Fresh vs. Frozen Breadfruit

What’s the difference between fresh versus frozen fruits and vegetables? In this article we share how our frozen ‘ulu compares to fresh products, using science to explain three key differences in harvesting, processing and storage.

Local Farmers Pick at Peak Ripeness

    Fresh produce often must be picked before optimal maturity to allow for some ripening during transportation and shelving, meaning that the immature fruit or vegetable has had less time on the plant to develop the vitamins that our bodies need. HUC farmers harvest their ‘ulu at peak ripeness, bringing the best and highest quality breadfruit to our processing facilities.

    Steaming + Freezing Locks in Nutrients

    Before freezing our breadfruit, we parcook the fruit by steaming it. Steaming deactivates the enzymes in ‘ulu which would otherwise digest important antioxidants and nutrients as the fresh fruit ages. Low storage temperature further slows down the breakdown of nutrients in food, and that is why we quickly freeze our ‘ulu after steaming to lock in nutrients.

    Convenient Storage + Less Waste

    When you notice your fresh vegetables go limp or slimy in the fridge, you are actually seeing a breakdown and loss of nutrients. A two-year study published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis found that frozen fruits and vegetables contained higher levels of nutrients than fruits and vegetables stored in the refrigerator more often than the other way around. The time flexibility of frozen HUC ‘ulu also leads to less household food waste, meaning less food goes to the landfill so our communities can be more sustainable.

    Frozen fruits and vegetables can help us get essential nutrients with better harvesting and processing practices as well as more convenient storage possibilities. With freezing, we can enjoy locally-grown ‘ulu all year long, creating our favorite vitamin- and mineral-packed recipes even before most breadfruit trees start flowering for the season.

    [uc-featured-product handle="ulu-retail-packs" description="Now you can have our peeled, cored, steamed, and frozen ‘ulu delivered directly to your door! Available as a 5 pack or 18 packs."]


    • A.A Kader (1996). “Maturity, Ripening, and Quality Relationships of Fruit-Vegetables.” Acta Hortic.
    • Li et. al (2017). “Nutrient analyses of fresh, fresh-stored, and frozen fruits and vegetables.” Journal of Food Composition and Analysis.
    • Zhang et. al (2019). “Effects of pretreatments on quality attributes of long-term deep frozen storage of vegetables: a review.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
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    Anissa from Hawai'i 'Ulu Co-op

    Narwin Martin – you can order ’ulu on our online store here: Or find us at your local grocery store with our product locator:

    Anissa from Hawai'i 'Ulu Co-op

    It depends on how much ‘ulu and how big your fruit are. For several dense, Hawaiian fruit steamed whole in a large steamer 1 hour seems like a good amount of time. For small ma’afala fruit, about softball size and larger, you can steam in about 15-20 minutes. If you are getting good results, then you are probably doing it right!


    I use a steamer pot to do the initial cook of my freshly picked ulu. It has a perforated inner pot that sits about 2" above the bottom of the outer pot, I get about 1.5" of hot water boiling then put the ulu (usually 4 fit nicely in the inner pot), and control the heat level so the water is just barely boiling, cover with the lid, and let it steam for about an hour. Not knowing really if that is correct, thought I’d ask here, my ulu are smaller, orange to grapefruit size, am I steaming them too long? Or should it be longer? I seem to be getting good results, I core them, sometimes peel them, then freeze the quarters for further use, or chop ’em up and cook with them right away.
    Thanks for having this website available !

    Lieo Andrike

    I love bread fruit

    Narwin Martin

    How can I order some breadfruit

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