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Overview

Brief Summary

Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a rapidly growing tree that is widely planted in the tropics for its edible fruit and value as an ornamental and shade tree. It is of particular economic importance in the Pacific islands, where it is a staple or subsistence crop on many islands. Peterson (2006) argues that the development of vigorous hybrid Breadfruit cultivars led to a "Breadfruit Revolution" 600 to 1200 years ago that was a major driver of sociocultural evolution across Micronesia.

Breadfruit trees are often found in home gardens, in secondary forests, and along roadsides. The spherical to cylindrical rough-skinned fruit is 10 to 30 cm in diameter and 0.25 to 6 kg, with a yellow to green rind and a starchy creamy white to yellow pulp (starch content ~20%). Depending on the variety, seed number may range from none to many. Breadfruit is a "multiple aggregate" fruit (i.e., each fruit is formed from an entire inflorescence consisting of multiple flowers). Seeded fruits have a surface composed of greenish conical spinelike projections, each from a single flower. Seedless fruits have a smoothish surface honeycombed with individual fruits around 5 mm across. The glossy leaves are very large and deeply lobed, dark green and smooth above, lighter and distinctly veined below. I

Breadfruit is monoecious (i.e., individual trees function as both males and females), with separate male and female flower clusters--each consisting of thousands of tiny flowers attached to a spongy core--emerging from leaf bases on the same tree. Breadfruit flowers are cross-pollinated, but pollination is not required for fruit development. The bark of the Breadfruit tree is smooth and brown with warty lenticels; milky juice exudes from the bark when cut (a white milky latex is present in all parts of the tree).

Potted Breadfruit trees (seedless) were brought on the Providence to the West Indies (St. Vincent and Jamaica) from Tahiti in 1793 by Captain William Bligh as a cheap food for slaves on the sugar plantations (an earlier attempt by Bligh on the Bounty was unsuccessful, ending in the famous "Mutiny on the Bounty" in 1789 upon leaving Tahiti). Around the same time, the French brought some Breadfruit trees to several other Caribbean islands.

(Little and Wadsworth 1964; Seddon and Lennox 1980; Ashton 1989; Vaughan and Geissler 1997; Ragone 2006)

The ripe fruits can be eaten raw when ripe, but are more commonly picked when mature (but not quite ripe), then cooked. Seeded varieties are most common in the southwestern Pacific. Seedless varieties are most common in Micronesia and the eastern islands of Polynesia. All the varieties elsewhere in the tropics are seedless. Seeds are dispersed by fruit bats and possibly doves and other birds.

Hundreds of named Breadfruit varieties in the Pacific Islands are propagated vegetatively. Depending on variety, age, and tree condition, fruit yield ranges from fewer than 100 to more than 700 fruits per tree, with an average around 150 to 200. In intensive cultivation, yields of 160 to 500 kg of fruit per tree per year can be achieved. (Ragone 2006)

Some Breadfruit cultivars are fertile diploids (2n = 2x = 56), but many are sterile hybrids or triploids (2n = 3x = 84) and must be vegetatively propagated (Ragone 2001; Zerega et al. 2005 and references therein).

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Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

"Notes: Plains to Mid Altitude, Cultivated, Native of Polynesian Region"
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Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) (=A. communis = A. incisus; nomenclatural issues and synonomies are reviewed by Zarega et al. 2005) is a rapidly growing tree (0.5 to 1.5 m per year under favorable conditions) that is widely planted in the tropics for its edible fruit and value as an ornamental and shade tree. It is of particular economic importance in the Pacific islands, where it is a staple or subsistence crop on many islands. Breadfruit trees are often found in home gardens, in secondary forests, and along roadsides. These spreading evergreen trees may reach 18 to 20 m or more in height, with a trunk diameter of 60 cm or more, but are more commonly 12 to 15 m tall. The trunk may reach a diameter of 2 to 4 m before branching. The spherical to cylindrical rough-skinned fruit is 10 to 30 cm in diameter and 0.25 to 6 kg, with a yellow to green rind and a starchy creamy white to yellow pulp (starch content ~20%). Depending on the variety, seed number may range from none to many. Breadfruit is a "multiple aggregate" fruit (i.e., each fruit is formed from an entire inflorescence consisting of multiple flowers). Seeded fruits have a surface composed of greenish conical spinelike projections, each from a single flower. Seedless fruits have a smoothish surface honeycombed with individual fruits around 5 mm across.

The alternately arranged dark green, obovate to ovate glossy leaves have a nearly entire margin. They are very large (typically around 45 cm, but ranging from 15 to 90 cm long, depending on the variety) and slightly to deeply pinnately 7- to 11-lobed (sinuses up to 2/3 or more of the distance from margin to midrib, with up to six pairs of lobes), with a large apical tip. In contrast to the dark green and smooth upper leaf surface, the lower surface is lighter and distinctly veined. Buds are pointed and hairy.

