A cooperation of four kiwi companies involved in the kiwi industry will be presenting two new varieties of yellow flesh kiwi soon. Greek kiwi exporter Zeus is one of the companies involved, together with one other Greek and two Italian ones. After years of research and experimenting the group feels they are very close to cultivating the new varieties for commercial use.
Zisis Manosis, Zeus' agronomist.
The four companies founded New Kiwiplant sr about two years ago, which will manage the intellectual rights. Zisis Manosis is Zeus’ agronomist and has been working on shaping new varieties since the start of the project: “Searching for a new variety, three aspects are very important. First off is the taste, what direction do you want it to go? Next is the shape of the kiwi, which needs to be visually appealing. You need to be satisfied with the potential sizes of the kiwis of the new variety, just as the color of the flesh and the size of its core. Only then can you start looking into other aspects of the new variety, like the potential and average yield. Just like when exporting kiwis the storability in cold stores is a big factor, as kiwis will at the very least have to be stored in cold rooms from October to January at the very least.”
New Kiwiplant is based in Italy and has acquired the rights from the University of Udine, of about 15,000 crosses that could result in possible commercial varieties. “The breeder, Raffaele Testolin, is one of the most experienced breeders in Europe. He developed the Soreli variety for instance. With the work he is currently doing, 20 of the initial 15,000 crosses are looking very promising! Of these twenty strains, we expect two of them will be registered in only a couple of weeks,” Manossis explains. “Next year we will start sending small samples to our existing clients, and received some final feedback. We expect our first commercial quantities in only a few years. We expect the variety to have a positive impact, for one it’s going to be a golden variety with a sense of a tropical taste. The color of the flesh will be an intense yellow. We expect to bring the new varieties to Fruit Logstica, or maybe even Fruit Attraction in Madrid.”