Scientists at the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (Bari) have developed a technology for making high quality, delicious and highly nutritious yoghurt, chocolate, ice cream and cheese with jackfruit pulp.
These technologies have recently been developed through the Post-Harvest Management Processing and Marketing of Jackfruit Project with the support of the Krishi Gobeshona Foundation and will help reduce jackfruit wastage and ensure fair prices of the fruit.
According to Bari, 43-45% of jackfruit produced in the country is rotten due to lack of processing and preservation opportunities each year and farmers do not have any choice but to sell the fruits at one-third the regular prices.
Under the supervision of Dr Md Golam Ferdous Chowdhury, Senior Scientific Officer, Department of Post-Harvest Technology, Bari and Chief Researcher of the project, four students of the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Veterinary and Animal Science, Chattogram assisted him in inventing this technology.
According to the Department of Agricultural Extension, 2,47,000 tonnes of jackfruit was produced in the district from over 9,300 hectares of land last season.
"We have invented the technology of making yoghurt, nutritious ice cream, chocolate and cheese as a continuation of the innovative use of jackfruit. The most important thing is that only jackfruit pulp and milk are needed to make these products. After collecting jackfruit pulp, an entrepreneur can produce these products all year round," said Golam Ferdous.
Since jackfruit is rich in various nutrients, products made with its pulp will also be highly nutritious and healthier than other products currently available in the market. No extra or artificial colours or flavours are used here, he added.
He added that 3-5% pulp is used for making yoghurt, 5-8% for making ice cream and 50-60% for producing cheese. As a result, these products can be considered to be ideal products to satisfy hunger and meet nutritional needs.
Dr Chowdhury further said no big investment or large machinery is required for producing the products. An entrepreneur just needs a deep freezer, refrigerator and some small homemade appliances. One can produce products worth Tk1,500 from the raw material of Tk800.
He hopes the products will be well received in the local and foreign markets.
Md Hafizul Haque Khan, Chief Scientific Officer, Department of Post-Harvest Technology, Bari, said, "If we can develop trained manpower in this sector, it will create huge commercial potential which will go a long way in ensuring fair price of jackfruit and is expected to play an important role in nutrition security in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals."
Hafizul also said scientists from the Department of Post-Harvest Technology had invented technologies for about 20 products, including chips, pickles, cutlets, jams and jellies made from jackfruit, which caused a great deal of excitement and response among young entrepreneurs.