African Bread Fruit

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What is African Bread Fruit?

Although African breadfruit is lesser-known, it is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s related to breadnuts, figs, jackfruit, and mulberries. The edible seeds are packed with high nutritional value.

African Bread Fruit has a complex and spongy texture with numerous oval-shaped seeds randomly embedded in the spongy meat. The seed coat is brown, and the fruit contains milk-white fruit.

African Breadfruit is a staple within the Ibo tribe; a popular ethnic group of South East Nigeria.

Common names for African Bread Fruit:

African Bread Fruit on a bike
African Bread Fruit aka “Ukwa” | Photo by Callum Parker on Unsplash

Key Takeaways:

  • Mild taste similar to bread or potatoes.
  • Native to Southeastern Nigeria.
  • The African breadfruit seeds are of great socio-economic value and form an essential part of diets in many African countries.


African breadfruit is a source of oil and flour. Commercial producers extract the oil from the seeds, while some locals grind the fruit into breadfruit flour to make bread or biscuits. Popular African breadfruit meals will often include crayfish.

African breadfruit is an underutilized food security crop whose leaves, pods, and roots are used in traditional medicine. Therefore, African breadfruit is a beneficial plant with much value for the community.

Taste & Flavor:

Although breadfruit is known to have a strong taste correlation with freshly-baked bread, its starch-rich version can taste similar to potatoes. Riper varieties taste sweeter because the starch converts to sugar.

How It Grows:

The African breadfruit is an evergreen large tree that can grow to around 30 feet tall. It bears 20-30 edible pods each year, used to make unique traditional dishes by the Ibo tribe in southern Nigeria.

Health Benefits & Nutritional Info:

African Bread Fruit has a high dietetic value. They’re comprised of 13.4 and 23.3% proteins, 53.7 and 62.6% carbohydrates, and 10.4 and 18.9% fats. They’re also packed with calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium.

The antinutrient components of the seed (phytate, oxalate, tannin, and hydrogen cyanide) are eliminated during the processing of the seeds via fermentation, toasting, and boiling.

The seed extract has been shown to have antimicrobial and health-promoting properties.

Related Terms: African Cherry Orange

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