HOW TO PROCESS AFRICAN BREADFRUIT
African breadfruit, Treculia africana, (Family: Moraceae) is a food tree crop of high nutritional value. In Nigeria, the plant is mainly grown in the eastern states where it is normally planted some distance away from residential areas to avert the danger posed by its heavy, large fruits. The fruits are is not traditionally harvested but allowed to ripen and drop from the tree.
The seed is rich in palatable cooking oil. Literature has revealed that on commercial scale, breadfruit can yield 10.23% of oil. Gathering of ripe fruits from the wild and harvesting ones from orchards of farm households is a common farm activity during heavy fruiting period in parts of Southern Nigeria.
At present, cultivation, gathering and processing of African breadfruit provides a chain of subsistence agricultural activity which still is relatively non mechanized but provides rural jobs especially for the women.
Breadfruit is a traditional food whose consumption is culturally accepted across diverse ethnic communities. Okeke et al., (2008) documented that the food is an expensive delicacy eaten either boiled alone or with other foods and could be roasted and eaten even with palm kernel or coconut as snacks.
Furthermore, it is seen as a good source of income with good nutrient value for diabetic patients. Its seed flour is used as thickner and in baking respectively.
Breadfruit is one of the underutilized fruits and it differs from other fruits because it has to be cooked before consumption. Breadfruit plant is called gbere or Jaloke amongst the indigene of Ifewara in South Western Nigeria. It was restricted to the Ile-Ife axis because it was considered to be poor men’s substitute for yam by other southwestern communities in Nigeria.
Breadfruit is a staple food that can be prepared into various main and side dishes, i.e. it can be pounded, fried, boiled or mashed. It can also be processed into flour and used in making bread and biscuit. Bread fruit is now popularly grown in other countries with tropical climates like Ghana, West Indies, Jamaica, and Sierra Leone. In the South Western Nigeria where the consumption is common, it is very important in alleviating rural poverty because it can serve as a substitute for yam. The role of breadfruit in poverty alleviation can be further expanded.
One of the ways in expanding its utilization is by processing it into an already accepted popular food form, e.g. gari analogue, or processing into forms in which it can be used as an extender.
PROCESS FLOW CHART FOR AFRICAN BREADFRUIT FERMENTATION
Matured Bread fruit
By Akubuo Chigaemezu