Now, finish the food and the plate

Researchers come up with edible plates made of jackfruit

May 24, 2018 01:00 am | Updated 01:00 am IST - THANJAVUR

  No flat idea:  The zero waste offering.

No flat idea: The zero waste offering.

People who love to eat but hate doing the dishes have a delicious new option: plates and cutlery made of jackfruit.

Researchers at the Thanjavur-based Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) have developed a palatable plate made of jack fruit’s horny pines and sticky core, which are normally thrown away once the sweet fruit is consumed.

“Actually, we had readied a millet-based ice cream, which was well received by food technologists and administrators at the Krishi Unnati Mela held last March in New Delhi. But we wanted to develop a healthy-yet-tasty cone to hold the millet ice cream. We searched for a suitable base and found that the jackfruit’s bracts, axis, seed and the fleshy, sticky, fibrous nut holders offered a healthy and economic alternative to the regular cones made of atta and corn flour,” IIFPT Director C. Anandharamakrishnan said.

More protein, fibre

“We then hit upon the idea of an edible plate that could be used to serve salads and a range of delicacies. While the normal cones made of atta and corn flour contain less protein and little fibre, the cones and plates that we have developed are rich in protein (6.9%) and fibre (12.9%). For each kg of jackfruit, only 300 gram accounts for useful intake. The rest is unutilised. But now we have converted that waste into taste,” he said.

India’s jackfruit production is about 1.7 million tonnes a year.

“We believe that this endeavour aids Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aim of doubling farmers’ income by 2022. It is also in line with Union Minister for Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s objective of tackling malnutrition among children through child-friendly, cost-effective innovations,” Mr. Anandharamakrishnan said.

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