Sam Choy, Hawai‘i’s Breadfruit Ambassador. Photo by Jim Wiseman
When you look at the nutritional value of this gluten-free staple, it is high in complex carbohydrates, rich in dietary fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, thiamin, niacin and vitamin A and B. It also has a moderate glycemic index compared to potatoes, white rice and white bread.
Reaching maturity in three to four years, a single tree producing 100 to 200 fruits per year can provide 200 to 400 pounds of food.
Ragone has been doing research on breadfruit for about 30 years, collecting, documenting and studying hundreds of varieties from all over the globe. Since the 1990s, people have been calling NTBG wanting breadfruit, she said.
Meanwhile, in the last few years, knowing the value and the potential breadfruit could have globally, NTBG partnered with Dr. Susan Murch, Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan, who does micro-propagation. From a single breadfruit bud, thousands of clones can be grown. Then, Cultivaris, LLC, an innovative horticultural company based in California and Germany, grows the clones until they are healthy enough to be shipped anywhere in the world.