Article by: Hari Yellina
The good news is that they are one step closer to being stocked on store shelves if strawberries with a pina colada-like flavour and aroma seem enticing. Two brand-new strawberry “novelty” kinds have been created at a research facility on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. The “pink” strawberries have a peachy pink exterior and white flesh, whilst the “white” strawberries have a beautiful white interior with a pale pink blush skin and red seed spots. Both have a powerful scent. Jodi Neal, the head strawberry breeder at the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) research station, said that after eight years of work, the types of the fruit are finally ready for commercialization.
She described the flavour and smell as being quite unique and lovely. They are quite sweet and have little tang or acidity, making for a delightful flavour experience that is nearly pina colada-like. To provide customers more options, according to Dr. Neal, the strawberries were hybridised from a white type that was growing naturally in Chile. They have a lot of the flavour characteristics that come from the grandparents of their Chilean strawberry, she added, as well as exquisite tropical undertones and aromas that are almost pineapple-like. She said that bringing attention to the fact that, in contrast to apples and bananas, strawberry types are not labelled would also be helpful. “We wanted to make something that customers could physically perceive and say, “That’s a different strawberry that we know has this different flavour, and that’s what I want to put on my pavlova, or in my salad, or on my breakfast,” Dr Neal said.
“We have created 16 red strawberry kinds in the last ten years alone, but sadly, because they are not marketed by their names in stores, consumers have no idea what they are getting.” The cultivars created by Dr. Neal’s team made up 45% of the strawberries planted in Australia last year. Utilizing grower levies as well as support from the federal and Queensland governments, the project collaborates with the grower-owned research and development company Hort Innovation. The strawberries, according to Brett Fifield, chief executive of Hort Innovation, are a special product. “Strawberries in pink and white are unique to anything else on Australian retail shelves. They should be remarkable because they are, “added he. They are the result of years of study, field testing, customer preference research, and industry involvement.
In front of global business leaders, Hort Innovation and DAF revealed that they were looking for a business partner to help them commercialise the pink and white types at BerryQuest International 2022 on the Gold Coast. The breeding programme, according to Berries Australia executive director Rachel Mackenzie, is a real success story and the way of the future to boost domestic and foreign demand for Australian strawberries. The commercialization partner will decide on a trademark name for the pina colada-style strawberries. “Although these two types currently have names, they are essentially just strange codes. They lack a lot of sex “Dr. Neal chuckled. They’ll be marketed as, ideally, something marginally superior to, say, SB17-230.