Breadfruit is monoecious (i.e., individual trees function as both males and females), with separate male and female flower clusters--each consisting of thousands of tiny flowers attached to a spongy core--emerging from leaf bases on the same tree. The male cluster is a cylindrical or club-shaped soft catkin around 15 to 40 cm long and 2 to 3 cm in diameter, yellow at first then turning brown. The tiny flowers, each with a single stamen, are crowded on the outside. The female flowers form elliptical or round light green prickly clusters around 6 cm long and 4 cm in diameter; the flowers fuse together and develop into the edible, fleshy portion of the fruit. Breadfruit flowers are cross-pollinated, but pollination is not required for fruit development. The bark of the Breadfruit tree is smooth and brown with warty lenticels; milky juice exudes from the bark when cut (a white milky latex is present in all parts of the tree).

Potted Breadfruit trees (seedless) were brought on the Providence to the West Indies (St. Vincent and Jamaica) from Tahiti in 1793 by Captain William Bligh as a cheap food for slaves on the sugar plantations (an earlier attempt by Bligh on the Bounty was unsuccessful, ending in the famous "Mutiny on the Bounty" in 1789 upon leaving Tahiti). Around the same time, the French brought some Breadfruit trees to several other Caribbean islands.

(Little and Wadsworth 1964; Seddon and Lennox 1980; Ashton 1989; Vaughan and Geissler 1997; Ragone 2006)

The ripe fruits can be eaten raw when ripe, but are more commonly picked when mature (but not quite ripe), then cooked. Seeded varieties are most common in the southwestern Pacific. Seedless varieties are most common in Micronesia and the eastern islands of Polynesia. All the varieties elsewhere in the tropics are seedless. Seeds are dispersed by fruit bats and possibly doves and other birds. The similar A. camansi (from which A. altilis is believed to have descended by domestication) has oblong, very spiny fruits with little pulp and numerous large, light brown seeds (darker in A. altilis) and large, shallowly dissected leaves with 4 to 6 pairs of lobes. Artocarpus mariannensis has small, cylindrical or kidney-shaped dark green fruits with yellow flesh and dark brown seeds and small entire to shallowly 1- to 3-lobed leaves. Hundreds of named Breadfruit varieties in the Pacific Islands are propagated vegetatively. Breadfruit trees generally grow best in full sun and form the overstory canopy in traditional mixed agroforests, although young trees prefer 20 to 50% shade. Depending on variety, age, and tree condition, fruit yield ranges from fewer than 100 to more than 700 fruits per tree, with an average around 150 to 200. In intensive cultivation, yields of 160 to 500 kg of fruit per tree per year can be achieved. Breadfruit grows best in equatorial lowlands below 600 to 650 m, but is found up to 1550 m. The latitudinal limits are approximately 17 N and S, but maritime climates extend this range to the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Most varieties produce one or two crops per year. Trees grown from seed begin flowering and produce fruit in 6 to 10 years or sooner and vegetatively propagated trees begin to flower and fruit in 3 to 6 years. Ragone et al. provide details on propagation and cultivation of Breadfruit, as well as diverse traditional uses in the Pacific. (Ragone 2006)

Some Breadfruit cultivars are fertile diploids (2n = 2x = 56), but many are sterile hybrids or triploids (2n = 3x = 84) and must be vegetatively propagated (Ragone 2001; Zerega et al. 2005 and references therein).

Petersen (2006) notes that eastern Micronesia’s subsistence economies are closely tied to breadfruit. In many areas, especially the Eastern Caroline high islands, Breadfruit is the main staple (only in the coral islands at the northern and southern margins, where rainfall is generally lower, is Breadfruit less economically significant). Petersen argues that the development of vigorous hybrid Breadfruit cultivars led to a "Breadfruit Revolution" 600 to 1200 years ago that was a major driver of sociocultural evolution across Micronesia.

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Distribution

"Maharashtra: Raigad, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Thane Karnataka: N. Kanara Kerala: All districts Tamil Nadu: All districts"
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The wild, seeded ancestral form of Breadfruit, A. camansi, is native to New Guinea and possibly the Moluccas (in Indonesia) and the Philippines. Neither seeded nor seedless forms of Artocarpus altilis occur naturally in the Pacific Islands (contrary to sources which give the South Pacific as its native range). Breadfruit was first domesticated in the western Pacific and was spread throughout the region by humans beginning around 3000 years ago. Today, Breadfruit is cultivated on most Pacific islands (with the notable exceptions of New Zealand and Easter Island) and has a pantropical distribution. In the late 1700s, several seedless varieties were introduced to Jamaica and St. Vincent from Tahiti and a Tongan variety was introduced to Martinique and Cayenne via Mauritius. These Polynesian varieties were then spread through the Caribbean and to Central and South America, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Madagascar, the Maldives, the Seychelles, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and northern Australia. Breadfruit is now also found in south Florida (U.S.A.). (Ragone 2006)

