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Quality and health benefits – Key drivers for a thriving NZ Feijoa Industry



Originating in South America, Feijoa has adapted well to the subtropical New Zealand environment to the extent that a strong commercial industry is now well developed. Virtually unknown in world markets, the unique taste of Feijoa fruit has been a treat for generations of New Zealander’s during the short harvest season (April-June).

The New Zealand Feijoa Growers Association (NZFGA) representing NZ commercial growers established comprehensive grade standards to ensure that fruit of the highest quality is offered for consumption by member growers. Despite this initiative poor quality fruit has been discovered in some retail outlets. NZFGA suggest this may be a result of poor handling post harvest (fruit must be maintained at 4°C for optimum shelf life) by wholesalers, distributors and some retailers. However a major factor is the low quality fruit presented for sale from non member growers.

In an effort to differentiate the member’s quality fruit an imitative to establish an industry wide brand is being developed by NZFGA. This will provide consumers with the confidence that fruit purchased under this brand will not only be of the highest possible quality but will have been grown using internationally recognised standards of best agricultural practices.

Feijoa is not susceptible to many pests and diseases that afflict other fruits, evidenced by an increasing volume of organically certified fruit becoming available to consumers.

In addition to the exciting taste of Feijoa, recent studies have indicated very high levels of Proanthocyanins providing high antioxidant properties with consequent important health benefits. Many other fruits and vegetables containing high levels of Proanthocyanins are often bitter tasting; making the great tasting Feijoa that also provides excellent health benefits a natural winner for a growing number of domestic and world-wide consumers.

The future for the NZ Feijoa industry is exciting and further information is available from the industry website www.feijoa.org.nz.


Publication date: 12/13/2007


 


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