Amino Acids

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 847–856 | Cite as

Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis): a source of high-quality protein for food security and novel food products

  • Ying Liu
  • Diane Ragone
  • Susan J. MurchEmail author
Original Article


Protein deficiency has been observed as a leading cause of malnutrition and child death in the tropics. The current study evaluated the protein quality of 49 important breadfruit cultivars (41 Artocarpus altilis and 8 hybrids of A. altilis × A. mariannensis). While significant differences were found between cultivars, all varieties contained a full spectrum of the essential amino acids and are especially rich in phenylalanine, leucine, isoleucine, and valine. The cultivar Ma’afala contained significantly higher total essential amino acid content than other varieties and higher-quality protein than staples such as corn, wheat, rice, soybean, potato, and pea.


Breadfruit Artocarpus altilis Protein quality Essential amino acids 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Alexander C (2009) Captain Bligh’s Cursed Breadfruit. Smithsonian MagazineGoogle Scholar
  2. Banks J (2005) The Endeavour Journal of Sir Joseph Banks (1768–1771). Guttenburg eBook No: 0501141 h.htmlGoogle Scholar
  3. FAO (1981) Amino-acid content of foods and biological data on proteins. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
  4. FAO, WFP, IFAD (2012) The state of food insecurity in the world 2012: Economic growth is necessary but not sufficient to accelerate reduction of hunger and malnutrition. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, United Nations World Food Programme, and International Fund for Agricultural Development, RomeGoogle Scholar
  5. Golden KD, Williams OJ (2001) Amino acid, fatty acid and carbohydrate content of Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit). J Chromatogr Sci 39:243–250CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. HHFN and NTBG (2012) Ho’oulu ka ‘Ulu Cookbook: Breadfruit tips, techniques, and Hawaii’s favorite home recipes. Hawaii Homegrown Food Network and National Tropical Botanical Garden, HalualoaGoogle Scholar
  7. Ijarotimi OS, Aroge F (2005) Evalution of the nutritional composition, sensory and physical properties of a potential weaning food from locally available food materials-breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) and soybean (Glycine max). Pol JFood Nutr Sci 14:411–415Google Scholar
  8. Jones AMP, Murch SJ, Ragone D (2010) Diversity of breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis, Moraceae) seasonality: a resource for year-round nutrition. Econ Botany 64:340–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jones AMP, Lane WA, Murch SJ, Ragone D, Cole IB (2011a) Breadfruit: an old crop with a new future. Plant Syst 235–239Google Scholar
  10. Jones AMP, Ragone D, Aiona K, Lane WA, Murch SJ (2011b) Nutritional and morphological diversity of breadfruit (Artocarpus, Moraceae): identification of elite cultivars for food security. J Food Comp Anal 24:1091–1102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jones AMP, Murch SJ, Wiseman J, Ragone D (2013a) Morphological diversity in breadfruit (Artocarpus, Moraceae): insights into domestication, conservation, and cultivar identification. Genet Resour Crop Evolut 60:175–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jones AMP, Baker R, Ragone D, Murch SJ (2013b) Identification of pro-vitamin A carotenoid-rich cultivars of breadfruit (Artocarpus, Moraceae). J Food Comp Anal 31:51–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lancaster PAP, Coursey DG (1984) Traditional post-harvest technology of perishable tropical staples. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
  14. Liu Y, Jones AMP, Murch SJ, Ragone D (2014) Crop productivity, yield and seasonality of Breadfruit (Artocarpus spp., Moraceae). Fruits (in press)Google Scholar
  15. Morton JF (1987) Breadfruit. In: Morton JF (ed) Fruits of Warm Climates. Miami, USA, pp 50–58Google Scholar
  16. Murch SJ, Ragone D, Shi WL, Alan AR, Saxena PK (2008) In vitro conservation and sustained production of breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis, Moraceae): modern technologies for a traditional tropical crop. Naturwissenschaften 95:99–107CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Pickering MV, Newton P (1990) Amino acid hydrolysis-old problems, new solutions. LC GC-Mag Sep Sci 8:778Google Scholar
  18. Porter JR, Xie L (2014) Chapter 7: Food security and production systems. In: Climate change 2014: impacts, adaptation and vulnerabilities. Intergovernmental panel on climate change, 5th Assessment Report. WHO/UNEP.
  19. Powell D (1977) Voyage of the plant nursery, H.M.S Providence. Eco Bot 31:387–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ragone D (1997) Breadfruit, Artocarpus altilis (Parkinson) Fosberg. International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, RomeGoogle Scholar
  21. Ragone D (2011) Farm and forestry production and marketing profile for breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis). In: Elevith CR (ed) Specialty Crops for Pacific Island Agroforestry. Permanent Agriculture Resources (PAR) Hulualoa, pp 1–19Google Scholar
  22. Ragone D, Raynor B (2009) Breadfruit and its traditional cultivation and use on Pohnpei. In: Balick MB (ed) Ethnobotany of Pohnpei: Plants, people, and island culture. University of Hawai’i Press and New York Botanical Garden Press, Hulualoa, pp 63–88Google Scholar
  23. Shi WL, Saxena PK, Ragone D, Murch SJ (2007) Mass-propagation and bioreactor-based technologies for germplasm conservation, evaluation and international distribution of breadfruit. Acta Hortic 757:169–176Google Scholar
  24. WHO (2007) Protein and amino acid requirements in human nutrition. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  25. WHO (2009) Global health risks: Mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  26. Zielinski S (2013) Botanists spread the gospel that breadfruit can be manna. Sci 342:303CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BiochemistryUniversity of British ColumbiaKelownaCanada
  2. 2.Breadfruit InstituteNational Tropical Botanical GardenKalaheoUSA
  3. 3.Chemistry DepartmentUniversity of British ColumbiaKelownaCanada

Personalised recommendations