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Trees 10-15 m tall, evergreen. Bark grayish brown, thick. Branchlets 0.5-1.5 cm thick. Stipules amplexicaul, lanceolate to broadly lanceolate, 10-25 cm, pubescence yellowish green, gray, or brown, hairs bent. Leaves spirally arranged; petiole 8-12 cm; leaf blade ovate to ovate-elliptic, 10-50 cm, thickly leathery, glabrous, abaxially pale green, adaxially dark green and shiny, margin entire, apex acuminate; secondary veins 10 on each side of midvein. Leaves on mature trees pinnately lobed or pinnatipartite; lobes or segments 3-8, lanceolate. Inflorescences axillary, solitary. Male inflorescences yellow, narrowly cylindric, narrowly ellipsoid, or clavate, 7-30(-40) cm. Male flowers: calyx tubular, apically 2-lobed, pubescent, lobes lanceolate; anthers elliptic. Female flowers: calyx tubular; ovary ovoid; style long, apically 2-branched. Fruiting syncarp green to yellow, brown to black when mature, obovoid to ± globose, 15-30 × 8-15 cm, tuberculate; pericarp soft; mesocarp of milky white fleshy calyx. Drupes ellipsoid to conic, ca. 2.5 cm in diam.
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

Habit: Tree
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Synonym

Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg; A. incisus (Thunberg) Linnaeus f.; Radermachia incisa Thunberg; Sitodium altile Parkinson.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat & Distribution

Cultivated;; Low elevations. Hainan, Taiwan [probably native to tropical Asia; now cultivated throughout the tropics].
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Associations

Known predators

Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit) is prey of:
Homo sapiens
Sturnidae
Crustacea
fungi
Annelida
Gastropoda

Based on studies in:
Polynesia (Reef)

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
  • W. A. Niering, Terrestrial ecology of Kapingamarangi Atoll, Caroline Islands, Ecol. Monogr. 33(2):131-160, from p. 157 (1963).
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Evolution and Systematics

Evolution

Systematics and Taxonomy

Zerega et al. (2005) used AFLP genetic markers to examine species boundaries in Breadfruit. They concluded that A. altilis (domesticated breadfruit), A. camansi, and A. mariannensis should be recognized as three distinct species (together forming a monophyletic lineage) and confirmed the existence of A. altilis X A. mariannensis hybrids. Zerega et al. provide detailed descriptions of these three taxa and a dichotomous key to separate them. Zarega et al. (2004) report their finding that most Melanesian and Polynesian Breadfruit cultivars appear to have been derived from A. camansi through generations of vegetative propagation and selection. In contrast, most Micronesian breadfruit cultivars appear to be the result of hybridization between A. camansi-derived Breadfruit and A. mariannensis. Because Breadfruit depends on humans for dispersal, Zarega et al. suggest, their data are consistent with the well-supported theory that humans settled Polynesia via Melanesia, as well as with a proposed long-distance human migration from eastern Melanesia into Micronesia.

Zarega et al. (2010) undertook a phylogenetic analysis of Artocarpus and related genera based on chloroplast and nuclear DNA sequence data.

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Physiology and Cell Biology

Cell Biology

Cytology

Ragone (2001) studied chromosome numbers in Artocarpus altilis, A. mariannensis, and A. camnansi from 16 Pacific Island groups, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Artocarpus camansi and A. mariannensis exhibit counts of 2n = 56; various cultivars of A. altilis had counts of 2n = 56 (diploidy) and 2n = 84 (triploidy). Most diploid cultivars of A. altilis were seeded, but two cultivars with reduced seed number were observed. Micronesian samples included putative interspecific hybrids between A. altilis and A. mariannensis. The majority of these samples were seedless diploids, but triploid putative hybrids were also observed.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Chemistry

Fruit contains artocarpine and the enzyme papayotine. Leaf contains the phenols quercetin and camphorol, and gamma-aminobutyric acid, which lowers the blood pressure. Stem-bark and fruit contain cyclopropane sterols.

  • Grenand, P., Moretti, C. and H. Jacquemin. 1987. Pharmacopées Traditionnelles en Guyane: Créoles, Palikur, Wayapi. 569 pp. Paris: Editions de l'ORSTOM.
  • Lachman-White, D.A., Adams, C.D. and U.O. Trotz. 1987. A Guide to the Medicinal Plants of Coastal Guyana. 350 pp. London: Commonwealth Science Council.
  • Luu, C. 1975. Contribution à l'étude des plantes médicinales de la Guyane Francaise. Journal d'Agriculture Tropicale et de Botanique Appliqué 22(4-6): 121-141.
  • Altman, L.J. and S.W. Zito. 1976. Sterols and triterpenes from the fruit of Artocarpus altilis. Phytochemistry 15(5): 829-830.
  • Duke, J.A. 1989. CRC Handbook of Nuts. 343 pp. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.
  • van Andel, T. R. 2000. Non-timber Forest Products of the North-West District of Guyana. Part I: 326 pp., Part II: A Field Guide, 358 pp. Tropenbos-Guyana Series 8B. Georgetown, Guyana: Tropenbos-Guyana Programme.

