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News from the Italian research on red-pulp pears, apples and peaches

Italy: Fruits are turning red

In the last years, the demand for red-pulp fruit has increased and the research also is leaning towards that direction. Giuseppina Caracciolo and Mauro Bergamaschi from CREA explain, “In order to achieve a fruit variety diversification, the CREA’s breeding programs have introduced this goal thus obtaining different red-pulp selections, some of which look very promising”.

Red-pulp pear

The European pear was crossbred with the ‘Cocomerina’ variety, the germplasm of which is typical of the Tosco-Romagnolo Appennino region. This variety is indeed characterised by a red pulp. We selected some traditional pear seeds which are characterised by good-quality and red-pulp, and they have been given to the experimental company in Magliano, where they will be kept under observation.

The researchers continue, “We utilised different genotypes able to pass on the characteristic red-pulp. Among these, the “Abbondanza Rossa” variety is characterised by good organoleptic quality. We obtained many seeds from this, which are still in the evaluation process.

Red-pulp apple

Daniela Giovannin is responsible for the breeding program of this variety for CREA, “With regard to the peach, we initialised a breeding program where the two genes responsible for the red colouring of the pulp are involved. The first one – which derives from Italian and foreign traditional varieties – provides the pulp with a red-purple colour, which becomes evident already after 30-40 days of the fruit’s growth. In the ripe fruit, the colour is mostly located in the external areas of the pulp, while the area near the shell is not red”.

Red-pulp peaches

The researcher adds, “The second one – introduced only recently thanks to a pollen exchange with the USA – generates fruits of a nice bright-red colour, which extends throughout the pulp. The colouring can be noticed only when the fruit is almost ripe. A comparative study conducted on some CREA’s red-pulp and traditional-pulp fruits showed that the antioxidant properties of the former are two or three times better than the latter’s, thus making red peaches and red nectarines not only a novel fruit but also a healthy produce”.

Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria
Centro di ricerca per Olivicoltura, frutticoltura, agrumicoltura CREA-OFA
Via La Canapona, 1 bis
47121 Forlì, Italia
Tel.: (+39) 0543.89566

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