Catalonian stonefruit presentation 2013

A total of 14 new stonefruit varieties from Catalonia have been registered with the European Community Plant Variety Office this week, as the region strives to improve the flavour of fruit on offer to consumers.

These new peach and nectarine varieties were presented for the first time by Josep Pelegri, president of research and technology body IRTA, marking the culmination of a research project first initiated in 2004 by IRTA, Agro Selection Fruits (ASF) and Fruit Futur.

'One of the most frequent complaints made by consumers is the scarce flavour of the fruit they buy,' a joint statement read. 'Although the quality regarding the appearance, size and colour has been improved, this has not occurred with the flavour. This is a common complaint seen in surveys filled out by consumers.'

The main goal of the research and development project was to boost the number of flavourful nectarine, peach, flat peach and paraguayo available – and IRTA remains confident that this has been achieved.

'The most relevant and innovating fact is that the primary feature for choosing and selecting them [the new varieties], was their flavour, and this is what makes them different from other varieties,' the groups explained. 'Through the work carried out by IRTA researchers and ASF, a total of 14 new varieties have been obtained which stand out for their external colour, slow maturity, good preservation, and excellent taste quality, accompanied by a crunchy and juicy texture.'

Of the 14 new varieties, two are yellow-fleshed peaches, two are white-fleshed peaches, four are yellow-fleshed nectarines, there are five white-fleshed nectarines, and one flat white-fleshed nectarine.