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Barcode data: Artocarpus altilis

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Artocarpus altilis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 8
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Stem: Exudate used to treat abcesses, bruises and sprains in NW Guyana. Leaf: Used in a decoction which is drunk to reduce tension. Hypertension and diabetes medications are prepared from a mixture of boiled leaves of this species and Persea americana, Carica papaya and Annona muricata. Leaf used to treat urinary tract ailments in NW Guyana.

  • Grenand, P., Moretti, C. and H. Jacquemin. 1987. Pharmacopées Traditionnelles en Guyane: Créoles, Palikur, Wayapi. 569 pp. Paris: Editions de l'ORSTOM.
  • Lachman-White, D.A., Adams, C.D. and U.O. Trotz. 1987. A Guide to the Medicinal Plants of Coastal Guyana. 350 pp. London: Commonwealth Science Council.
  • Luu, C. 1975. Contribution à l'étude des plantes médicinales de la Guyane Francaise. Journal d'Agriculture Tropicale et de Botanique Appliqué 22(4-6): 121-141.
  • Duke, J.A. 1989. CRC Handbook of Nuts. 343 pp. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.
  • van Andel, T. R. 2000. Non-timber Forest Products of the North-West District of Guyana. Part I: 326 pp., Part II: A Field Guide, 358 pp. Tropenbos-Guyana Series 8B. Georgetown, Guyana: Tropenbos-Guyana Programme.

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Uses

Seedlessness in breadfruit has often been attributed to sterility due to triploidy, although other factors may play a role as well. In any case, the development of few-seeded and seedless fruits had significant benefits for Pacific Islanders who relied on Breadfruit as a staple crop. The development of fruits with reduced seed numbers yielded a greater proportion of edible fleshy tissue and resulted in a shift from using this species as a nut crop (breadnut) in western Melanesia to a starch crop (breadfruit) eastward. Since breadfruit is a seasonal crop typically available for just a few months of the year, methods had to be developed to deal with and use seasonal surpluses to provide food during the annual and often extended periods of scarcity. The method developed was that of fermentation and storage in pits. The importance of fermented breadfruit, especially in Samoa, Tonga, the Marquesas, Society Islands, and Micronesia, was a critical element in a preference for seedless cultivars which drove selection and perpetuation of seedless cultivars. (Ragone 2001)

Bennett and Nozzolillo (1987) found that the average number of seeds per seeded breadfruit harvested from a single 6-yr-old tree over a period of 7 months was 59. Individual fruits contained as many as 151 or as few as 12. For seeded breadfruits, the entire interior of the fruit is dominated by a mass of brown seeds. The fruits are not picked before maturity, as is the case for the seedless breadfruit, but rather are allowed to drop. The seeds are then removed from the rotting pulp and rind, boiled in salted water (or roasted), peeled (i.e., the seed coats are removed), and eaten. They are chestnut-like in size and flavor and hence are known as "chataigne" in French-speaking areas and "castaña" in Spanish-speaking areas.

The sapwood is very susceptible to attack by dry-wood termites. Historically, surfoards were made from the light wood in Hawaii. The sticky sap has sometimes been used to catch birds. Seedless fruits are typically gathered before maturity and roasted or boiled as a starchy vegetable. The young fruits can be sliced and fried. A dessert and preserves are sometimes made from the male flower clusters. (Little and Wadsworth 1964)

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Wikipedia

Breadfruit

For other uses, see Breadfruit (disambiguation).

Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a species of flowering tree in the mulberry family, Moraceae, growing throughout Southeast Asia, South India and most Pacific Ocean islands. It is also grown in the Leeward Islands and Windward Islands of the Caribbean and in Africa. Its name is derived from the texture of the cooked moderately ripe fruit, which has a potato-like flavor, similar to freshly baked bread.

Ancestors of the Polynesians found the trees growing in the northwest New Guinea area around 3,500 years ago. They gave up the rice cultivation they had brought with them from Taiwan, and raised breadfruit wherever they went in the Pacific (except Easter Island and New Zealand, which are too cold). Their ancient eastern Indonesian cousins spread the plant west and north through insular and coastal Southeast Asia. It has, in historical times, also been widely planted in tropical regions elsewhere.

Description[edit]

Breadfruit tree planted in Honolulu, Hawaii

Breadfruit trees grow to a height of 25 m (82 ft). The large and thick leaves are deeply cut into pinnate lobes. All parts of the tree yield latex, a milky juice, which is useful for boat caulking.

