Apple lovers will have the opportunity to get a bite of potential new varieties destined for retail shelves at a special tasting event at Saturday, 5 June in Bunbury.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) is hosting the event to gather consumer feedback, which is a crucial stage in the development of new apple varieties.
Research scientist Kristen Brodison said consumers would be able to taste four advanced breeding lines, one of which was already showing potential for commercialisation.
“These four apple varieties each come from a diverse background and have been developed using conventional breeding techniques,” she said.
“Consumers will be asked to taste a slice of apple and provide their impressions of the apple’s appearance, taste and texture using a fun emoji rating system.
“Taste testing and consumer feedback is invaluable to the apple breeding process, alongside evaluating the storage and packing quality of emerging varieties.”
Western Australia is home to the Australian National Apple Breeding Program, which breeds, develops, tests and evaluates new apple varieties at DPIRD’s Manjimup Research Facility.
It takes about 20 years to develop a new apple – from crossing lines, to new lines, to testing commercial root stock and evaluation in growers’ orchards across WA and the eastern states
Each year the department produces 5000 to 7500 seedlings in its apple nursery, which are tested and evaluated for further development.
“There are new crosses showing promise, which could potentially become new apple varieties and available for commercial release in the next few years,” Dr Brodison said.
“One of the four varieties at the Bunbury consumer acceptance tasting could be elevated to our Superior Selection lines for further development – depending on the feedback and evaluation.”
The DPIRD apple tasting will be held at the Bunbury Markets at Queens Gardens on Saturday, 5 June from 8am to 1pm.
Megan Broad/Katrina Bowers, media liaison
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