Jackfruit (or ‘jakfruit’) is derived from the jackfruit tree, a Southeast Asian cousin of the fig tree, mulberry tree, and breadfruit family. Bangladesh’s national fruit, the jackfruit resembles an elongated honeydew melon or a giant mango. The term ‘jackfruit’ is derived from the Portuguese word ‘jaca’, which 16th-Century explorers obtained from their pronunciation of the Malaysian name for the fruit, ‘chakka’. Although it is still farmed exclusively in Southeast Asia, jackfruit is now relished worldwide on its own as well as in raw and prepared cuisines.

Some people confuse jackfruit with durian fruit, which has a similar appearance but a significant difference. Durian has a pungent odour that some people find unpleasant.  Jackfruit, on the other hand, smells delicious. Durian fruits are also significantly smaller than jackfruit, and the outside of a durian fruit may contain prickly ‘thorns’, whereas the surface of jackfruit is relatively smooth.

Jackfruit flavour profile

It’s useful to know what to expect before taking a bite. The texture of jackfruit is dense and fibrous, similar to that of a banana, mango, or pineapple. However, the flavour is fairly unique. Some claim it tastes sweet, while others, particularly after cooking, claim it tastes like pulled pork. Jackfruit seeds are edible, and some people compare their milky, gummy flavour to that of a Brazil nut. Jackfruit’s inner meat is a yellow, mango-like colour, and it can be purchased pre-sliced, canned, or in a sugary syrup.

The invention of jackfruit flour

Because the glycemic load (glucose level) in unripe jackfruit is about half that of rice or wheat, a Keralite named James Joseph invented jackfruit flour in the world’s history and was always aware that the fibre-rich fruit is a potent carbohydrate replacement for those with diabetes. Green flour was inspired by an unintentional discovery in 2014. This was around the same time that James Joseph’s book, titled God’s Own Office, was published. After reading the book, former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam called him to a meeting in Delhi. He seized the chance and enthusiastically communicated his discovery. 

He was a tech veteran, who unintentionally found the benefits of green jackfruit for diabetes, which led to the creation of jackfruit flour, which was later trademarked under his name to protect the technology he used to create it. He is the current CEO of Jackfruit365 flour. Jackfruit flour is made by combining jackfruit fruits, seeds, and threads. Green jackfruit flour has been clinically demonstrated to manage blood sugar levels, and the findings were presented in the American Diabetes Association journal.

How to use jackfruit flour?

Jackfruit flour can be used in similar ways that other flours are used. The only difference is that it is on the healthier side, especially for the ones who are suffering from diabetes. The flour is made entirely from jackfruit.

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