The trees are monoecious, with male and female flowers growing on the same tree. The male flowers emerge first, followed shortly afterward by the female flowers, which grow into capitula, which are capable of pollination just three days later. The compound, false fruit develops from the swollen perianth, and originates from 1,500-2,000 flowers. These are visible on the skin of the fruit as hexagon-like disks.

Breadfruit is one of the highest-yielding food plants, with a single tree producing up to 200 or more grapefruit-sized fruits per season. In the South Pacific, the trees yield 50 to 150 fruits per year. In southern India, normal production is 150 to 200 fruits annually. Productivity varies between wet and dry areas. In the Caribbean, a conservative estimate is 25 fruits per tree. Studies in Barbados indicate a reasonable potential of 16 to 32 tons per hectare (6.7-13.4 tons/acre). The ovoid fruit has a rough surface, and each fruit is divided into many achenes, each achene surrounded by a fleshy perianth and growing on a fleshy receptacle. Most selectively bred cultivars have seedless fruit.

The breadfruit is closely related to the breadnut, from which it might have been selected, and to the jackfruit.

Habitat[edit]

Breadfruit, an equatorial lowland species, grows best below elevations of 650 metres (2,130 ft), but is found at elevations of 1,550 metres (5,090 ft). Its preferred rainfall is 1,500–3,000 millimetres (59–118 in) per year. Preferred soils are neutral to alkaline (pH of 6.1-7.4) and either sand, sandy loam, loam or sandy clay loam. Breadfruit is able to grow in coral sands and saline soils.[2]

Uses[edit]

Breadfruit is a staple food in many tropical regions. The trees were propagated far outside their native range by Polynesian voyagers who transported root cuttings and air-layered plants over long ocean distances. Breadfruit are very rich in starch, and before being eaten, they are roasted, baked, fried or boiled. When cooked, the taste of moderately ripe breadfruit is described as potato-like, or similar to freshly baked bread. Very ripe breadfruit becomes sweet, as the starch converts to sugar.

The fruit of the breadfruit tree - whole, sliced lengthwise and in cross-section

Because breadfruit trees usually produce large crops at certain times of the year, preservation of the harvested fruit is an issue. One traditional preservation technique is to bury peeled and washed fruits in a leaf-lined pit where they ferment over several weeks and produce a sour, sticky paste. So stored, the product may last a year or more, and some pits are reported to have produced edible contents more than 20 years later.[3] Fermented breadfruit mash goes by many names such as mahr, ma, masi, furo, and bwiru, among others.

Drawing of breadfruit by John Frederick Miller

Most breadfruit varieties also produce a small number of fruits throughout the year, so fresh breadfruit is always available, but somewhat rare when not in season.

Breadfruit can be eaten once cooked, or can be further processed into a variety of other foods. A common product is a mixture of cooked or fermented breadfruit mash mixed with coconut milk and baked in banana leaves. Whole fruits can be cooked in an open fire, then cored and filled with other foods, such as coconut milk, sugar and butter, cooked meats, or other fruits. The filled fruit can be further cooked so the flavor of the filling permeates the flesh of the breadfruit.

The Hawaiian staple food called poi, made of mashed taro root, is easily substituted for, or augmented with, mashed breadfruit. The resulting "breadfruit poi" is called poi ʻulu. In Puerto Rico, breadfruit is called panapen or pana, for short and in some in-land regions it's also called mapén. Pana is often served boiled with a mixture of sauteed bacalao (salted cod fish), olive oil and onions. It is also served as tostones or mofongo. In the Dominican Republic, it is known by the name buen pan or "good bread". Breadfruit is also found in Indonesia and Malaysia, where it is called sukun. In the South Indian state of Kerala and coastal Karnataka, especially on the sides of Mangalore, where it is widely grown and cooked, it is known as kada chakka or seema chakka and deegujje, respectively. In Belize, the Mayan people call it masapan.

A polished basalt breadfruit pounder used by the Tahitian people of French Polynesia. From the Honolulu Academy of Arts collection

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).[4]

Breadfruit was widely and diversely used among Pacific Islanders. Its lightweight wood (specific gravity of 0.27)[5] is resistant to termites and shipworms, so is used as timber for structures and outrigger canoes.[6] Its wood pulp can also be used to make paper, called breadfruit tapa.[6] It is also used in traditional medicine to treat illnesses that range from sore eyes to sciatica.[6] Native Hawaiians used its sticky latex to trap birds, whose feathers were made into cloaks.[7]

In a 2012 research study[8] published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), a division of the USDA, and collaborators at the University of British Columbia in Okanagan, Canada, "identified three breadfruit compounds — capric, undecanoic and lauric acids — that act as insect repellents." These saturated fatty acids were "found to be significantly more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET."[9][10]

