Where is KARANA based?
We’re proud to call beautiful Singapore our home. Just like us, the city is young, hungry and always innovating.
What exactly is jackfruit and where does it come from?
Native to tropical Asia, the jackfruit is, as the name implies, just that: a fruit. In fact, it’s a member of the fig, mulberry and breadfruit family – and it’s actually the world's largest tree-borne fruit. A jackfruit tree can start fruiting three years after being planted, can grow up to 20 metres tall and can produce more than 200 tasty jackfruits a year.
What’s so great about jackfruit compared to other plants?
Where do we start?! We could go on and on singing the praises of our favourite whole-plant ingredient, but here are a few of the highlights:
- It really does taste like meat. Try it for yourself to see what we mean!
- It’s amazingly versatile in the kitchen, grabbing onto flavours and spices, and also providing loads of interesting textures.
- It’s a nutritional wonder, with high fibre levels, no cholesterol, low fat and low calories (compared to meat).
- It’s an abundant, sustainable and biodiverse fruit that is largely wasted as a resource – and we want to change that. In fact, each year it’s estimated that 60% of the jackfruit crop goes to waste, with only around 10% being commercialised. We love the idea of working with something that’s already abundant in nature and significantly under-utilised.
- Jackfruit trees are pest- and drought-resistant, so small-holder farms don’t require much effort to grow and harvest them as there’s no need for irrigation.
- A single jackfruit tree can produce more than 200 fruits per year, each weighing up to 40kgs. That’s a high yield for a single tree that doesn’t require much input from farmers.
- Jackfruits are mainly grown intercropped as shade plants rather than monocrops (like soy), which means they help support other flora and fauna, adding to local biodiversity – rather than taking away from it.
Where are KARANA products made and where are your products sourced?
Our hero ingredient, the jackfruit, is currently sourced from small-holder farmers in Sri Lanka, then the value-add manufacturing steps are carried out in Singapore.
Are KARANA products dairy-free and vegan?
Absolutely! We are 100% plant-based and totally vegan – which means there isn’t a drop of dairy in sight.
Are there protein isolates, concentrates or texturates in KARANA products?
No, we don’t. We pride ourselves on using minimally processed whole-plant “meat” to make all our products.
Do you use artificial flavours in KARANA products?
We absolutely love flavour at KARANA – but only the natural kind. We think it’s important that our products don’t have any artificial flavours, so we only use a very small number of natural flavours in our products.
Is KARANA good for you?
We like to think our products are as good for the body as they are for the soul. Our goal is to make food you can feel good about eating more of and while we're not perfect, we think you'll agree that compared to meat, there are lots of benefits of eating KARANA – including:
- High in fibre
- Low glycaemic response
- Cholesterol free
- Low fat and saturated fats-free
- Low calories
- Minimally processed and short ingredient lists
How do KARANA whole-plant meat shreds compare nutritionally to pork?
Take a look for yourself! Here’s a handy side-by-side comparison between KARANA and pork loin.
KARANA WHOLE-PLANT SHREDS vs PORK LOIN
Are there any allergens in KARANA products?
While our product ingredients don’t contain any allergens, the production facility where they’re made also handles fish, soy, wheat, egg, sesame, celery and pork. So, bear in mind that there may be trace amounts of these in some of our products.
Are KARANA products organic?
All our jackfruits are grown organically by small-holder farmers, without the use of harmful pesticides, but our products themselves aren’t officially organic-certified.
Are KARANA products Halal?
In a word: no. Not at the moment, anyway. As our products aren’t made in a Halal-certified facility, they’re not technically Halal. However, we don’t use any animal products or alcohol in our manufacturing process.
Are KARANA products gluten-free?
We're working towards ensuring all our products will be certifiably gluten-free in the future, but at the moment, while our ingredients don’t contain any gluten, we can’t 100% guarantee that there aren't any traces of gluten in them from the production process.
Do KARANA products contain onion, garlic or other alliums?
Nope – our whole-plant meat shreds and mince products don’t contain onion, garlic or other alliums. Once we finalise the recipes for our soon-to-launch retail products, we’ll update the FAQs should this change. Stay tuned!
What is KARANA whole-plant meat shreds made of?
We're proud of our blink-and-you’ll-miss-it list of ingredients. All that’s in the meat shreds is:
Young jackfruit, canola oil, sea salt, natural flavour.
Where can I try KARANA products?
We’re so excited for you to try our products and taste how awesome they are. Click here for a list of locations in Singapore where you can get stuck in.
Can’t I just buy a fresh jackfruit and do it myself?
Of course, you can – and people do! But they’re probably people with a lot of time and patience on their hands, because jackfruit isn’t the easiest ingredient to manage in the kitchen. Not only is it absolutely massive and pretty damn unwieldy, but it produces a latex-like sap that’s sticky and messy, requiring some prep and knowledge to manage. Our jackfruits are taken through a proprietary series of techniques that gently develop our signature texture, whilst retaining the integrity and benefits of the jackfruit as a whole plant. We also spent a lot of time working on the optimum time to harvest our jackfruits to produce the best meat-like texture and taste. That’s because as jackfruits get older, they develop more sugars, so they have a sweeter flavour and fragrance, making it more of a dessert ingredient than a savoury one. Basically, it can get pretty complicated, which is why we take care of all the faff – so you can just sit back and enjoy the taste.
Is KARANA’s packaging recyclable?
Yep, our packaging is made from materials that can be recycled – and what’s more, we’re working on several initiatives that we hope will make our packaging better in the future, as we’re always trying to improve.
When will KARANA offer products in retail?
As soon as we’ve made a retail product that meets our super high standards, we’ll get it out to market. We’re working with our chefs and product developers to make the best possible product, but we won’t take any shortcuts because we only make food that’s irresistibly delicious. We’re currently aiming to get retail products on shelves in the first half of 2021.
Who do I talk to about using KARANA at my restaurant?
We’d love to chat! Drop us a note on our contact page and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
What’s behind the name KARANA?
Thanks for asking – we love the name KARANA and it’s as packed with meaning as our products are with flavour. It actually comes from a Sanskrit word that means “doing” and a Balinese phrase that refers to achieving balance with nature as a route to prosperity. It’s a word that has taken on a variety of forms and meanings across South and Southeast Asia. KARANA represents our goal to empower and encourage everyone to take action, however small, to bring more balance back to our food systems. It also represents our commitment to blending innovation and tradition, using technology to improve what we already have available and celebrate food in its natural form.
I want to write a press piece about KARANA. Who can I talk to?
Great! We’d love for you to feature us in your story! Get in touch with us by simply filling in the form on our contact page and we’ll get back to you shortly.
Are you hiring? Can I get involved?
We’re in growth and often on the lookout for talented new team members. Find out more about our current career opportunities by dropping us a message on our contact page and we’ll get back to you.
What is the heaviest jackfruit on record?
According to Guinness, the world's heaviest jackfruit came from Pune, Maharashtra in India, and weighed in at – brace yourself – 42.72 kilograms, or 94.18 pounds. It measured a whopping 57.15 centimetres long and had a circumference of 132.08 centimetres (verified 23 June 2016).