In March 2018, Australia-based producer OZblu set a world record for the heaviest ever blueberry, weighing in at 12.39g. Just over two years later, OZblu has broken its own record, thanks to the work of plant breeders Dave and Leasa Mazzardis, founders of the Natures Select breeding programme.
OZblu’s record-breaking blueberry was recorded in Wilbinga, Australia, with a weight of 16.20g and a diameter of 36.3mm. For comparison, an average OZblu blueberry measures around 18mm in diameter.
However, Dave Mazzardis stressed that, even if some markets preferred “jumbo” sizes, the focus of the breeding programme was on delivering a consistent and high-quality eating experience for the consumer.
“The pair continuously strive to produce superior low-chill evergreen blueberry genetics that are commercially viable for growers,” the company stated, “and offer the consumer an exceptional eating experience, boasting juicier, crunchier and tastier characteristics, as well as an extended shelf-life.”
“It’s important to remember that size isn’t all that matters,” said Roger Horak, founder of United Exports. “We are intent on growing the best blueberries on the market and this means that taste, crunch and flavour are our priorities. Dave and Leasa just happen to grow record sized fruit too. The innovation that Dave and Leasa have delivered to the blueberry category, is truly nothing short of groundbreaking for this incredible superfruit, and will go down in history.”
Due to the global demand for new blueberry varieties, largely thanks to the 'superfruit' reputation of the product, OZblu is reportedly increasing its global blueberry production in order to be able to supply the market year-round.
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