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'An apple like a sweet memory'

China: Sweet Indian green apples

At the recent Asia Fruit Convention, there was one fruit that looked very ordinary but which made a deep impression on all those who tasted it. Here are some of their comments: "I didn't know green apples could be so sweet! They're not sour at all!", "This is completely different from any green apple I ever had before. Green and fragrant, but still firm.", "When I looked at it, I didn't think this apple would be firm or sweet, but I was completely wrong." and "Is this a new variety? Why did I never buy it?".

"An old variety among fresh apples"
When asked whether the green apple is a new variety, Mr. Lin answers with a smile. "This variety of green apple already existed in the 60s. What's more, it actually has a very long history. These apples were first produced in India. They came to China later on, so they became known as India Green because they also turn completely green when they are ripe."

"India Green first came to China as a pollination tree. They were regarded as self-blooming trees. At the same time they could also pollinate other trees. But the fruit that came from trees pollinated by India Green, like the Red Fuji apple, always had a considerable proportion of green on the peel. As a result they didn't look good and couldn't be sold for a high price. So now, as new varieties were introduced, the India Green was used less and less as a pollination tree. That is why almost no supermarkets or fruit shops sell India Green apples."

"An apple like a sweet memory"
"Even though India Green doesn't have a clear superiority when it comes to being used as a pollination tree, the apples it bears are still the sweetest of all apples. The sweetness can attain a level of 18.98 brix, so it almost doesn't have anything sour when eaten."

"Apart from the sweetness, another strength of the India Green is its firmness. It is also fit for storage. Even though the fruit flesh of the India Green isn't what you would call crispy, but it is very firm. So if you eat the apple early on, you won't have any feeling of mushiness. As the apple is preserved longer, the fruit flesh will slowly become soft. Still, the sweetness will remain high. This way, the India Green is an apple that is both suitable for young and old. You can eat it when its hard or you can wait until it becomes soft. But the apples are sweet at any given moment."

"Many older people eat India Green apples. They love that the apples are sweet, but not too hard. They remind the people of the taste of apples when they were young. That's why we also approach the India Green apples as a variety that reminds you of the past."

"Starting from a small surface"
"In the current Chinese apple industry, many consumers have a preference for firm and sweet apples, like the Red Fuji. That's why the red Fuji still has a leading position when it comes to the cultivation surface. Compared to the Red Fuji, India Green apples only have a small cultivation surface. But we believe that in the current period, where apples are produced in abundance, there is room for different apple varieties because they taste good. After people have eaten so many firm and sweet Red Fuji apples, they may want to taste something else as well. At that time, India green apples are a wise choice."

"So we started from a small cultivation surface. We opened up 3.3 hectares where we cultivate India green apples in a professional way. Because the cultivation method is a bit different from the Red Fuij apples, we are still finding out how to achieve India Green apples of the best quality. The production volume is stable."

Rongchengyu Apple Cultivation Cooperative
The Rongchengyu Apple Cultivation Cooperative is located in Shandong near Rongcheng city in a small village named Tuanlinjia. The 41 hectares of apple cultivation base are close to the sea. There are 2600 hours of sunshine every year. The main cultivated varieties are Red Fuji, Gala, India Green and other superb apple varieties.

"Our cultivation base is completely oriented towards the dwarf tree concentrated method. At the same time, we use terrace farming, an irrigation+fertilisation system and an ecological cycle of animal forming, ponds and fruit. We do what we can to create a high-standard ecological garden. At the same time, we also registered the brand 'Yuping' for the apples of our orchard. This year we already harvested over a million kg of Yuping apples of the Red Fuji variety with the intention of selling them in Inner Mongolia, Canton and other places."

"We believe that the future of the Chinese fruit market depends on high quality fruit. So we take care of the cultivation part and persist in the continuing improvement of the cultivation techniques and the apple quality. At the same time we will also keep introducing different products for the consumers, like the India Green apples. That way everyone has an even more abundant range of choices." 

For more information,
Mr. Lin

Rongchengyu Apple Cultivation Professional Cooperative
Telephone: (+86) 1386 3061 528

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