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Ever heard of a Red-fleshed Jackfruit? Here's all you need to know

Kanika Dhamija
Kanika Dhamija
jackfruit

"Is it real?”, “How is it red?”, “Do the farmers use any colouring techniques?”  – are some questions that might pop into your mind as you read further...

Ever heard of a variety of jackfruit with deep, coppery red flakes? Turns out, a rare jackfruit tree, ‘Siddu Halasu’ in Karnataka’s Tumkur district is one; and quitea popular commodity too. The unique variety of jackfruit is not only tasty but also has a high nutritive value. Even better - it can fetch a good market price since it’s rare.

The jackfruit variety gained sudden attention after a tree was found at a private plot, andit is believed to belong to the family of SS Paramesha of Chelur village in Karnataka's Tumakuru district. The copper-coloured jackfruit shot to fame overnight in 2017 during the Hesaraghatta fair, a horticultural event for farmers and locals to display varieties of jackfruits and mango.

This unique jackfruit’s tree shape is pyramidal, and it bears solitary small-sized fruits weighing 2-5 kg/each. Highly suitable for commercial cultivation, a single tree can bear upto 450 fruits counting to an estimated yield of 1098 kg/tree! The fruiting season is May-July. The variety is known for its distinctive copper-red fruits, intense sweetness and attractive aroma.

jackfruit

The Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Paramesha under which scientists plan to multiply the jackfruit variety through grafting. IIHR has also nominated Paramesha as “the custodian of genetic diversity” for this particular variety and named it ‘Siddu’ after his father.

Health benefits – All that glitters is indeed gold!

The coppery-red 'Siddu' jackfruit is rich in phytochemicals such as carotenoids (4.43 mg/100g), lycopene (1.12 mg/100g), flavonoids (3.74 mg catechin equivalents/100g), phenols (31.76 mg gallic acid equivalents/100g), and vitamin-C (6.48 mg/100 g). Total antioxidant activity is quite high (11.00 and 14.93 mg AEAC/100g in FRAP and DPPH assay, respectively) which is indicative of its excellent potential for health promoting and functional food components

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