Convenient access to healthy foods and plant-based alternatives has been a fast growing consumer trend in the past decade. One of the popular fruits which has broken into the market as a meat-replacement is jackfruit. Gerardo Gutierrez of Jackman Foods says: “It has a texture similar to shredded meat or chicken, and it easily absorbs flavors of any sauces or seasonings consumers might want to add.”
Dehydrated jackfruit as meat replacement: “Jackmeat”
Gutierrez has been passionate about jackfruit for a long time, and in 2019 he started the company Jackman Foods. One of the company’s most important products is dehydrated jackfruit. He says: “Prior to starting the company, I was testing many ideas for products and found that jackfruit as a meat replacement product was a winning product.”
Jackman Foods presents the jackfruit in a dehydrated form. “Our jackfruit is dehydrated with a solar process and presented in pouches of 100g. When the consumer is ready to rehydrate it, they add boiling water and then the fruit returns to its original size of around approximately 800g. It’s 100% natural, without preservatives, colorings or flavorings.”
Mangosteen tea: “Mangostea”
Before starting Jackman Foods, Gutierrez worked for Marvellous Foods, where one of the products was mangosteen tea. “The Mangostea, which is mangosteen powder that can be used to make a tea. It is a drink with great antioxidant qualities, and is filled with xanthones which strengthen the immune system and help fight and prevent diseases. For our product, we use the pericarp of the mangosteen because this is where the greatest concentration of antioxidants is found,” Gutierrez says.
He continues: “In my career I have learned a lot about processing, operations and logistics. I’m currently studying Industrial Engineering, and I decided to combine all these experiences together with the experience of my wife Vicky Cabello. Now, Jackman Foods works in collaboration with Marvellous Foods, which is one of the companies that make up the Cabello Group.”
The company works together with Mexican producers, mainly in Chiapas. The entire area of cultivation consists of 150 ha of mangosteen and 120 ha of jackfruit. “We work with large volumes of both fruits. While the weather in the area has been unpredictable and we’ve been experiencing changes in the climate, our field engineers have been working to ensure that our crops remain healthy. Their efforts have made it so that our annual yields have been increasing, despite the weather challenges that we’ve run into,” Gutierrez says.
The company is currently distributing the product in Mexico and the United States, but are hoping to expand to Canada and Europe soon.
“We have had a very good response to both of the products. Consumers are always looking to improve or maintain their health, and often times they come to us looking for one of these products and then end up leaving with both,” Gutierrez concludes.
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