Breadfruit, raw
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy431 kJ (103 kcal)
27.12 g
Sugars11
Dietary fiber4.9 g
0.23 g
1.07 g
Vitamins
Vitamin A equiv.
22 μg
Thiamine (B1)
(10%)
0.11 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
(3%)
0.03 mg
Niacin (B3)
(6%)
0.9 mg
(9%)
0.457 mg
Vitamin B6
(8%)
0.1 mg
Folate (B9)
(4%)
14 μg
Choline
(2%)
9.8 mg
Vitamin C
(35%)
29 mg
Vitamin E
(1%)
0.1 mg
Vitamin K
(0%)
0.5 μg
Trace metals
Calcium
(2%)
17 mg
Iron
(4%)
0.54 mg
Magnesium
(7%)
25 mg
Manganese
(3%)
0.06 mg
Phosphorus
(4%)
30 mg
Potassium
(10%)
490 mg
Sodium
(0%)
2 mg
Zinc
(1%)
0.12 mg
Other constituents
Water70.65 g

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

In history[edit]

Sir Joseph Banks and others saw the value of breadfruit as a highly productive food in 1769, when stationed in Tahiti as part of the Endeavour expedition commanded by Captain James Cook. The late-18th-century quest for cheap, high-energy food sources for British slaves prompted colonial administrators and plantation owners to call for the introduction of this plant to the Caribbean. As President of The Royal Society, Banks provided a cash bounty and gold medal for success in this endeavor, and successfully lobbied his friends in government and the Admiralty for a British Naval expedition. In 1787, William Bligh was appointed Captain of the HMS Bounty, and was instructed to proceed to the South Pacific for this task. Banks appointed a gardener for the expedition and gave detailed instructions on how the plants were to be maintained. The Bounty remained in Tahiti for five idyllic months, during which over 1000 plants were collected, potted and transferred to the ship. However, within a month of leaving, many of the crew mutinied, expelling Captain Bligh and supporters in a long-boat, and returned to Tahiti. Bligh survived the ordeal, sailing with 18 loyal crew the 6710 km to Timor, reaching there in late 1789. In 1791, Bligh commanded a second expedition with the Providence and the Assistant, which collected live breadfruit plants in Tahiti and transported these to St Helena, in the Atlantic, and St. Vincent and Jamaica in the West Indies. Although Bligh won the Royal Society medal for his efforts, the introduction was not entirely successful, as the slaves refused to eat breadfruit.[11] However, breadfruit was accepted into the cuisine of Puerto Rico.

In culture[edit]

A young breadfruit

According to an etiological Hawaiian myth, the breadfruit originated from the sacrifice of the war god . After deciding to live secretly among mortals as a farmer, Kū married and had children. He and his family lived happily until a famine seized their island. When he could no longer bear to watch his children suffer, Kū told his wife that he could deliver them from starvation, but to do so he would have to leave them. Reluctantly she agreed, and at her word, Kū descended into the ground right where he had stood until only the top of his head was visible. His family waited around the spot he had last been, day and night, watering it with their tears until suddenly, a small green shoot appeared where Kū had stood. Quickly, the shoot grew into a tall and leafy tree that was laden with heavy breadfruits that Kū's family and neighbors gratefully ate, joyfully saved from starvation.[12]

Though they are widely distributed throughout the Pacific, many breadfruit hybrids and cultivars are seedless or otherwise biologically incapable of naturally dispersing long distances. Therefore, their distribution in the Pacific was clearly enabled by humans, specifically prehistoric groups who colonized the Pacific Islands. To investigate the patterns of human migration throughout the Pacific, scientists have used molecular dating of breadfruit hybrids and cultivars in concert with anthropological data. Results support the west-to-east migration hypothesis, in which the Lapita people are thought to have traveled from Melanesia to numerous Polynesian islands.[13]

The world's largest collection of breadfruit varieties has been established by botanist Diane Ragone, from over 20 years' travel to 50 Pacific islands, on a 10-acre (40,000 m2) plot outside of Hana, Hawaii, on the isolated east coast of Maui.[14]

The wood of the breadfruit tree was one of the most valuable timbers in the construction of traditional houses in Samoan architecture.

Recipes for breadfruit[edit]

Sliced & Fried Breadfruit in a Bag

There are many ways to cook breadfruit. In countries such as Sri Lanka, it is either cooked as a curry using coconut milk and spices (which becomes a side dish) or consumed after boiling. Boiled breadfruit is a famous main meal and is often consumed with scraped coconut, or "sambal" made out of coconut and chilies. Fritters of breadfruit are also a local delicacy of coastal Karnataka.

In Seychelles, it was traditionally eaten as a substitute for rice, as an accompaniment to the mains. It would either be consumed boiled (friyapen bwi) or grilled (friyapen griye), where it would be put whole in the wood fire used for cooking the main meal and then taken out when ready. It is also eaten as a dessert, called ladob friyapen, where it is boiled in coconut milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
It is often said in Seychelles, that travelers who visit Seychelles will always come back if they eat breadfruit cooked in Seychelles.

