What Is the Difference Between Durian and Jackfruit?  (With Photos)

If you’re a fruit enthusiast or someone who loves exploring exotic flavors, chances are you’ve come across the unique fruits known as durian and jackfruit. Both hailed for their enormous size and peculiar appearances, these tropical delights have been intriguing taste buds for centuries.

Known for their intimidating spikes and pungent aroma, durian and jackfruit are two tropical fruits that are often confused with one another. However, there are several key differences between these exotic fruits in terms of appearance, texture, taste, origin and nutritional value.

What Is the Difference Between Durian and Jackfruit, FruitoNix
A Jackfruit
What Is the Difference Between Durian and Jackfruit, FruitoNix
A Durian

Durian’s Infamous Odor Versus Jackfruit’s Mild Scent

One of the most notable differences between durian and jackfruit is their smell. Durian is infamous for its potent odor that has been likened to spoiled onions, turpentine and gym socks. This is due to the high levels of volatile sulfur compounds found within the flesh.

In contrast, jackfruit has a much milder aroma. When ripe, it emits a sweet, fruity fragrance similar to banana, mango or pineapple. Unlike durian, jackfruit lacks the pungent sulfur compounds that give durian its trademark funky smell.

Distinct Visual Characteristics of Durian and Jackfruit

In terms of appearance, durian and jackfruit both have a large, oblong shape. However, durian is easily identified by its thorn-covered husk. These spikes can grow up to 8 inches long and act as a protective armor around the inner flesh and seeds.

Jackfruit, on the other hand, has a more approachable exterior. Its leathery skin is covered in blunt, rubbery bumps or nodules. When sliced open, jackfruit’s bulbs loosely resemble sections of garlic.

Inside, durian fruit features 5 heart-shaped chambers that each contain flesh coated by a thick, custard-like cream. Jackfruit bulbs have a golden yellow flesh threaded through with stringy fibers, similar to pineapples.

So in summary, durian is armored with sharp spikes, while jackfruit has a bumpy, rubbery skin. And their inner flesh differs in color and texture.

Origins and Regions Where Durian and Jackfruit Grow

Both durian and jackfruit grow in tropical regions, but durian is native to Southeast Asia, specifically Malaysia and Indonesia. Meanwhile, jackfruit originated in Southwest India.

Today, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia are the leading producers of durian globally. Jackfruit also grows abundantly across South and Southeast Asia, as well as many parts of South America and Africa.

This means the availability of fresh durian is concentrated within Asia, which has led to its notoriety as the “King of Fruits” in this region. Jackfruit has a wider reach as it grows prolifically across multiple continents.

Cultivation and Harvesting

Cultivating durian is a meticulous process. The tree requires specific conditions, including warm temperatures, high humidity, and well-drained soil. Each durian tree can take up to 7 to 10 years to bear fruit, and the harvesting process is done by hand once the fruit reaches its maturity.

Jackfruit trees, on the other hand, are more resilient and can grow in diverse tropical climates. Their fruit can be harvested throughout the year, making jackfruit a more abundant and accessible option compared to durian.

How to Open, Eat and Use Durian Versus Jackfruit

Preparing these two fruits for consumption requires different techniques. Durian’s hard, spiny covering makes it nearly impossible to cut open. Instead, the rind needs to be split lengthwise with a knife to reveal the flesh pods inside.

Jackfruit is much easier to handle once the skin has been peeled away. From there, you can pull off each section and eat it raw. The flesh can also be cut into cubes for use in various recipes.

In terms of culinary uses, durian flesh is most often consumed raw and on its own due to its overpowering flavor. It’s rarely incorporated into recipes. Jackfruit, meanwhile, has a much milder taste that lends itself well to both sweet and savory dishes, especially as a vegetarian meat substitute.

So durian requires special prep but is mainly eaten uncooked, whereas jackfruit is incredibly versatile in terms of preparation and cooking.

Nutritional Differences Between Jackfruit and Durian

When it comes to nutrition, durian and jackfruit offer some overlapping benefits, but jackfruit tends to edge out durian in many regards.

For example, both fruits contain potassium, vitamin C and B-vitamins. However, jackfruit has three times more vitamin C per cup than durian. Jackfruit is also substantially higher in vitamin A and magnesium.

Additionally, jackfruit delivers more protein and fiber per serving than durian. A single jackfruit bulb contains 1-2g of protein and 1-3g of fiber. By contrast, a serving of durian has only 1g of protein and 3g of fiber.

The one area where durian does beat jackfruit nutritionally is its high fat content. Durian contains 5g of fat per serving while jackfruit has less than 1g.

So if you’re looking for a fruit with excellent vitamin and mineral content plus lots of protein and fiber, jackfruit is the better choice. But durian does provide more beneficial fats.


While durian and jackfruit may share a resemblance in appearance, they are remarkably different fruits with distinct tastes, textures, and culinary uses. Durian, the “King of Fruits,” mesmerizes with its rich and complex flavor, while jackfruit, the versatile wonder, delights with its sweet and savory potential. Each fruit has its own unique nutritional benefits and cultural significance, adding to the diversity of the food world. Ultimately, no matter which one you choose, both durian and jackfruit make for a delicious treat.

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