Jackfruit is gaining acceptance as a vegetable, especially as a substitute for meat in dishes, according to an expert.

Shree Padre, who has been working on creating awareness about jackfruit cultivation for the past several years, told Business Line that jackfruit is basically used either as a fruit or as a vegetable. It is also a main ingredient in the preparation of many value-added products.

Raw jackfruit, as a vegetable, is gaining popularity in northern India, and a majority of them are being used as a substitute for meat in the preparation of various dishes.

Nearly 40 hotels in Nagpur region are using jackfruit as a substitute for meat in their cuisines. This is a development over the past five years, he said.

Stating that jackfruit satisfies many parameters of meat in the preparation of various food items, he said a majority of the around 50,000 tonnes of jackfruit sent from the south to north go to the kitchen table.

Padre was part of a team to the Vidharba region to study the potential of jackfruit there.

On the jackfruit crop potential in Vidharba region, he said the cultivation is not that big.

Because of the awareness about this crop in the past five years, a minuscule component is coming to the market.

Padre said that raw jackfruit as a substitute for meat has not gained prominence in southern India. With proper extension activities, raw jackfruit can be introduced in south Indian hotels as a substitute for meat, he said.

vinayak.aj@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on April 7, 2013)
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