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News and insight for North America's fresh produce buyers
Mike Knowles

BY MIKE KNOWLES

@mikefruitnet

First major Piqa crop due in 2014

First of a range of innovative new pear varieties set to be planted on large-scale in Australia and New Zealand

First major Piqa crop due in 2014

Piqa Boo will enter large-scale commercial production in Australia and New Zealand in 2014

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Topfruit developer and marketer Prevar has confirmed that large-scale plantings of trademarked variety Piqa Boo, the first pear to be unveiled from its innovative new range Piqa, will begin in Australia and New Zealand in 2014, with the first commercial harvest expected in 2016.

The Australasian company unveiled Piqa Boo at the recent Asia Fruit Logistica exhibition in Hong Kong, where chief executive Brett Ennis said he was thrilled at the "very positive" interest shown.

Samples on show at the event were harvested from trial orchards in New Zealand back in late February and had been kept in coldstorage at 0.5°C, underlining Prevar’s belief that storing the fruit for more than six months is quite possible.

Using postharvest technology such as SmartFresh and controlled atmosphere could potentially extend that shelf-life further, Ennis said, although these have yet to be tested on any Piqa fruit.

Piqa pears, which are the result of a major research begun in the 1980s by New Zealand-based Plant & Food Research, combine the flavour of European pears with the texture of Japanese varieties and the shelf-life and storage capabilities of Chinese types.

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