ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 93 Special Issue 1, July 2016 International Breadfruit Conference
Commercialisation of breadfruit [Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg] in Mauritius. (140)
The Tongan breadfruit variety, Artocarpus altilis was introduced in Mauritius in 1796 and has become a backyard crop. Its potential as a substitute for wheat and rice was recognized in 2008 when there was a dramatic rise in food prices. This paper presents a review of R & D activities undertaken during the past eight years for the promotion of breadfruit cultivation and development of breadfruit products in Mauritius. The in vitro propagation technique for large scale propagation of planting material has been used and propagation methods from root cuttings, air layering and grafting have been validated. First fruit harvest from an in vitro culture breadfruit tree was made in 2014. Such trees bear fruits in less than three years. During local germplasm evaluation, three different cultivars have been identified with distinct morphological and postharvest characteristics and two of these (round and oval type) were found very suitable for flour making. Many products have been derived such as breadfruit flour, frozen breadfruit chunks and frozen fries. The breadfruit flour, supplemented with up to 35% with wheat flour, has good acceptability among Mauritians. A local private company is producing breadfruit flour. Breadfruit is becoming an economic crop. There is an increasing demand for fresh breadfruit in the local and the export market. It has potential for exploitation of ex-sugarcane lands and for reforestation.
Keywords: Artocarpus altilis, in vitro propagation, germplasm, breadfruit product, reforestation