Jackfruit vs Durian is a widespread confusion among people who don’t live in Southeast Asia. For any untrained eyes, both Jackfruit and Durian looks the same.
But they are quite different. In this post, I cover in detail the main difference between jackfruit vs durian and some of the health benefits of these fruits.
Regardless, which fruit you like more, after reading this article, you will know more about it.
What is Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is a nutrient-rich fruit grown primarily in India, Southeast Asia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It's also found in South America, but not as popular as it’s in Asian countries.
The jackfruit grows on a large tree and is part of the breadfruit family. The main characteristic of Jackfruit is its hard spiked exterior and soft mushy fruit inside. It can grow quite big and can produce fruit as much as 40 to 50 kg.
You can eat jackfruit either ripe or cook it as a vegetable. When it's ripe, the pulp inside the jackfruit turns yellow and contain large seeds inside it that are also edible.
There are over 30 different varieties of jackfruit found in the Indian subcontinent and more than 30 types found in Malaysia.
What is Durian?
Durian is a spiked fruit almost the same size as coconut or cantaloupe. At first glance, durian looks like a jackfruit with its sharp spike green exterior and yellowish smooth pulp inside it. Like Jackfruits, the durian is native of Southeast Asia.
Durian is considered to be King of fruits in Malaysia as it's an excellent source of nutrients. The fruit pulp of durian has plentiful nutrients such as proteins, fats, fiber, and carbohydrates.
Are Durian and Jackfruit related?
No, Durian and Jackfruit are not related. On a cursory look, they appear to be the same with its spiked exterior and green texture. But the similarities between the two ends there.
On average, the jackfruits are way bigger than durians and easy to distinguish than durians. Botanically, durian is a part of the Mallow family, whereas jackfruit belongs to the Mulberry family.
Overall, the jackfruits are more popular and well known than durians, and you may more commonly mistake durian to be jackfruit but not the other way around.
What are the similarities between jackfruit and durian?
It may come as a surprise to you, but there are not many similarities between the jackfruit and durian. The most common similarity is the climatic condition where it grows. Both fruits require humid and hot weather conditions to grow adequately.
This is why both are primarily found in the Southeast Asian countries and used in the local recipes. The second similarity between the jackfruit and durian is its physical appearance.
Both fruits grow quite large as jackfruit can weigh up to 50 kg, whereas durians can weigh 5 to 20 kg.
From a distance, the exterior of durian and jackfruit looks similar. Both have green spiked skin and soft yellow flavour fruit inside it. Moreover, both fruits are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Jackfruit vs Durian: What’s the difference
Let’s look at some of the differences between the jackfruit vs durian.
Plant and Growth
The jackfruit tree is a medium-large sized tree that grows up to 8-25 m in height. The initial growth rate of jackfruit is quite fast as it can grow up to 5 ft/year. The tree grows straight with green or black bark and releases whitish milky latex when cut.
The leaves of jackfruit are broad, dark green in color and flat. The fruits are attached to the main tree stem and side branches of the tree. A fully-grown jackfruit can yield 10 to 200 jackfruits per year.
The durian trees are medium to small size depending on the variety. The name Durian is Malaysian words, which mean “thorn’ of the fruits. It’s due to long spikes at the exterior of the tree.
It takes around 5 to 7 years for the Durian tree to start producing fruits. Each durian plant produces 15 to 800 fruits in each season.
Jackfruit can yield 10 to 200 fruits each year, whereas, durian can yield 15 to 800 fruits in each season.
Fruit Size: jackfruit vs durian
The jackfruits are generally cylindrical or elliptical shaped fruits, which can grow up to 22 to 90 cm long and 13 to 50 cm in diameter. The smaller jackfruit weighs around 2 to 20 kg, whereas some large jackfruits weigh about 50 kg.
The durian fruit is typically in the range of 1 to 4 kg and are 14 to 18 cm in diameter. It can be as long as 19 to 32 cm, but it doesn't grow as big as jackfruits.
The edible part of durian is called aril. When raw, it’s hard to open the durian fruit, but once ripe, the fruit cracks itself, exposing the seed inside.
Jackfruit comes in different shapes and sizes, but most primarily, it comes in an oval shape, whereas durian is more circular. The oval shape allows the jackfruit to grow long and big, whereas the circular shape of durian limits the size it can become.
The next appearance difference between the jackfruit vs durian is the exterior spikes of both fruits. Both have sharp spikes, but the spikes on the jackfruit are small and bit blunt. The spikes on the durian are large and quite intense.
Planters have to be very careful when harvesting durians due to these long spikes exteriors. There have been several reported accidents, including death caused during its harvesting.
Jackfruit vs Durian: Pulp and seed
Both jackfruit and durian have long seeds inside the fruits, which are covered by soft mushy yellowish fibers. The jackfruit, when ripe, has brighter yellowish color pulp with a pleasant fragrance that coats the seeds.
