Southern Hemisphere IFORED partners: the new red-flesh varieties show great potential for the market. Commercial tests will start between 2019 and 2020.
Southern hemisphere countries are also turning “Red Inside”. From February to May, IFORED Consortium members Montague (Australia), Unifrutti (Chile), Mono Azul (Argentina), and Dutoit (South Africa) harvested the new apples with coloured flesh – from pink to intense red – developed under the Kissabel® project.
The production in the southern hemisphere is currently in the test stage: the aim is to harvest the first commercial quantities within the next three years. Expectations are high, since with their innovative look and excellent taste, the red flesh varieties developed by IFORED have everything it takes to win over buyers and consumers.
“We learned about red flesh apples in 2011 when we were invited to join the IFORED Project in order to create a unique kind of fruit, clearly distinctive from all the other genetic developments – says Riccardo Gatti, Production Planning Head of Unifrutti – Our first challenge was to find the right growing area to get a bright red internal color”.
“Today, after several seasons of evaluations, we have selected the Southern area of our apple growing region. During this winter we will move from testing orchards to semi commercial orchards: we’ll have the chance to run the first commercial trials and storage tests from summer 2020. With the yearly release of new selections, we expect further improvement on fruit quality and storage performances in order to offer to consumers all over the world an outstanding family of Kissabel® apples”.
In Australia, the production is located in Taggerty (Southern Victoria) and Legana (Northern Tasmania). “Growing conditions in Southern Australia over the summer were very warm and dry – reports Rowan Little, General Manager of Montague Fresh – The result across the whole apple category was fruit with lots of natural sugars. This was also the case with the Kissabel® fruit which showed brix levels up to 17. In Southern Victoria the best performing varieties exhibited great red flesh colour and a sweet / acid flavor with lots of berry tones. In Northern Tasmania we had apples with firm sweet flesh with a balanced flavor”.
“The results in Southern Victoria were promising enough to suggest grounds for commercial production of one variety and we will look to bulk up wood for this purpose. Initially fruit produced will be targeted to the domestic Australian market, however the Asian markets immediately to our North will also be a focus. We are excited about the potential of the Kissabel range on the market. Australian consumer interest in new fruit brands is strong and the Kissabel range represents a big divergence from the other apple varieties available”.
“Even suffering from the worst drought in over hundred years in Western Cape, several IFORED selections managed to produce good fruit with nice red flesh coloration. We are excited to match the genetic variation in the program to the correct micro climate to produce the best fruit quality”, commented Tanith Freeman, Product Development Manager of Dutoit Group.
Besides the Southern Hemisphere countries, North America is also taking steps to market red flesh apples. The Next Big Thing, IFORED partner in USA and Canada has found favor with a red-skinned and red-flesh Kissabel® variety and plans to move forward with commercializing the apple and eventually introducing it to the North American marketplace. The co-op states that “the fruit that has been produced at our test orchards have exceeded expectations on flavor, texture, and internal red color. The apples’ large size, good fracture, clean qualities, and excellent flavor profile will be easily accepted in the North American marketplace”.
IFORED Consortium reunites the leading fruit marketers from five continents, joining forces to perfect and bring to the market the Kissabel range of coloured-flesh varieties. The partners are: Alliance Mesfruits Gerfruit, Blue Whale (France); Green Yard, Worldwide Fruit (UK); Fenaco (Switzerland); VOG, VI.P, Melinda, La Trentina, Rivoira (Italy); Nufri (Spain); Elbe-Obst, VEOS, Landgard, OGM, MaBo, WOG, VOG, ELO, MAL (Germany); Mono Azul (Argentina); Unifrutti (Chile); Dutoit (South Africa); Yummy Fruit Company (NZ), Montague (Australia); Next Big Thing (USA-Canada).