New apricot varieties – in shape at last for the long haul
February 8, 2018
11:00 - 11:30
Two new apricot varieties from New Zealand offer improved storage and transportability thanks to reduced ethylene levels. Plant & Food’s apricot breeding program has produced two new varieties of apricot, which are protected by plant breeders’ patent. The new apricot varieties are said to be unique because they come from a breeding line that produces very little ethylene. They therefore have good storage potential and are particularly suitable for export to distant markets. New Zealand is the only country that can deliver an apricot to market in February / March – and these new varieties mean that they have excellent prospects on export markets, particularly on high-value markets such as Asia. The sensory research team has spent two years testing the new varieties on consumers and the results are very good. Over the years, we have carried out a series of studies that have led to the selection of these two varieties – including optimising production methods to improve food quality and maturity; packing line trials to evaluate the likelihood of pack-related blemishes; storage temperature and storage duration.