Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Handling Technology Of Minimally Processed Jackfruit For Export Markets

Handling Technology Of Minimally Processed Jackfruit FOR Export Markets


Jackfruit is one of the tropical fruits suitable for minimal processing. A single fruit may weigh more than 10 kg. Thus it is not convenient for the consumer to carry the whole fruit back home, or it may be too much to consume at once, particularly for smaller families. It is an aggregate fruit with numerous fruitlets, each containing one seed. The fruitlet is covered with epidermal cells and cuticle layer with a waxy appearance. The process of separating the fruitlets from the center core is quite unpleasant since the fruit is full of gummy latex that sticks to the hands and knives. The difficulty in assessing the flesh often results in an unsightly product.

At present, marketing activity of minimally processed jackfruit is mainly being conducted on daily basis. Polyethylene bag has been commonly used for packing minimally processed jackfruit at the wet market and the stalls by the roadside. However, at the dry market the minimally processed jackfruit was packed on polystyrene tray overlapped with stretched film. The fruit turns slimy and deteriorates rapidly, resulting in off-flavour. Shelf life at the supermarket shelf is only 3-4 days. Today, MARDI has developed a technology for minimally processed jackfruit, which has a potential not only for the local markets but also for export.

Technology Description

Package technology developed for minimally processed jackfruit involves various steps:-
>>Fruit harvested at commercial maturity
>>Handling operation involves:
>Fruit ripening
>Fruit cutting – isolating the fruitlets
>Suitable retail and bulk packing

Novelty of Technology

>>The latex problem and difficulties in separating the fruitlets from the epidermal cells can be overcome by the precooling process.
>>Firmer fruitlet as cutting process is conducted only to fruits achieving 60% skin softening.
>>The technology employed the use of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and low temperature storage to reduce weight loss and tissue browning even after 3 weeks.
>>The use of rigid polypropylene containers for retail packing and insulated boxes for bulk packing reduces physical injury, makes handling easier and stacking possible.
>>The use of frozen gel provides a cool environment to the packed jackfruit which slows down ripening and other metabolic processes, reduces deterioration and minimizes the ethylene effect which influence shelf life.
>>The technology can be easily adopted for local or export markets
The longer storage life enables more efficient and wider market distribution.
>>A quality assurance protocol has been developed for minimally processed jackfruit under ASEAN Australian Economic Cooperation Program to ensure safe products being delivered to the consumer.

Jackfruit in Minimally Processed Form Offer Many Advantages

>>Ease in serving portion of large and difficult to peel fruits;
>>Reduce cost in packaging and transportation;
>>Extend the shelf life;
>>Minimize the quarantine barrier;
>>The quality of the products can be seen thus provide good selection for the consumer;
>>Attractive labels can be used for product description, storage requirements and expected storage life.

Comparison to Current Products

The technology on minimally processed jackfruit offers many advantages:
>>Longer storage life. Minimally processed jackfruit can be kept for 3 weeks at 20C, 1 week at 10C and 2 days at 25C. The achievable storage life provides sufficient marketing planning for distribution both for local and export markets;
>>Ensure of safety and quality as handling operations were conducted in controlled environment following quality assurance protocols:
>>Reduction in cost of packaging and transportation;
>>Flexible production depending on market demand;

Economic Impact

>>Per-capita consumption of jackfruit fruit is expected to increase from 0.8 kg/person /yr in 2000 to 1.0 kg in 2010;
>>Production area of jackfruit is expected to increase from 6,000 hectares in 2000 to 55,000 hectares in 2010;
>>Thus it will be a good future for minimally processed jackfruit to cater the needs of the local and export markets:
>>Currently, jackfruit (whole fruit) has been exported to Singapore, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Indonesia, Middle East, United Kingdom and Thailand with the export value worth RM3 million in 2004 and targeted to increase to RM10 million 2010;
>>The demand for jackfruit in minimally processed is expected to increase as cost of transportation can be reduced with the removal of the inedible portion of the fruits (skin, epidermal layers, seeds and the center core). These inedible portion constitutes about 40-50% of the fruit weight.

Potential Users

>>The technology is targeted towards local fruit suppliers as well as exporters;
>>The technology has a potential for export not only by air but also by sea shipments to markets such as Hong Kong, China and Taiwan as traveling time is only between 5-7 days;

Export Trial

>>An Export trial of minimally processed jackfruit by air shipment to Netherlands was successfully conducted in June 2006. The trial was conducted in collaboration with counterparts in Malaysia (FAMA, DOA, fruit exporter from Selangor) and from Netherlands (fruit importer, Agriculture Atache, Matrade and Malaysian Embassy).

>>The technology of minimally processed jackfruit fruit had been successfully taken up for export by air shipment to the European markets (Netherlands, Belgium, Zurich) and also to Middle East.

For further information please contact:
Latifah Mohd Nor
Horticulture Research Centre
MARDI Headquarters, Serdang
P.O Box 12301, 50774 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-8943 7545
Fax: 03-8948 7590

Or write to:
Horticulture Research Centre
MARDI Headquarters, Serdang
P.O Box 12301, 50774 Kuala Lumpur

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