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Italy: Top Gold kiwis to become available soon

The new New Zealander golden kiwi variety called Top Gold "Always Sweeter" will become available in 2020. It will be commercialised exclusively by Top Gold srl, a business set up in 2014 by two Italian companies - Quaranta Frutta and Top Fresh - as well as by New Zealand company Y356 ltd, owner of the Top Gold variety.

Left to right: Mario Quaranta and Massimo Pittaluga.

Quaranta Frutta has over 70 years of experience in the fresh produce sector. In 2005, it became partners with Top Fresh for commercialisation overseas. Every year, Quaranta Frutta commercialises around 5,000 tons of peaches and nectarines as well as 1,000 tons of Angeleno plums, between 300 and 600 tons of apples, between 10 and 15 thousand tons of Hayward kiwis and between 300 and 600 tons of golden kiwis.

"Top Gold is something new: it's a diploid kiwi variety and fruits have an entirely yellow flesh with a sweet flavour reminiscent of exotic fruits such as mango and papaya, an almost creamy texture and a slight lemon aftertaste that counterbalances the sweetness creating a truly unique flavour. Its organoleptic qualities make it perfect as a dessert. In addition, Top Gold kiwis are easy to grow and require fewer interventions compared to other varieties," explains Mario Quaranta from Quaranta Frutta.

Blossoming is only slightly early, no thinning is needed, fecundity is exceptional, plants are cultivated under anti-rain nets to limit the damage caused by wind, bacteriosis and root asphyxia, no hormones are needed and fruits are harvested in early October at 12-15° Brix and stored in cells without modified atmosphere up to 5 months. 

Top Gold kiwis can be recognised due to their oval shape, ending with a small bulge. They have an exceptional sugar (18-24° Brix) and dry matter (20-23%) content.

Top Gold kiwis, the small bulge is noticeable 

"We had been looking for a unique golden kiwi variety since 2005. In 2013, we met Simon Dickie, owner of the variety which we then tested in 2014. We decided to set up Top Gold srl, which holds exclusive propagation and trading rights. After 3 years of private investments and extensive experience gained in New Zealand, we can now say we have a product that stands out thanks to its sugar level, dry matter content and organoleptic complexity. The Top Gold "Always Sweeter" trade mark was registered on a global level."

Top Gold golden kiwis

After years of tests, the product will be officially presented in Madrid together with the brand and packaging.

"During this phase, we will reach 150 hectares in 2020 in Piedmont, Lazio, Campania and other regions. The experience we have gained over the past few years was made possible by the fact our partners have invested time and money in this project, thus enabling us to achieve safe and thoroughly-tested crop techniques to produce the perfect combination between quality and quantity. We are not worried about PSA attacks and are convinced this variety will meet the expectations of both new producers and old partners," stresses Mario Quaranta.

"We are certain Top Gold is something new for consumers and a valid opportunity for producers. We would like our Italian producers to get to know it and make the entire chain aware of the fact that this is an entirely different kiwi from the ones they are used to."

"We have waited a few seasons before talking about the variety, as we wanted to develop a valid crop technique to supply a safe variety to our producers and companies. Quaranta Frutta and Top Fresh will plant around 50 hectares over the next few years, as we are certain of the uniqueness and profitability of this fruit. It will probably make €1.30-1.60/kg for producers, as people will most definitely go back and buy it!" 

All partners would like to thanks Simon Dickie and his family for the opportunity provided.

Mario Quaranta and Massimo Pittaluga will attend Fruit Logistica (7th-8th February, Hall 6.2, Stand D.07) together with Les Rives.

Quaranta Frutta import-export
Via Propano, 1
12030 Lagnasco (CN)
Tel.: (+39) 0175 72594
Fax: (+39) 0175 72377

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