Efforts are being made by growers to promote it regionally or provide it to huge firms
Frozen ripe jackfruit is the most recent addition to the rising market of value-added merchandise from jackfruit.
Bibil Thomas, a 29-year-old software program engineer from Kumily in Idukki district of Kerala, has launched Jackobyte, which retails frozen ripe bulbs of jackfruit with a shelf lifetime of three months. Nevertheless, if blast freezing is finished (-40 diploma Celsius) the inventory will final for 2 years, he says.
Solely the varikka selection (jackfruit with agency, fleshed carpels) might be frozen. “The carpels are packed and frozen as quickly as they’re faraway from the fruit. In any other case the juice that oozes out will type a crystal across the carpel and that may have an effect on the style. I maintain food-grade gel ice within the thermocol field once I transport the packets from Kumily to Kochi in a bus (almost 160 km) in order to take care of the temperature.”
Bibil launched Jackobyte over a yr in the past. “It began once I received an order for 10 tonnes of ripe jackfruits from ice cream-major Vadilal in 2017. I bought 10 such hundreds in a month. Once I delved deep into the trade, I realised that there’s a marketplace for frozen merchandise as effectively. Now I’m in talks with a grocery store chain to market Jackobyte,” he explains.
It’s typically the ladies within the neighbourhood who minimize, clear and pack the fruit in 250-gm packets priced ₹60. “At the moment I’ve Vietnam Tremendous Early (VSE) selection, sourced from a farm at Kanjirappally in Kottayam district. By subsequent month I’ll begin getting different varikka varieties from throughout Kerala,” says Bibil.
He provides that you will need to have the identical selection in a packet. “I often get unda chakka from Munnar belt, in addition to neelan varikka, then varikka, Chembarathi varikka and VSE. I don’t advocate utilizing then varikka whereas Chembarathi varikka is the most effective selection to freeze,” he says.
Farm journalist Shree Padre, who has been main the marketing campaign to advertise jackfruit for a few years now, is akin to a mentor for Bibil. Shree Padre says that whereas nations resembling Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand are advertising and marketing frozen jackfruit, each ripe and uncooked, in a giant approach, India is approach behind. “In Kerala there are almost a dozen farmers who export frozen, uncooked jackfruit. Additionally, tonnes of tender jackfruit is transported from the state to components of North India the place they devour it as a vegetable. Nevertheless, there are only some who’ve tried to promote frozen ripe fruits. All one wants is a deep freezer, vacuum packing machine and energy back-up to set the enterprise rolling,” says Shree Padre.
For example, over the past jackfruit season, Thomas Scariya, additionally from Kumily, collected ripe and uncooked bulbs from almost 20 households within the neighbourhood, deep froze the carpels and marketed it underneath the initiative of Agriculture Tourism Rural Improvement Society. “We get jackfruit for almost 9 months in Idukki. It’s heartbreaking to see a number of tonnes of the fruit going to waste yearly. So, in the course of the lockdown, when the jackfruit season was at its peak, the Society unfold the phrase round to carry us ripe fruits. Orders got here in after we marketed it through Fb. This yr, we’re planning on doing it in a greater approach,” says Thomas.
Roy Chirayath, a Thrissur-based businessman, bought each ripe and uncooked carpels underneath his model, All Recent, at supermarkets in Kochi final yr. “It has been a step-by-step enterprise for me. Initially I bought full jackfruit after which I moved to promoting items of the fruit after which the frozen carpels. I received sufficient fruits from the timber in my yard and the remaining from my relations’ homes close by,” says Roy.
The traditional jackfruit season is from March to June. Within the excessive ranges it extends as much as September and a few varieties might be harvested until December. Along with being a ready-to-eat product, particularly throughout low season, the ripe fruits are wanted by firms that promote vacuum-fried merchandise resembling jackfruit chips. It’s going to additionally discover takers from amongst ice cream producers, accommodations, caterers and the like.
Frozen Jackfruit 2 Market, a WhatsApp group, was launched just lately to pool concepts and create a marketplace for frozen jackfruit, each ripe and uncooked. Shree Padre and Srikantha Shenoy, govt trustee of Bengaluru-based NGO, Initiatives for Improvement Basis, are admins of the group that has 143 members. Whereas most members are from Kerala and Karnataka, there may be illustration from different states as effectively.
Srikantha factors out that concerted efforts at the moment are being made to advertise frozen jackfruit by the Chelur Hagalavadi Farmers Producer Firm (FPC) in Gubbi taluk of Tumukuru district. “The FPC has 100 jackfruit farmers and they’re chalking out a plan to promote frozen jackfruit within the upcoming season,” he provides. Udupi-based JC Deepak Kamath is one other businessman who’s doing the identical. “I used to promote ripe jackfruit at my juice store. Now that I’ve a deep freezer, I’ve plans to freeze the bulbs. I’ve an emotional join with the jackfruit. Our ancestors used to organize a number of dishes out of it and it has all the time been a poor man’s fruit within the days of poverty,” he provides.
Challenges are many if one is to start out this enterprise. Since every fruit matures at completely different time there may be staggered harvesting. Transportation, slicing and cleansing are cumbersome processes. The load of yield from a fruit could be negligible in some instances. For instance, from a fruit weighing 10 kilograms the utmost yield may very well be 2.5 to three kilograms, Bibil elaborates. The standard of the fruit and correct branding are additionally mandatory.
“Apart from frozen ripe bulbs, I’m additionally promoting frozen uncooked fruits and frozen jackfruit seeds. Offered you might be able to work arduous, jackfruit generally is a cash spinner,” Bibil says.
His merchandise are bought underneath the model of his firm, Spized Organics. It’s obtainable at Farm Shoppe, run by Krishi Vigyan Kendra (Ernakulam) of the Central Marine Fisheries Analysis Institute (CMFRI) and the Agricultural Expertise Info Centre (ATIC) of CMFRI at its headquarters in Kochi.