|Authors: ||R. Schröder, T. Virgin-Harris, M.K. Beresford, I.C. Hallett|
|Keywords: ||Actinidia, breeding, kiwifruit, texture, softening|
A range of kiwifruit (Actinidia) breeding material was examined for textural diversity compared with the soft melting texture found in existing cultivars such as Actinidia chinensis var. deliciosa ‘Hayward’, A. chinensis var. chinensis ‘Hort16A’ and Actinidia arguta var. arguta ‘Hortgem Tahi’. A pilot study involving 56 genotypes in season 1 and 24 genotypes in season 2 identified a variety of textural attributes that occurred in these breeding populations using an in-house panel of science staff.
The texture attributes included lumpy, melting, mushy, even crunchy flesh; different degrees of juiciness; and hard and chewy cores.
Participants described 16 of the 24 genotypes from season 2 as having a ‘novel texture’. For fruit identified as having a novel texture, participants were asked an opened-ended question regarding the textural descriptor(s) and whether each contributed positively or negatively to the experience.
Only one genotype had only positive texture scores, and one genotype had an entirely negative novel texture.
Novel textures of three cultivars were mainly positively rated, with a few negative novel textures.
Other genotypes were equally positive and negative in novel textures and, in some genotypes, the negative textures outweighed the positive ones.
This study indicates that a range of textural characteristics exist in kiwifruit (Actinidia) breeding populations but that novel, positive textural attributes are relatively rare.
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