The seed is hard and slippery, which looks like chestnuts. Jackfruit contains a large number of seeds that are loaded with nutrients.
The inside of durian is light yellow or yellowish-green, semi-woody, textured pulp. You have to be a bit careful when handling durian due to its smooth and slippery interior.
The seeds inside the fruit are located in 5 separate compartments, which contain creamy white and yellowish pulp that has 1 to 7 chestnut like seeds.
The durian seeds are around 2 to 6 cm long and have a shiny red-brown coating on the seed.
Jackfruit vs Durian: Nutritional Value
Jackfruit is an excellent source of nutrients, and its flesh and seeds contain a high amount of protein, calcium, iron, and Thiamine. Some studies have found that ripe jackfruit has more minerals and vitamins than apple, avocados, and apricot.
Jackfruit is one of the few fruits which contain a large amount of B-complex vitamins and a sufficient amount of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid.
Durian is a good source of proteins, fiber, and carbohydrates. The durian leaves and roots have a lot of medicinal properties and used as anti-malarial agents. The durian herbal medicines have been used to treat phlegm, cold, jaundice, and treat skin disease.
Jackfruit vs Durian: Shelf-Life
Both jackfruit and durian have short shelf-life unless used with preservatives. The short shelf-life of the ripe fruit means it becomes difficult to transport longer distances from the area of growth.
In a jackfruit, almost 60% of the fruit is inedible, and only 35% part has the edible part. The shorter shelf life of jackfruit means it quickly loses flavour, which makes it less appealing to consumers. Most of the jackfruits come in tightly sealed containers for longer-term use.
Durian tends to fare a bit better as its smaller than jackfruit and can be transported in much larger quantity to a longer distance than jackfruits. The shape and size of durians are more consistent than jackfruits that makes it easier to package. You can also buy vacuum freeze dried durian pulp with no preservative added.
Jackfruit vs Durian: Smell
Jackfruit and durian have a strong smell. The ripe jackfruit smell like bubble gum due to a large amount of sugar present in its pulp. Its aroma is like a combination of banana, pineapple, and onion.
Durian smell is quite different than jackfruit as it has a strong odour. Durian, when opened, smells like rotten egg or onion. This is mainly due to a large number of Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VSC) present in the durian.
In fact, the smell of durian is so bad that it's banned in airports, hotels, and has restrictions on transport and storage.
Jackfruit vs Durian: Flowering and Fruit
Jackfruit and durian both grow in a tropical environment. The jackfruit flowers are short, stout flowering, which happens not only at large branches of the tree but also from its trunk.
Both male and female flower parts grow on the same tree. The male flower of jackfruits is short and thin, whereas female flowers are large and have a thick outer layer.
Durian has a bright yellow flower that looks like cherry blossom. During the pollination stage, the pollen is released in clumps that stick to the female part of the flower.
Unlike jackfruit fruits that grow in clusters all over branches and trunk, durian fruits on the branches only.
How to open Jackfruit?
To open jackfruit, you have to use a sharp knife or some type of cutting tool. If you get a ripe jackfruit, then you can open it with your bare hands by pulling the exterior through your palm in the opposite direction.
Unripe jackfruit has milky, sticky latex, which oozes from the fruit when cut open. The latex is very sticky, and you have to use oil to let the stickiness go away while cutting.
Use a wet towel to wrap it around the jackfruit when cutting open to prevent yourself from the spiked exterior.
Which is healthier in jackfruit vs durian?
Both jackfruit and durian have lots of nutritional value. Eating jackfruit provides you more vitamins and minerals that prevent you from getting sick.
Durian has more of a medicinal benefit as it helps treat various types of therapeutic conditions.
Here are some health benefits of jackfruits.
Health benefits of durian:
What do jackfruit and durians taste like?
Jackfruit, when eaten ripe, tastes sweet, which is similar to mango, banana, or pineapple. The seeds of the jackfruit can also be eaten, and it feels like raw sunflower seeds. Unripe jackfruit tastes more like potato and is eaten only after cooking.
Jackfruits don’t have their own intense flavour, which makes it ideal to use in food as it soaks the flavours of herbs, spices, and other ingredients. You can also buy delicious and crunchy organic jackfruit chips.
Durian is not like other fruits, and its fruit is juicier with an acidic and sweet flavour. This makes it smell stinky and intense. The taste of durian varies depending on fruit ripeness. The pulp inside durian tastes like creamy pudding, which is sweet and savoury.
Jackfruit and durian look the same, but they are not the same. There are several differences between these two. Whether you prefer one fruit over others, there is one thing that is common among both, that is the high nutrient content in both fruits.
Some people may get put off by the smell of durian, but that's not the case with jackfruit.
Have you tried jackfruit or durian? You can share your opinion in the comment below.