• Vegetable and fruits banner

    Sri Lankan Fruit & Vegetable: Harnessing the Nature’s Best

  • Benefits and Uses of Jackfruit

     Benefits and uses of jackfruit

    Humble yet versatile, jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit on the earth. It holds a dominant position amongst Sri Lankan staples and is often consumed as a primary and secondary staple by locals. Jackfruit is particularly important to Sri Lankans since it served as a much-needed alternative to Sri Lanka’s primary staple- rice during trying times where rations were limited and starvation was an impending threat. Arthur V. Dias pioneered the jackfruit propagation program in Sri Lanka during this time, which later earned him the name ‘Kos Mama’, the Sinhalese translation of ‘Uncle Jackfruit’. Jackfruit’s service as a substitute for rice led the locals to call the jackfruit tree the ‘Bath Gasa’, an aptly dubbed name that translates into English as the ‘Rice Tree’.

    Today, we have come a long way since the era of jackfruit propagation, and Sri Lanka is exporting jackfruit products to a multitude of countries.

    Is Jackfruit Native to Sri Lanka?

    Jackfruit was initially introduced to Sri Lanka by Arthur V. Dias in 1918 from Malaysia. However, eventually, jackfruit acquired native status in Sri Lanka, emerging as a tree commonly spotted in almost every backyard (1)

    Where Does Jackfruit Grow in Sri Lanka?

    Jackfruit thrives mainly in the wet zone of the country. It will yield a good harvest even in the intermediate or dry zones of the country as this majestic tree can endure long dry spells (1)

    Are There Different Varieties of Jackfruit in Sri Lanka?

    There are several cultivars of jackfruit such as “Fatherlong, Maharagama, Kothmale, Hirosh, Mandoor and Singapore or Ceylon Jackfruit.”  In addition, jackfruit is generally classified into two other cultivars as ‘Vela’ and ‘Waraka’ depending on the texture of the flake. Vela jackfruit usually has a soft and rubbery texture while the latter has a crunchier crisp texture (1).

    What Parts of the Fruit Can Be Consumed??

    Almost all parts including the “inflorescence, young fruit, mature starch-rich fleshy perianth, starch-rich seed, and perianth of the ripe fruit (2)” is edible during all stages of its ripening process.

    How to Eat Jackfruit?

    Jackfruit can be prepared in manifold ways and many cultures have their signature jackfruit dishes that showcase the cultures’ unique gastronomical features. In Sri Lanka, the tender jackfruit curry is a cultural spokesperson; it lies at the very centre of the ‘Sri Lankanness’ and brings the local cuisine to the world. The tender jackfruit curry or the ‘gata polos maluwa’ as it is known amongst the locals is prepared by cooking medium-sized chunks of unripe jackfruit in coconut sauce enriched with various Ceylon spices. 

    Made the same way, mature jackfruit is used as an accompaniment for rice. When boiled or steamed and paired with scraped coconut or an accompaniment, mature jackfruit serves as a substitute for rice.

    Ripe jackfruit is consumed as a fruit by locals. It has a strong aroma that screams of exotic tropics and a sweet taste that is somewhat akin to that of pineapples.   

    In addition, jack fruit seeds are eaten boiled, ground, roasted and cooked in dishes (3). They have also revolutionised the baking industry, going into our favourite recipes as a finely pounded powder.

    Jackfruit has gained fame as a vegan sensation thanks to its meaty flavour and multiple cooking techniques that can be used to bring the flavour out. For example, due to its wholesome meaty flavour, it is known as ‘tree mutton’ in Bengali in India (4).

    Coming into the spotlight as a star superfood, the trajectory of jackfruit has truly been groundbreaking. Today, it is a widely sought-after delicacy popular among healthy-eating enthusiasts. This translates into pop- culture as well, with jackfruit wraps (like those served at Starbucks) becoming trendy.   

    Value-added products include jam, marmalades, jellies, and ice creams made from jackfruit puree. In Karnataka, jackfruit is used to make “candy, finger chips, fruit bars, fruit leather, halvah, papad, ready-to-serve beverages, toffee, and milk-based shrikhand, ice cream, and kulfi (5).” It can also be fermented and used to make alcoholic beverages.

    What is the Nutritional Composition of Jackfruit?

    Jackfruit is a powerhouse full of essential micro and macronutrients. Studies show that it contains a high amount of carbohydrate and protein, with 100g of young jackfruit containing 2.0 - 2.6g of protein and 9.4 - 11.5g of carbohydrate. The ripe fruit comes with 1.2 - 1.9g of protein and 16.0 - 25.4g of carbohydrate. The young fruit and the ripe fruit contain 2.6- 3.6 g and 1- 1.5 g of fibre respectively. The young fruit does not contain sugar while the ripe fruit comes with 20.6g of total sugars. The fat content of the young fruit is 0.1 - 0.6g whereas the ripe fruit contains 0.1 - 0.4g of fat.

