India is considered the origin country of jackfruit, and it is often termed a ‘superfood’ in this nation. The bulky fruit is usually available at such an extent that much of it goes to waste yearly. The world’s largest jackfruit producer, India is now exploiting the soaring popularity of it as a meat substitute. Restaurants in India are getting inquiries for jackfruit from overseas, and their owners say that the demand for it has grown considerably. Keep reading to know why it is turning into a plant-based meat substitute that people from the world over prefer.
The Increasing Interest In The Fruit Explained
The ripe fruit has a wax-like yellow flesh, and it is consumed in fresh form or is utilized to create juices, cakes, crisps, and ice creams. When it is not ripe, people either include it in fluid dishes or fry, mince and saute it. In the Western part of the world, shredded jackfruit is a popular pulled pork substitute, and it is even utilized in pizza toppings.
The coronavirus epidemic has resulted in sudden increases in interest in the fruit. The crisis resulted in concerns about chicken, so individuals started to eat tender jackfruit instead of chicken and meat. International demand for veganism was going up before the epidemic, thanks partly to movements like Veganuary and Meat Free Mondays. Therefore, the meat substitute sector also started to become much more popular than in the past.
Environmental and health-related concerns make people turn to big-name US-based brands of plant-based meat products. Customers in Asia are also having meat substitutes, like tempeh, tofu, seitan, and now jackfruit. This particular boom has resulted in an increasing number of jackfruit orchards springing up in south India.
A bite of jackfruit is like that of meat, which is making it more popular. Besides, jackfruit absorbs spices in a similar way to meat. Jackfruit flour can be blended with rice- and wheat-derived flour, or it is useable as a substitute for the latter two products to create goods like burger patties. What it is utilized for may vary by nation. In the United States of America, restaurants use it for burger patties, whereas, in south India, hospitality businesses add it to local foods like idli.
A recent study found jackfruit in the form of a plant-based meal better than bread and rice for an ordinary man who wishes to control their blood sugar. The finding is the result of an elaborate nutritional analysis done as a part of the study.
Millions of Americans and Indians have diabetes. As per a Lancet study, the number of diabetes cases in India is likely to reach about 100 million in 10 years.
More Fun Facts About Jackfruit
The beauty of jackfruit may be that it does not require a lot of maintenance and is a drought-resistant product. These are the reasons why many individuals in India cultivate jackfruit on their land. The demand for the fruit in many parts of south India is 100 metric tons per day in peak seasons. Anyhow, there exists a growing competition from nations like Thailand and Bangladesh.
Every single jack tree will possibly yield 150 to 250 fruits per season. However, the agriculture industry has been affected when the coronavirus-induced lockdown in India causes a scarcity of labor and transport. Nevertheless, international demand is not showing any signs of slowing. Many restaurant owners in the US believe that even meat consumers are turning into jackfruit. This is to say, jackfruit is not just for vegans or vegetarians; anyone can have it.
Another Accidentally Vegan Food Item
It is what people often describe as ‘accidentally vegan’. This means that jackfruit just happens to be vegan and vegetarian. Just because it is vegan-friendly and suitable for vegetarians, does not mean that non-vegetarians cannot have it.
You may eat different components of it in raw form, but it is also possible to prepare the fruit in a wide range of ways. When it comes to nutrition, the flesh of jackfruit stacks up quite well against other meat substitutes. Shared below is a list of nutrients that you can find in a 100 gram serving of the fruit.
- Calories 95 grams
- Carbs 50 grams
- Sugar 19 grams
- Protein 70 grams
- Fat 60 grams
- Saturated fats 10 grams
- Fiber 5 grams
- Vitamin C 8 milligrams
- Magnesium 37 milligrams
Besides magnesium, jackfruit also has reasonable quantities of minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, manganese, and phosphorous, as well as some amounts of copper and selenium. So, on the whole, it is good for health, is flexible and nutritious. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a product that can cure every illness. For the time being, it is getting popular as a meat substitute.