Developing ready-to-market Jackfruit Products for Australian market growth – Stage 2

Northern Territory Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade

  • Project code: PRO-017258

  • Project stage: Current

  • Project start date: Monday, May 8, 2023

  • Project completion date: Monday, October 13, 2025

  • National Priority: NEI - New and Emerging Industries - M1

Summary

Jackfruit is observing an expansion of plantings as a result of strong market demand signals for fresh and value-added product. Reports into the potential to grow the Australian jackfruit industry have identified processed jackfruit as an industry opportunity, however, requires further research and development due largely to the lack of commercial processors, and processed jackfruit options.

This project will build networks between commercial partners from across the supply chain to increase industry capacity and encourage adoption of the final products as a commercial reality. The project will engage with broader industry through extension activities and communications in order to build interest and understanding of the potential for a processed jackfruit market and encourage a critical mass of growers to explore this as a possible market for their fruit.

This project will grow the Australian jackfruit industry through the development of processed jackfruit products by refining three concepts from the earlier project ‘Processing jackfruit into ready to eat products and ingredients project (PRJ-012309; Norris et al 2021)’ into ready to commercialise products. The products will be profiled for nutritional status, taste and consumer acceptance. Packaging will be developed considering shelf life, environmental sustainability and commercial viability.

Jackfruit can be harvested at different physiological stages depending on the choice for consumption (green jackfruit is popular for pulled products and curry, whereas ripe jackfruit is preferred for juices, fresh cuts etc.). The harvest windows and quality specifications need to be tailored to the end use (processing) in order to ensure the final product meets Australian market standards. These specifications will vary for accession and use as the underlying physiological and biochemical processes vary from accession to accession. This project will identify the quality specifications for jackfruit earmarked for processing and develop a Product Description Language (PDL) document to clarify these requirements. Quality specifications, such as sugar to acid ratios, and percentage of seed will be developed for the products. Product Description Language (PDL) documents are the specifications for produce which identify the benchmark or blueprint for fruit at the farm gate to meet the requirements of the receiver (in this case processing companies). This gives both growers and processors a reference point for identifying which fruit are acceptable for the processed product.

Grower partners will be provided with young jackfruit plants from their choice of the “processing” lines (currently identified as 210, 327, 330, 334, and 348) that have been grown at the Berrimah Farm Science Precinct Nursery. This will allow growers to get an understanding of growing the plants under their production systems, and how they fit into their business models. The plants will be used to collect field data from commercial plantings including, including plant height, truck diameter, canopy cover and flowering for these lines across different locations. Importantly, the grower partners will actively engage other growers in the project outcomes and create a network of grower champions by promoting the work and building the capacity for the industry to supply fruit for future processing.

Program

New and Emerging Industries

Research Organisation

Northern Territory Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade

Objective Summary

  1. To develop industry capacity and supply chains, including grower partner plantings, the engagement of commercial processors in product development and industry engagement.
  2. To refine the development of three of six (Identified in PRJ-012309 ‘Processing jackfruit into ready to eat products and ingredients’; Norris et al 2021) promising products through to commercialisation. The specific products will be determined by the processor’s technology. Refinement will include nutritional evaluation, packaging solutions and consumer acceptance of each product.
  3. To determine the harvest window and quality specifications for fruit intended for processed products, supporting jackfruit growers, potential processors and retailers with information specific to the selected jackfruit lines, as defined in PDL information sheets.
  4. To engage retailers in the project through small in-store consumer acceptance trials of the commercialisation ready jackfruit products.