Breadfruit challenge seeks to fight hunger

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota-based nonprofit has teamed up with the University of St. Thomas in hopes of using breadfruit to fight hunger in developing countries.

Breadfruit is a staple in some tropical countries. But it has an extremely short shelf life. It rots within 48 hours of ripening.

St. Paul-based Compatible Technology International develops simple devices to harvest and process crops. It’s working on a way to shred breadfruit, dry it and grind it into breadfruit flour, which has an almost an unlimited shelf life.

Minnesota Public Radio reports the group enlisted St. Thomas, which is sponsoring a contest to develop ways dry the fruit.

The top two teams will be flown to Hawaii in March to demonstrate their inventions to the Breadfruit Institute, which promotes the crop as a hunger fighter.