Global Organics Articles Header

Jackfruit: Need-to-Know for Plant-Based Meals

Meat Substitute Organic JackfruitJackfruit is the largest tree fruit in the world. A single mature jackfruit is capable of reaching 100 pounds! Tender jackfruit (young jackfruit picked before ripening), has a mild flavor that easily absorbs spices, sauces and marinades, making an ideal base for savory, plant-based meals.

Now is the time to Strike

According to Mintel, one third of consumers said they plan to purchase more vegetarian and plant-based foods in the next year. Also, the natural channel saw sales of frozen meat alternatives rise more than 12 percent in the last year, according to SPINS. Fitting these trends perfectly, Jackfruit has received a lot of press lately as the newest plant-based meat alternative on the market. It was called a “rising star” in a recent food trend report from Google and was recently listed by IFT and New Hope Network as a top trend to watch.

Right now, there are only a few jackfruit retail products on store shelves. You could say the category is ripe for innovation.

Our certified organic jackfruit, or Kathal, is produced soy free, gluten free and non-GMO. The spiny skin is peeled to reveal the fleshy fruit, which is deseeded and chopped. Then, it is processed in a high-tech processing facility that uses retort sterilization and strict quality controls. The facility is BRC certified.

A Unique & Versatile Ingredient

Jackfruit stands out among other vegan meat alternatives due to a unique texture mirroring that of shredded chicken and pulled pork. Being high in fiber and a source of calcium and iron, jackfruit is a healthy, sustainable, clean label alternative to processed soy and wheat products.

Tender jackfruit is a good base for numerous organic prepared meals including vegetarian stir-fries, potpies and rice dishes. The texture is also well suited to other applications like tacos and burritos, sandwiches and wraps or anything BBQ. Jackfruit can even be used in dips and soups to add texture. It readily absorbs any flavors and spices paired with it so let your imagination (or your R&D team) run wild.

And It’s Sustainable

In addition to being trendy, unique and versatile, jackfruit is socially and environmentally sustainable!

Jackfruit trees grow naturally throughout India, each bearing a few hundred fruit a year. They provide much needed shade or windbreak among income-earning crops such as mango, coconut and spices. Once established, the perennial trees need little maintenance compared to other crops, which often require irrigation and fertilizers.

Unfortunately, due to lack of supply chain and processing infrastructure, farmers are unable to take advantage of this bountiful jackfruit harvest and most of the fruit goes to waste on the tree.

Our organic kathal comes from a project in India that is dedicated to bringing small farms and communities out of poverty. They provide an outlet to sell organic jackfruit therefore increasing income and improving quality of life for farmers and their families.

The project goes beyond jackfruit and helps member farmers from end-to-end with all of their organic crops, from providing organic fertilizers to exporting processed products. Farmers receive health insurance, agricultural training, clean drinking water, blankets in winter as needed and education for their children. In addition to these social betterment goals, they are committed to conserving water, restoring soil, and preserving endangered plant species and forests across the 2550 total hectares involved in the project.

Great nutrient profile, vegan, environmentally sustainable and on-trend… Does that sound like something that would fit perfectly in your product line? Contact your account manager or email for more information.