In Puerto Rico, it is traditionally eaten boiled with bacalao (salted codfish). It is also used to make rellenos de pana (mashed breadfruit filled with seasoned meat), mofongo, tostones de pana (double fried breadfruit), and even lasagna de pana (cooked mashed breadfruit layered with meat and topped with cheese). There is also a popular dessert made with sweet ripe breadfruit: flan de pana (breadfruit custard).

In Barbados, breadfruit is boiled with salted meat and mashed with butter to make breadfruit coucou. It is usually eaten with saucy meat dishes.

Both ripe and unripe fruits have culinary uses, but unripe breadfruit is consumed cooked.[15]

Local names for breadfruit[edit]

  • Odisha (India): Koncha Ponoso
  • Andhra Pradesh: Koora Panasa pandu (panasakai)
  • Barbados: Breadfruit
  • Belize: Breadfruit
  • Cambodia : Knol Somlor ខ្នុរសម្ល (Cooking Jack Fruit)
  • Cambodia: សាកេ
  • Comoros Islands: fruyapa
  • Cook Islands: Kuru
  • Dominica: Breadfruit, Penpen, Yanmpen
  • Fiji: Uto
  • Futuna (eastern): Mei
  • Goa, India: Neerphanas
  • Guadeloupe : Arbre à pain
  • Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands: Lemai
  • Guatemala: Mazapan
  • Guyana: Breadfruit
  • Haiti: Lam veritab
  • Hawai'i: 'Ulu
  • Indonesia: Sukun, Timbul
  • Jamaica: Breadfruit
  • Karnataka, India: divi Halasu
  • Kerala, India: Kada Chakka (Malayalam:കടച്ചക്ക), Cheema Chakka
  • Konkani: Jeevi Halasu, Jeev Kadgi, or Jeegujje (South Canara, Karnataka, India) or Gudgo (Central and South Kerala, Kerala India)
  • Madagascar: Sirapay or Soanambo
  • Malaysia: Buah Sukun
  • Maldives: Banbukeyo (ބަނބުކެޔޮ)
  • Marshall Islands: Mā
  • Martinique: Arbre à pain
  • Mexico: Fruta de pan
  • Nauru: Demé
  • Nigeria (Igbo): Ukwa
  • Panama : Árbol de pan
  • Philippines: Kamansi (Tagalog, Kapampangan; also the name for the breadnut); Dalungyan, Rimas, Ogob (Quezon Province, Bikol languages, Visayan languages),Antipolo(Old Tagalog name)
  • Marathi : NeerPhanas (नीरफणस) i.e. भाजी चा फणस
  • Papua New Guinea: Kapiak (Tok Pisin); Unu (Motu)
  • Pohnpei: Mahi
  • Puerto Rico: Pana, Panapén, Mapén.
  • Tahiti: Uru
  • Tamil : Curry Chakkai (Tamil: கரிச்சக்கை), Kottai Palaakkaai (Tamil: கொட்டைப்பலாக்காய்), Pilaa (Tamil: பிலா) or Pilaakkaai (Tamil: பிலாக்காய்)
  • Tanzania: Sheli sheli
  • Thailand, Vietnam: Sa Ke (สาเก)
  • Trinidad and Tobago: Breadfruit
  • Tonga: Mei
  • Tulu: Jigujje
  • Saint Lucia: bois pain
  • St. Vincent: Breadfruit
  • Samoa: Ulu
  • Seychelles, Mauritius: Friyapen (Fruit à Pain)
  • Solomon Islands: (Pidgin)-Breadfruit/(Temotu Province: NIMBALO)
  • Sri Lanka: dhel දෙල් (in Sinhala language)
  • Vanuatu (Tanna, lénakel language): Nek nem
  • Wallis: Mei

