Australian consumers can taste a new breed of strawberries this year, with the Queensland Department of Agriculture & Fisheries (DAF) releasing its locally bred Red Rhapsody variety.
The deep red, easy-to-grow strawberry is available at retailers in Queensland, and is more resistant to disease and cheaper to harvest, according to Queensland agriculture minister Bill Byrne.
“It’s the result of breeding research at DAF’s Maroochy Research Facility in Nambour and it’s available across Australia for the first time this year.” Byrne said. “Consumers can expect a fruit that has a good flavour balance of sweetness and acidity, and is likely to be high in antioxidants.
“The deep rose red colour might lead people to think that the berries are overripe, but that is actually an indication they’ve reached their full flavour.”
For growers, Byrne said Red Rhapsody offered high yields, with its longer stems making the fruit easier to pick, and a high resistant to bruising meaning the berries get to consumers in good condition.
The DAF project was co-funded by grower-owned body Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) and the Australian government.