Australia: Kalei apple scales up with trials in the EU, U.S. -

Australia: Kalei apple scales up with trials in the EU, U.S.

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Australia: Kalei apple scales up with trials in the EU, U.S.

An apple variety developed in Queensland has received positive feedback from consumer testing, while for orchardists it grows well in warm climates and shows resistance to apple scab. Kalei 2

At, we caught up with Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) intellectual property manager Garry Langford, whose group is in charge of marketing for the Kalei apple which can be sold under the brand name 'Azana' if it is organically certified and meets the right quality standards.

Growers from around Australia and the world will be able to see the fruit in the flesh as part of a field day at the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) Applethorpe Research Station on April 4.

Langford said Kalei was the result of a cross between the Royal Gala variety and other breeding parents, with the cross completed in 1993.

"Certainly from the last five years it’s been quite apparent from the trials at Stanthorpe that this particular apple, which was RS103-30 and became Kalei, stood out from the pack," he said.

"It's it’s highly productive, it’s quite homogenous on the tree so you get quite consistent size, and it’s a larger apple.

"The color is appealing, it stands out – it seems to color quite well even in the warmer climate."

He said its resistance to apple scab was also significant from a production perspective, and would therefore be appealing to more rainy regions where trees are more susceptible to the condition.

"Then on the eating side, it’s crisp, it’s juicy, for a scab resistance apple its sweet, without necessarily being hugely high in sugar content.

"In the average with other apples it’s lower in acidity so it tastes sweeter, and it stores very well in air storage or with SmartFresh and CA (controlled atmosphere).

"It’s very firm, dense, there are a lot of things about it that make it a standout product."

When asked which varieties Langford thought Kalei would compete with, his answer was simple - all of them.

"It’s a fairly crowded space these days – once upon a time seasonality had some bearing on what products you competed with, but these days with managed supply you don’t see that so much," he said.

"It’s really a matter of you develop a niche in the market and provide the product and you’re competing with whatever else is on the shelf that day.

"In a general sense, the apple it’s probably closest to might be Envy."

He said the variety certainly had export potential, but the first step would be development in the Australian market.

"There is interest in Asia for that kind of product, but when we’ve got some volume of it and start to satisfy the local market, I guess there might be some appetite for some export."

Langford added the fruit had been trialed with good results in eight evaluation stations around Australia, while testing was also going on in other continents.

"Since then it’s gone into trials in Europe and this coming spring there’ll be some trees planted in trials in the U.S. and possibly Canada," he said, clarifying the European countries involved were Italy, France and Germany.

"Certainly there’ll be trials in the state of Washington, but given its resistance to apple scab it probably has more appeal on the East Coast of the U.S. – there are trials planned for the state of New York."


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