Artocarpus integer, commonly known as cempedak (pronounced "chem-pe-dak"), is a species of tree in the family Moraceae, and in the same genus as breadfruit and jackfruit. It is native to southeast Asia, from Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula to the island of New Guinea. It is also grown and eaten in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala states of India. Furthermore, the tree has also been introduced to Queensland.


Cempedak trees are large, evergreen trees. They can grow to a height of 20 m, although most only reach a dozen meters. The trees are monoecious, with male and female flowers growing on the same tree. There are many varieties, although few are named. The vigorously growing tree can bear heavy crops of fruit once or twice a year.


The syncarp may be cylindrical to spherical in shape, and ranges from 10 to 15 cm across and 20 to 35 cm in length. The thin and leathery skin is greenish, yellowish to brownish in color, and patterned with hexagons that are either raised protuberances or flat eye facets.

The fleshy, edible arils surround the large, inedible seeds in a thick layer. It is yellowish-white to orange in color, sweet and fragrant, soft, slippery and slimy on the tongue and a bit fibrous. The taste of the fruit is similar to the related jackfruit and breadfruit with a hint of durian. The seeds are flattened spheres or elongated, about 2–3 cm in length.


The fruit is very popular in its native area, and is becoming so in Queensland. The flesh can be eaten fresh or after being processed. Fritters made by dipping arils in batter and frying in oil are sold in the streets of Malaysia. The seeds can be fried, boiled or grilled and then peeled and eaten with a little salt mixture. They taste similar to water chestnuts. The young fruit, like young jackfruit, can be used as a vegetable.

The wood is of good quality, strong and durable, so it is often used as building material for home furnishings or boats. The fibrous bark can be used to make ropes. Yellow dye can also be produced from the wood.

In Borneo, the skin of the cempedak (or in bahasa Banjarnya tiwadak) can be processed into food called mandai or some call dami. Mandai is made by peeling the fruit until it looks white, then soaking in brine to preserve and soften the texture. The fruit may be soaked for a few hours or even up to a month. Mandai is usually consumed by frying until brown.

In Culture

Teluk Cempedak is a famous beach in Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia. Its name roughly translates to Cempedak Bay, in reference to the fruit itself.

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