Beyond the Bounty: Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) for food security and novel foods in the 21st Century
Keywords:Ulu, undernourishment, underutilized crop, Food security
The Food and Agriculture Organization recently reported the number undernourished people has reached a record high of 1.02 billion, most prevalent in the tropics. Breadfruit, Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg, is an underutilized Oceanic staple crop long recognized for its potential to alleviate hunger in tropical climates. Breadfruit can be grown sustainably with minimal agricultural inputs and can be multicropped with high value cash crops such as coffee, pepper, or vanilla. A great diversity of cultivars with varying nutritional and agronomic characteristics exists, yet few cultivars are widely cultivated. Recent developments in micropropagation have made possible large scale propagation and dissemination but to fully utilize this resource. However, a deeper understanding of the nutritional characteristics and the development of new products and markets are needed. This review will highlight and describe the state of our current knowledge and the potential for breadfruit as a sustainable crop to provide new foods for Western markets and food security for the growing global population.
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