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Artocarpus altilis". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2007-07-03. Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  2. ^ Ragone, Diane (April 2006). Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit) (PDF). The Traditional Tree Initiative. 
  3. ^ Balick, M. & Cox, P. (1996). Plants, People and Culture: The Science of Ethnobotany. New York: Scientific American Library HPHLP, p.85
  4. ^ Nutrition Facts for Breadfruit
  5. ^ Little Jr., Elbert L.; Roger G. Skolmen (1989). ʻUlu, breadfruit (PDF). United States Forest Service. 
  6. ^ a b c The Breadfruit Institute
  7. ^ Morton, Julia F. (1987). "Breadfruit". Fruits of Warm Climates (Miami, Florida): 50–58. 
  8. ^ A. Maxwell P. Jones, Jerome A. Klun, Charles L. Cantrell, Diane Ragone, Kamlesh R. Chauhan, Paula N. Brown , and Susan J. Murch (2012). Isolation and Identification of Mosquito (Aedes aegypti) Biting Deterrent Fatty Acids from Male Inflorescences of Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg) 60 (15). pp. 3867–3873. doi:10.1021/jf300101w. 
  9. ^ Studies Confirm Breadfruit's Ability to Repel Insects
  10. ^ DISCOVERY AND DEVELOPMENT OF CHEMICALS FOR INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT OF BITING ARTHROPODS AND URBAN PESTS
  11. ^ O'Brian, Patrick (1988) "Joseph Banks. A Life: Explorer, Plant Hunter, Scientist." Collins Harvill, London
  12. ^ Loebel-Fried, C. (2002)
  13. ^ Zerega, N. J. C.; Ragone, D. & Motley, T.J. (2004). "The complex origins of breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis, Moraceae): Implications for human migrations in Oceania". American Journal of Botany 91 (5): 760–766. doi:10.3732/ajb.91.5.760. 
  14. ^ Julia Steele, photos by Jack Wolford (August–September 2009). "Tree of Plenty". Hana Hou! (Vol.12, No. 4). 
  15. ^ The encyclopedia of fruit & nuts, By Jules Janick, Robert E. Paull, p. 476 In Barbados it is pickled, which is made from cucumbers, lime, salt and scotch bonnet pepper and served with local dish of pudding and souse
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Notes

Common Names

French: arbre a pain. Guyana: breadfruit. Surinam: broodvruchtboom, man-van-woord, njamsi-bredebon. Surinam Creole: bredebon.

  • Grenand, P., Moretti, C. and H. Jacquemin. 1987. Pharmacopées Traditionnelles en Guyane: Créoles, Palikur, Wayapi. 569 pp. Paris: Editions de l'ORSTOM.
  • Lachman-White, D.A., Adams, C.D. and U.O. Trotz. 1987. A Guide to the Medicinal Plants of Coastal Guyana. 350 pp. London: Commonwealth Science Council.
  • Luu, C. 1975. Contribution à l'étude des plantes médicinales de la Guyane Francaise. Journal d'Agriculture Tropicale et de Botanique Appliqué 22(4-6): 121-141.
  • Duke, J.A. 1989. CRC Handbook of Nuts. 343 pp. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.
  • van Andel, T. R. 2000. Non-timber Forest Products of the North-West District of Guyana. Part I: 326 pp., Part II: A Field Guide, 358 pp. Tropenbos-Guyana Series 8B. Georgetown, Guyana: Tropenbos-Guyana Programme.

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Common cultivars of breadfruit in the Guianas are seedless. Seeded variants also occur in the Guianas, where they are variously known as "breadnut" in Guyana, "chataignier" in French Guiana, "satay" in French Guiana Wayapi, and as "kastanjebroodboom" and "sinibredebon" in Surinam. These diverse seeded cultivars have been named Artocarpus incisa (Thunberg) L. fil. var. seminifera Duss, Fl. Phan. Antill. Franc. 156 (1897). The French Guiana Wayapi apply the latex from seeded breadfruit onto the back to treat rheumatism.

  • Grenand, P., Moretti, C. and H. Jacquemin. 1987. Pharmacopées Traditionnelles en Guyane: Créoles, Palikur, Wayapi. 569 pp. Paris: Editions de l'ORSTOM.
  • Schultes, R.E. and R.F. Raffauf. 1990. The Healing Forest: Medicinal and Toxic Plants of the Northwest Amazonia. 484 pp. Portland, Oregon: Dioscorides Press.
  • Mennega, E.A., Tammens-de Rooij, W.C.M. and M.J. Jansen-Jacobs, eds. 1988. Check-list of Woody Plants of Guyana. 281 pp. Ede, The Netherlands: Tropenbos Foundation.

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Comments

Plants known as breadfruit produce few or no seeds and are a staple item of the diet in some tropical parts of the world, most notably the Pacific Islands.
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© Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA

Source: Missouri Botanical Garden

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Synonyms

Artocarpus communis J.R. Forster & G. Forster; Artocarpus incisus L. fil.

  • Grenand, P., Moretti, C. and H. Jacquemin. 1987. Pharmacopées Traditionnelles en Guyane: Créoles, Palikur, Wayapi. 569 pp. Paris: Editions de l'ORSTOM.
  • Lachman-White, D.A., Adams, C.D. and U.O. Trotz. 1987. A Guide to the Medicinal Plants of Coastal Guyana. 350 pp. London: Commonwealth Science Council.
  • Luu, C. 1975. Contribution à l'étude des plantes médicinales de la Guyane Francaise. Journal d'Agriculture Tropicale et de Botanique Appliqué 22(4-6): 121-141.
  • Duke, J.A. 1989. CRC Handbook of Nuts. 343 pp. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press.
  • van Andel, T. R. 2000. Non-timber Forest Products of the North-West District of Guyana. Part I: 326 pp., Part II: A Field Guide, 358 pp. Tropenbos-Guyana Series 8B. Georgetown, Guyana: Tropenbos-Guyana Programme.

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