°C) delayed ripening for about 10 days
- Storage at temperatures between 12-16°C delays ripening for a maximum of about 20 days.
Compiled: ARIGBEDE Titilope
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