Post Harvest Management: Breadfruit

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The product is grown islandwide but is readily available in the following parishes:

Portland, St. Mary, St.  Thomas, Clarendon, St. Catherine,  and Westmoreland.

It is available all year round with the peak season being from August-November.


United Kingdom, United States of America, and Canada.

Competing Caribbean Countries are: Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Vincent.


In the last ten (10) years an average of 900 tonnes of breadfruit were shipped from Jamaica to the above destinations, with the UK market consuming 40% of the total.

This volume could be increased significantly if more fruits were made available from December-July.


Market: UK, US, Canada, Holland

Varieties: White heart,Yellow Heart


Green, mature, stem intact, clean, free from blemish and insect damages, and free from insects.


  • Minimum weight-1.2 kg (2.5 lbs)
  • Maximum weight-3.0 kg (6.5 lbs)
  • Large: 2-3 kg (4.4-6.5 lbs)
  • Small: 1.2-2 kg (2.5-4.4 lbs)

Pre-cooling Process

Fruit should be pre-cooled before shipments are made. This is Necessary to remove the field heat present in the fruit.

Immersion in water at room temperature can minimally extend the life of the crop. It is best to pre-cool in cold storage the day before shipment.

Storage Methods to Extend Shelf Life

At room temperature

Immersion in iced water at about 16ºC. can extend shelflife for 1-2 days. If however the temperature of the water is below 12ºC.then browning of the skin will occur thus reducing the product appearance.

Use of the fruit wax and packaging in thick plastic bags-Again the rate of ripening is only reduced slightly, however the flavour is maintained. Hence a storage life of 2-3 days.

At cold temperature (12-16ºC and 90% RH). Storage life obtained varies from 7-14 days with the use of wax and plastic bag.

Storage below 12ºC results in chilling injury,

i.e. browning of the fruit


Fruits should be packaged in waxed carton boxes which has better bursting strength and handling mechanism to protect the product.

However, poly propylene bags are used in which a maximum of sixteen (16) individually packaged fruits are placed.


Mechanical Damage

This occur if fruits are not carefully handled in the system.

Low temperature

Storage below 12°C resulting in chilling injury will cause discolouration of the skin, increased water loss and susceptibility to decay and change in flavour.

Disease Factors

Fungal and Bacterial are rare in Breadfruit and therefore would only be present as Secondary infectious when the fruits are very ripe.


No wounds from harvesting or handling activities.

No insect damage

Stem green and intact

No yellowing of the stem or skin of the fruit.


UK: Large fruits preferred

Holland: Small fruits preferred

Canada : Small Fruits preferred

US: Medium fruits preferred.


Mature indices used to determine maturity

Mature fruits appear dark green in colour with a light browning and lack of sheen. The segments are spaced wide apart, hence are rounded and smooth. The presence of dried latex stains on the skin is also a determining factor. In addition, little latex flows from the stem when it is broken.

Immature fruits appear green in colour, the segments are close together and are angular in shape, they therefore appear rigid/sharp. There is no latex stains on the skin of the fruit, and the heavy latex flows when the stem is broken from the tree.

Harvesting Techniques

The use of crooked picking poles with bags attached, or one such that the fruit is brought to the ground is recommended. Crocus bags are used to lever falling fruits to the ground. However whatever mechanism is used, the fruit must not fall to the ground. This will cause bruising (battering), leading to spoilage.

Handling Activities

Sorting and grading-This must be done in the field. All bruised, damaged, scarred, and fruits without stem must be separated and removed.

Trimming and cleaning-stems must be cut to 1.5 cm long and latex drained in the field. Fruits can be dipped in water to wash of excess latex. All clinging insects e.g. mealy bugs must be removed