Summer Research Fellowship Programme of India's Science Academies

Extraction of Dietary fibre from sterile flowers of Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.

Akshay U Nair

Central University of Kerala, Periye, Kasargode, Kerala, 671316

Dr. Giby Kuriakose

Assistant Professor PG & Research Centre in Botany, Sacred Heart College, Thevara , Ernakulam, Kerala, 682013


Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.(Jack Tree) is a fruit-bearing tree species belonging to the family Moraceae. It is widely distributed, especially in the South East Asian countries. The edible pulp of ripened Jackfruit is consumed fresh or processed into various commercial products such as jam, chips, etc. But the non-sweet, sterile flowers seen surrounding the sweet fleshy part, remain unutilized and become waste. Considering the fact that edible pulp of Jackfruit is rich in pectin which is a dietary fibre, the present research work aimed at devising a novel strategy to extract the dietary fibre from the sterile flowers of Jackfruit. Pectin is supposed to be the major component of dietary fibre in sterile flowers of Jackfruit based on earlier research. Pectin has been proved to reduce blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, the present work is significant with future applications in a country like India where health conditions related to excess cholesterol are on the rise. A new protocol has been optimized from existing protocols. The results are helpful in predicting the conversion rate of Proto-Pectin to Pectin. Sterile flowers were treated with HCL, followed by application of ethanol (99%), which precipitated Pectin from the sample. Further, they were dried in hot air oven to yield dry pectin powder. The structure of this powder was analysed using a Scanning electron microscope. This extraction procedure is optimised by changing the concentration/pH of extraction solvent and time. This technique could be further tested by using different extraction solvents like sulphuric acid and organic acids. Possibilities of using fruit wastes for industrial application and economically useful products would also be assessed.

Keywords: Pectin, Scanning electron microscope , Dietary Fibre, sterile flowers, Jack fruit.

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