    Jackfruit is also compacted with vital minerals and vitamins. For instance, a 100g serving of the young fruit contains 30.0 - 73.2mg of calcium, 20.0 - 57.2mg of phosphorus, 287-323mg of potassium, 3.0-35.0mg of sodium, and 0.4-1.9g of iron. In contrast, the ripe jackfruit brings 20.0 - 37.0mg of calcium, 38.0 - 41.0mg of phosphorus, 191-407mg of potassium, 2.0-41.0mg of sodium, and 0.5-1.1 of iron. Notably, the ripe fruit contains 27.0mg of magnesium while the young fruit doesn’t contain magnesium at all.

    Jackfruit is also packed with various vitamins. 100g of the young fruit brings you 30IU of vitamin A, 0.05-0.2mg of riboflavin, 12.0-14.0mg of vitamin C and 0.05-0.15mg of thiamine. The ripe fruit comes packed with 175-540IU of vitamin A, 0.03-0.09mg of thiamine, 0.05-0.4mg of riboflavin, and 7.0-10.0mg of vitamin C (6).

    What are the Health Benefits of Jackfruit?

    Many micro and macronutrients are present in jackfruit and the health benefits they bring are numerous. Thanks to its medicinal properties, jackfruit has historically been used to treat various ailments in alternate medicinal systems like Ayurveda, Yunani and folk medicine. Today, its medicinal value is rapidly being recognized by Western medicine as well

    Contains Antioxidants

    Antioxidants are essential to delay, retard or prevent the oxidization process within the body. Fighting against harmful free radicals, antioxidants protect the body and biomolecules from the damage caused by the generation of excess free radicals which leads to many chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases and cancer. Thankfully, jackfruit contains a range of phytonutrients that can act as antioxidants, thereby preventing and lowering the generation of free radicals. According to studies, the “fresh seed and flesh (of jackfruit) possess substantial ascorbic acid equivalent antioxidant effects and 27.7 and 0.9 gallic acid equivalent phenolic contents.” They contribute to about 70% of the total antioxidant activity of jackfruit and protect you from damage caused by free radicals (7)

    Improves Digestion

    Jackfruit is rich in fibre and a 100g serving contains 3.6g of fibre. This high fibre content prevents constipation and leads to smooth bowel movements, thereby improving the digestive system. It is also capable of removing carcinogenic chemicals from the large intestine and thus protecting the colon mucous membrane (8).

    Has Anti-cancer Properties

    Jackfruit contains many phytonutrients that are capable of preventing cancer cell generation in the body. Some of the phytonutrients in jackfruit include lignans, isoflavones, and saponins and they effectively fight against cancer by terminating the generation of cancer cells (8).

    Strengthens the Bone

    Not only does jackfruit contain a high amount of calcium but also comes packed with magnesium. The importance of these two micronutrients is that the former is crucial for the bones and their strength and the latter helps to absorb calcium. In addition, it further works with calcium to strengthen bones and to prevent bone-related disorders like osteoporosis (7).

    Has Anti-ageing Properties Beneficial for Skin Rejuvenation

    Jackfruit is enriched with vitamin C, a micronutrient that protects the skin from the damages caused by the natural ageing process and prolonged exposure to the sun. Thanks to its vitamin C content, jackfruit also helps to produce collagen and gives firmness and strength to skin, aiding to maintain younger-looking skin (7)

    Reduces High Blood Sugar

    Jackfruit is a low GI food. And as such, it contains a significant amount of fibre and slows down the digestion process. This in turn reduces the blood glucose levels (9)

    Jackfruit is truly a miracle superfood that brings consumers manifold health benefits. And jackfruit from Sri Lanka, in particular, is nutrient-dense and retains its natural goodness all thanks to the agricultural good practises followed by locals and the thorough quality assurance process that characterises the Sri Lankan export sector. From harvesting to processing to manufacturing to exporting, jackfruit products from Sri Lanka are handled with utmost care and the supply chain functions under strict regulations aimed at ensuring the quality and safety of food products. And that is how our jackfruit products retain their freshness and natural goodness even as they reach supermarkets across the globe

Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables

Due to the country’s diverse climatic regions, Sri Lanka produces a wide variety of fruits, nuts, and vegetables. The manufacturing and exporting of more than 9000 tonnes of produce annually solidify Sri Lanka as a major exporter of fruits, nuts, and vegetables.

Product Varieties & Suppliers

  • Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables




  • Fruits



  • Nuts



  • Vegetables