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How To Tell If A Jackfruit Is Ripe

With its distinctive prickly outer shell and unique fruity taste, jackfruit is becoming an increasingly popular fruit worldwide.

However, knowing how to select the perfect ripe jackfruit can be challenging. But don’t fret! This article will guide you on the journey to find the perfectly ripe jackfruit, ready for you to enjoy.

Fresh ripe peeled jackfruit on a white plate.

To determine if jackfruit is ripe, check its color (it should be yellowish-brown), smell (it should emit a strong, sweet aroma), texture (it should yield slightly to pressure), and sound (it should produce a hollow sound when tapped).

Understanding Jackfruit

What Is A Jackfruit?

Native to South and Southeast Asia, the jackfruit is a large fruit that can weigh up to 80 pounds. It’s known for its spiky green exterior and sweet, yellow flesh. The taste is a delightful mix of mango, banana, and pineapple.

Benefits of Jackfruit

Jackfruit is packed with nutrients such as Vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. It is also a good source of calories, making it a healthy addition to a balanced diet.

How to Identify A Ripe Jackfruit

Choosing a ripe jackfruit may seem like a daunting task, especially due to its sheer size and unfamiliarity.

However, with the right knowledge and a few helpful hints, you can become a pro at picking the perfect jackfruit.

When it comes to identifying a ripe jackfruit, several key characteristics come into play: the color, smell, touch, and sound of the fruit.


The color transformation that a jackfruit undergoes as it ripens is one of the most obvious indicators of its readiness for consumption. An unripe jackfruit will have a bright green color that gradually changes to a yellowish-brown as it matures.

Keep in mind that the entire fruit doesn’t have to turn brown; it’s normal for it to have spots of green and brown when it’s ripe.

This shift in color indicates that the fruit’s sugars have developed, making it sweet and ready to eat.


The aroma of jackfruit is another powerful determinant of its ripeness. As the fruit matures, it releases a delightful, sweet, and fruity fragrance.

A ripe jackfruit will have a strong scent, easily noticeable, reminiscent of a mix of tropical fruits.

However, an overly strong smell could indicate that the fruit is overripe and starting to ferment. Conversely, if the fruit has a faint or non-existent scent, it’s likely still unripe.


Feeling the texture of a jackfruit can also provide valuable information about its ripeness. When you apply light pressure to the skin of ripe jackfruit, it should yield slightly, much like how a ripe avocado or peach behaves.

It’s a delicate balance, though – if the fruit is too soft and mushy, it might be overripe. Conversely, if the fruit feels very hard and doesn’t give in to gentle pressure at all, it’s likely still green.


Lastly, the sound a jackfruit makes when tapped can be a good gauge of its ripeness. When you knock on the skin of ripe jackfruit, it should emit a hollow sound, somewhat like a ripe watermelon would.

This is due to the air spaces that form inside the fruit as it matures and its interior structure changes. If the jackfruit makes a dense, dull sound instead, it likely needs more time to ripen.

When assessing the ripeness of exotic fruits, just as there are cues to determine if jackfruit is ready to be devoured, there are also specific signs for other tropical delights, like knowing when a dragon fruit is at its peak of ripeness.

CharacteristicRipe JackfruitUnripe Jackfruit
ColorYellowish-brownBright green
SmellStrong and sweetFaint or no aroma
TouchYields slightly to pressureHard to the touch
SoundHollow sound when tappedSolid sound when tapped

How To Tell If A Jackfruit Is Bad

Identifying a spoiled jackfruit is crucial to prevent the consumption of bad fruit. Here are the signs that indicate a jackfruit has gone bad:

  1. Smell: A spoiled jackfruit will not have its usual sweet, fruity aroma. Instead, it will emit a pungent, unpleasant odor, often described as fermented or overly sour.
  2. Texture: The texture of a jackfruit can also hint at its quality. A bad jackfruit may have mushy or overly soft spots, especially in its flesh. The flesh of the fruit, which is normally yellow, might turn dark brown or black.
  3. Visual Inspection: Inspecting the exterior of the jackfruit is equally important. Signs of spoilage include mold, which can appear as white, black, or green fuzzy spots on the skin. Additionally, the fruit may ooze liquid or feel slimy to the touch, indicating that it’s rotten.

How to Store Jackfruit

Proper storage is key to extending the lifespan of a jackfruit, whether it’s whole or cut.


A whole, unripe jackfruit can be kept at room temperature for up to a week. However, once it ripens, it should be consumed as soon as possible to enjoy its best taste and texture.


If you’ve already cut the jackfruit, it’s best to store the remaining pieces in the refrigerator. Wrap the cut fruit tightly in cling wrap or store it in an airtight container. This will keep it fresh for about one week.


For long-term storage, jackfruit can be frozen. Remove the seeds and separate the flesh from the skin.

Store the fruit in a freezer-safe bag or container, squeezing out as much air as possible before sealing. Frozen jackfruit can last for up to two months. Thaw it in the fridge before using it.

How To Eat Jackfruit

Eating jackfruit might seem intimidating due to its large size and spiky skin, but it’s actually fairly straightforward. Here are the steps:

  1. Prepare Your Workspace: Jackfruit can be sticky, so it’s a good idea to lay down some newspaper or plastic wrap for easy cleanup. It’s also recommended to oil your knife and hands lightly to prevent the latex in the fruit from sticking.
  2. Cut the Jackfruit: Place the jackfruit on its side and cut it in half. Then cut these halves into smaller slices.
  3. Extract the Fruit Pods: In each slice, you’ll see yellow fruit pods. These pods are the edible part of the jackfruit. Use your hands or a knife to remove these pods.
  4. Remove the Seeds: Each fruit pod will contain a large, shiny seed. You can easily remove these with your hands.
  5. Enjoy! The jackfruit pods can be eaten fresh, as is, or used in various recipes. They have a sweet, tropical flavor that’s absolutely delicious.

Remember, jackfruit can also be cooked and used in a variety of dishes, like this BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich, particularly when the fruit is unripe.

For the seeds, don’t throw them away! They can be boiled, roasted, or added to various dishes, providing a texture similar to chestnuts.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Tell If Jackfruit Is Ripe

Jackfruit has a unique flavor that’s a blend of mango, banana, and pineapple.

Yes, the yellow flesh of the jackfruit can be eaten raw when the fruit is ripe.

No, a jackfruit will not continue to ripen after being cut open, as the ripening process requires the fruit to be intact. If you’ve opened an unripe jackfruit, it’s best to use it in cooking, as many recipes utilize unripe jackfruit for its neutral flavor.


Selecting a perfectly ripe jackfruit doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following the above tips and understanding what to look for in terms of color, smell, touch, and sound, you’ll be able to pick a delicious, ripe jackfruit every time.

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