Jackfruit is the largest tree fruit that gained popularity due to its sweet, fleshy and energy-rich pulp. The exterior of jackfruit is hard green or yellow initially and turns to yellowish brown after ripening. The inner edible flesh of the jackfruit consists of nutritious pulp coated around the seed, formed by the fusion of flowers. Jackfruit is a non-seasonal fruit that grows on evergreen trees in tropical areas. The biological name of the jackfruit tree is Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam, belonging to the family Moraceae. It is cultivated in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and various parts of Southeast Asia, Africa and America. Jackfruit grows abundantly in India and is native to the Western Ghats of India.1,2
Apart from the flesh, jackfruit seeds are also edible and are used in cooked dishes. The jackfruit seeds with a thin brown seed coat, known as spermoderm, are enclosed in a white layer. The brown spermoderm consists of white cotyledon rich in protein and starch. Jackfruit seed has a lot of potential benefits, especially in the cosmetics, paper, pharmaceutical and bio-nanotechnology industries.2
The nutrient value of jackfruit seed is as under:
|Nutritional component||Value per 100g|
|Fibre (total dietary)||1.5 g|
|Vitamin C||11 mg|
|Vitamin A||17 IU|
Table 1: Nutritional value of jackfruit seed (per 100g)2
The potential health benefits of jackfruit seed are:
Magnesium is a mineral crucial for body functioning and keeps our bones strong by absorbing calcium in bones. Calcium makes our bones strong and rigid and allows normal body movement. Swami et al., 2012 presented an overview of the functional and medicinal value of Jackfruit. They mentioned that jackfruit seeds are rich in magnesium, which may help in the absorption of calcium in the bones. Magnesium, along with calcium, strengthens bones and relieves disorders related to bones, e.g. osteoporosis (weak and brittle bones). Thus, it is suggested that jackfruit seeds may have potential benefits in strengthening the bones. Further studies should be conducted to validate the efficacy of jackfruit seeds.2
Antioxidants are agents that reduce the effects of free radicals responsible for chronic health problems. Ranasinghe et al. in 2019 mentioned that jackfruit seeds possess a good amount of ascorbic acid and gallic acid which may protect the body from the negative effects of excess free radical production thus promoting antioxidant activity. Therefore, it can be concluded that jackfruit seeds may help in contributing to the antioxidant activity. More data is required to establish the true extent of its benefit on human health.1
Mahanta et al., 2015 and Ranasinghe et al., 2019 mention that the jackfruit seeds extract has shown efficacy against S.aureus, E. coli and B. megaterium revealing that jackfruit seed may have some antimicrobial effects. It may be used to formulate pharmaceutical agents for infectious diseases. Jackfruit seed powder may also help against food contamination. Thus, the seeds of jackfruit may have the potential as an antibacterial agent. Further research should be conducted to validate the efficacy of jackfruit seeds.1–3
Dwitiyanti et al., 2019 conducted a study on pregnant female rats. The jackfruit seed extract was administered to diabetic pregnant female rats. The blood glucose levels of pregnant female rats decreased after the administration of jackfruit seed extracts. Therefore, it is suggested that the jackfruit seed extract possesses activities that may have the potential of decreasing blood sugar levels. Further clinical research is required to investigate the true benefit of jackfruit seed in human health.5
Though there are studies that show the benefits of jackfruit seed in various conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of jackfruit seed on human health.
You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any jackfruit seed supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.
The most common side effects related to jackfruit seed are:
Patients suffering from digestive disorders must consult their physician before consuming jackfruit seeds. Though, there is not much data available on the consumption of jackfruit seeds during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Thus, lactating and pregnant females should ask their gynaecologist before consuming jackfruit seeds. The elderly and children should also consume jackfruit seeds in moderation if necessary and consult a physician if suffering from any health-related disorders.
No interactions are reported in the literature reviewed. If you are on medication, consult an experienced and qualified doctor before taking any jackfruit seed supplements. This can possibly help in avoiding interaction with other medicines.
The seed of jackfruit contains a high amount of protein and other vitamins and minerals, which adds to its nutritional value. Thus, jackfruit seed is edible and is used as a nutritious source of food.
Jackfruit seeds are used after boiling, roasting or cooking. The seeds are boiled in sugar water to serve as a dessert. It may also be used as an ingredient in vegetables and curries in Asian dishes.
The jackfruit seeds may serve a potential in human health and may benefit as an antimicrobial, antidiabetic and antioxidant. It may also provide benefits in strengthening the bones. It may also be used as a substitute to flour with an increase in protein and fibre content.
The patients suffering from digestive disorders must avoid consuming jackfruit seeds. Elderly, children and pregnant and lactating females should consult the doctor before taking jackfruit seeds in any form.
The flour of jackfruit seed may be used in various bakeries and biscuit factories to make cookies. It might also be used as binding and thickening agent in various food industries.