Chile's Summerkiwi cultivar shows sweet promise -

Chile's Summerkiwi cultivar shows sweet promise

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Chile's Summerkiwi cultivar shows sweet promise

Chile's summerkiwi harvest has got off to a flying start with exports expected to double and the quality of the cultivar looking particularly good with high sweetness levels.

Chile Kiwifruit Committee member Andrés de Witt, told this season's fruit has an "exceptional sweetness" with an average brix level of 6.2 degrees.

"Summerkiwi is beginning to be recognized as the best variety not only because it is an early variety but for it superior its aroma, smell and texture,  he said.

Exports this season are expected to reach 400,000 (10 kilogram) boxes mainly due to the majority of the country's 380 hectares of orchards from Metropolitan region to VII (Maule) region now in their fifth season.

de Witt said Chile had had a very good spring with good temperatures and expected the variety to harvest to finish one week earlier by week 12 (Mar. 16).

He said this gave Chile an edge with current European supply consisting of kiwifruit between eight t0 10 months old sitting in cold storage.

de Witt said commercial efforts this season will focus on the Asian market, with promotional activities in Korea, Japan and China.

The cultivar is originally from Italy. It differs from other green varieties and Hayward because it bears fruit earlier and has a higher sugar content.

Last season was a successful one for Chile where yields of the later ripening Hayward cultivar were 20-30% higher than the average.

Related stories: Gold kiwifruit shortage window of opportunity for Chilean growers, says T&G

Photo: Chilean Kiwifruit Committee

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