Treculia africana L.

African breadfruit

Common names
English (wild jackfruit, African breadfruit, African boxwood); French (arbre á pain d’Afrique); Luganda (muzinda); Swahili (mwaya); Wolof (brebretim)
African breadfruit, seeds (used to make flour and porridge)
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Tree info

Dimensions in meters 10-30 m
Maturity of tree before yields 4 years
Productivity lifetime 50+ years
Seasonality Depending on the region and environmental conditions, fruit can be harvested year-round.
Production zones and cultivation methods This species grows in African tropical zones, and it does well in medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. It is usually found near streams or in swampy forest areas at an altitude of up to 1,500 m. Under good environmental conditions, a single tree can produce 30 fruits and yield up to 10 kg of seeds each year.

It has also been recommended as a promising species for intercropping agroforestry systems, but so far remains underutilized.


Per 100 g raw seeds

The seeds are especially rich in vitamins including vitamin B1, B2, B3 and A. They also contain high amounts of zinc, iron, phosphorus and magnesium. In fact, 100 g of raw seeds, have almost twice as much potassium as the same serving of bananas. In addition, the seeds contain more protein than soybeans.
Energy (kcal) 369 kcal
% Daily Value (DV) *
Macronutrients Proteins: 15.0 g 30 %
Fats: 6.7 g  9 %
Carbohydrates: 65.1 g  24 %
Key Minerals Zinc: 8.5 mg  77 %
Phosporus: 192 mg  35 %
Magnesium: 87 mg  42 %
Iron: 66 mg  15 %
Key Vitamins Thiamine (Vitamin B1) : 0.2 mg 17%
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 12.5 mg   958 %
Niacin (Vitamin B3) : 18.2 mg  113 %
Retinol activity equivalents (Vitamin A): 20.4 mg    2.3 %
*All Daily Recommended Values are calculated using the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s recommendation guide.


Found throughout Africa in countries such as Nigeria, Angola, Zambia, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.


African breadfruit is an enormous fruit that can weigh up to 8.5 kg. These large, seeded fruits can be eaten raw. However, they are typically boiled and roasted to be used in soups, stews and in combination with rice, maize and yams. The seed kernel is consumed more often than the fruit and is used in preparing ‘ukwa’ porridge, which is considered a delicacy by the Ibo ethnic group of southeast Nigeria. The seeds can also be ground into flour to make bread, pasta, and baby food, or they can be pressed to yield an edible oil. The fruit pulp can be made into a non-alcoholic beverage.

The tree’s wood is suitable for pulp and paper making, fuel, charcoal, furniture and carvings. In addition, the fruit, pods, seeds and bran make an excellent, nutritious livestock feed and are a popular food for wild monkeys and chimpanzees.

Treculia africana L. is often used in soil conservation projects because its leaves are a great source of green manure. For this reason, it has been recommended as a promising species for use in home gardens and for intercropping systems in agroforestry. In areas where it grows natively, the fruit and seeds can help alleviate seasonal food scarcity.

Parts of the tree including its leaves and bark are also used in folk medicine. The crushed leaves are sometimes taken orally to treat coughs and thrush in children. Other parts of the plant have been used to treat a range of diseases from rheumatism and gastro-intestinal complaints to high blood pressure. However, these traditional remedies have not yet been scientifically tested and verified.

Scientific references

  • Ojimelukwe, P.C., Ugwuona, F.U. The traditional and medicinal use of African breadfruit (Treculia africana Decne): an underutilized ethnic food of the Ibo tribe of South East, Nigeria. J. Ethn. Food 8, 21 (2021).

  • Onyekwelu, Jonathan & Stimm, Bernd. (2008). Treculia africana.

  • Appiah, F., Oduro, I. and Ellis, W.O. (2016). Nutritional composition of breadfruits (Artocarpus spp. and Treculia africana) in Ghana. Acta Hortic. 1128, 15-20.

  • N, A. A., O, N. M., U, N., E, O. E., & B, S. M. (2018). Studies on the Phenology of African Breadfruit (Treculia africana Decne) in South-Eastern Nigeria. Environment and Ecology Research6(4), 248–258.

  • Runsewe – Abiodun, T., Aliyu, A., & Oritogun, K. (2018). Evaluation of nutrients and anti- nutrient properties of traditionally prepared Treculia africana decne (bread fruit diet and toasted seeds). The African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, 18(02), 13272–13286.

  • V.N, Osabor & D.A, Ogar & Okafor, Peter & Egbung, Eneji. (2009). Profile of the African Bread Fruit (Treculia africana). Pakistan Journal of Nutrition. 8.

  • Olapade, A. A., & Umeonuorah, U. C. (2014). Chemical and Sensory Evaluation of African Breadfruit (Treculia africana) Seeds Processed with Alum and Trona. Nigerian Food Journal32(1), 80–88.


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