Tag Archives: raspberries

Scottish scientists working to improve raspberry flavour

Plant breeders and scientists from Scotland’s James Hutton Institute at Invergowrie near Dundee are working to develop new varieties of raspberries which have more consistent flavour whatever the weather during the growing season.

However, different consumer perceptions and preferences mean that the task is not always straightforward. Research has shown that men, women and the young and old all have different views on what a raspberry should taste like, and that these differences can affect overall sales of the popular berry.

Project leader Dr Julie Graham told The Scotsman, “If a consumer buys raspberries that they don’t like, some won’t go back and buy the fruit for the rest of the season. Others won’t go back for several weeks. A negative eating experience does have a big impact on purchasing. We also want to understand why the environment has such a big effect on the flavour.

“Typically, the younger you are, the sweeter you want your raspberries. As people get older, they tend to want a balance between sugar and acid. Then there is also a gender divide. Speaking generally, men tend to like a bit of balance and then women like it sweeter. However, that again is affected by age profile. It is really quite interesting what people want in flavour.”

The research facility is now working with New Zealand’s Delytics Ltd in order to provide better guidance and exactly when to harvest the fruit to growers.

Photo Caption: Different consumers have different ideas of what a raspberry should taste like

Photo Credit: Public Domain Pictures

The post Scottish scientists working to improve raspberry flavour appeared first on Hort News on 5 September 2018.

Trials underway for robotic raspberry picking

A robotics development company which started life as a spin-out of the University of Plymouth is to trial a revolutionary raspberry picking robot with the Hall Hunter Partnership.

Fieldwork Robotics is now part-owned by AIM-listed Frontier IP group PLC, which saw its shares rise 5.7 per cent on the news that they would be working with Hall Hunter Partnership which grows 14,000 tonnes of soft fruit, including raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries for customers including Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Tesco.

“Hall Hunter are the UK’s largest grower of raspberries…so they’re clearly a large player in the sector,” said Neil Crabb, chief executive of Frontier IP. He pointed out that raspberries are one of the most fragile types of soft fruit, so successful field tests would lead the way to using the robot in other fruit and vegetable crops including blueberries and strawberries.

The technology was developed by Dr Martin Stoelen of the University of Plymouth, who is now working on a tomato harvesting project in China. He said, “The collaboration agreement we’ve signed with Hall Hunter is a big step forward for Fieldwork and the team at the University of Plymouth. I’m looking forward to seeing our robots operating in the field.” The University has also received funding from Agri-tech Cornwall to develop robotics technologies for use in cauliflowers and other vegetables.

Hall Hunter Partnership chief operating officer David Green said: “HHP has always led the soft fruit industry in pushing forward productivity and quality standards on our Farms and Nurseries. This partnership with Fieldwork Robotics is an exciting new development to pioneer the harvesting of raspberries robotically at a commercial scale. We are looking forward to our first human-free hectare to be picked together.”

Photo Credit: Max Pixel

The post Trials underway for robotic raspberry picking appeared first on Hort News on 9 August 2018.

Exciting new varieties from summer fruiting raspberry trials

AHDB Horticulture is highlighting the benefits of variety trials on new raspberry varieties funded by the levy board.

“Exciting work coming out of the latest summer fruiting raspberry variety trials means that soft fruit growers have increased access to delicious and profitable selections,” says AHDB Knowledge Exchange manager Scott Raffle. “Over the years, the UK Raspberry Breeding Programme has produced many competitive new varieties. The trial allowed the performance of a wide variety of selections to be compared to industry standards, Tulameen and Octavia.”

He says that of particular note were Squamish, Glen Carron, Glen Dee and two late selections from NIAB EMR, all of which he described as “outstanding.” Canadian variety Squamish produces unusually high yields for an early variety and has a low chilling requirement compared to Tulameen.

“Glen Carron (formerly 0485K-1) produces a very high quality raspberry that is consistently larger than Tulameen,” adds Scott. “It does have a high chilling requirement, but it could perform well when used in sequential plantings of cold stored long canes. Glen Dee offers a late season replacement to Octavia with very large berry size, high yields and high fruit quality.”

The trials also suggest that two NIAB EMR selections (EM6805/142 and EM 6804/81) could replace Octavia, producing higher yields than the long established standard. Two selections from Washington State University (WSU 1605 and WSU 1607) are also interesting.

“With more selections becoming available each year, growers are encouraged to seize the opportunity to compare some of the new outstanding varieties and selections with their own production systems,” stresses Scott, who recommends that growers download the AHDB Summer Fruiting Raspberry Variety Trial factsheet.

Photo Caption: Glen Carron was one of the varieties highlighted by Scott Raffle

Photo Credit: James Hutton Limited

The post Exciting new varieties from summer fruiting raspberry trials appeared first on Hort News on 18 April 2018.

Berryworld gives away raspberries at Wimbledon

Soft fruit supplier Berryworld has sought to raise the profile of its own brand berries, which were first launched 18 months ago, by handing out around 7,500 pots of raspberries to tennis fans in the queue during the first week of Wimbledon.

Berryworld Managing Director Paul Cole said the event was aimed at raising awareness of the company’s branded offering: “We’ve done tastings at retailers, but that’s mainly been own label,” he said. “This is the biggest event we’ve done to promote our brand but we’ve got more planned. There are so many different avenues you can go down to push the name forward.”

He also said that while products such as raspberries and blueberries were unlikely to become as popular as strawberries, there was plenty of potential for growth. “They’ve got a long way to go and part of our job as marketers is getting people buying into them,” he added.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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Berry sales rise as bumper harvest looms

Data from Kantar Worldpanel shows that berry sales in the UK now account for a fifth of total fruit consumption making them more popular than apples and bananas as the popularity of juices and smoothies shows no signs of slowing down.

Strawberries are the most popular soft fruit, with sales last year valued at £564,382 million. They were followed by blueberries (£282,962m) and raspberries (£220,336m). Laurence Olins, chairman of British Summer Fruits, said, “Berries used to be a luxury item, but now they are a delicious staple, consumed as part of a healthy diet for many people. The sales figures reveal a robust and expanding soft fruit category that is meeting growing consumer demand.”

The figures came as British Summer Fruits predicted a record breaking strawberry harvest this year thanks to ideal spring growing conditions. Up to 74,000 tonnes of the fruit is predicted to be produced over the coming summer. The top retail varieties are Malling Centenary; Elsanta; Sonata; Sweet Eve; Driscoll’s Jubilee; Ava Rosa; Red Glory; and Capri.

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Black raspberries healthier than red

The black raspberry may be less well known than its red or even yellow cousins, but new research from Poland has propelled it into the media spotlight with claims that it is the latest super food.

A team of researchers from the University of Agriculture in Krakow measured antioxidants in black raspberries, red raspberries and blackberries and their potential health benefits. They found that the antioxidant activity of the fruit had a direct relationship with their health promoting properties. Of the fruit tested, black raspberries had the most antioxidants, with a level three times higher than red raspberries or blackberries.

Writing in the journal Open Chemistry the scientists concluded that black raspberries have a ‘potentially huge health-beneficial value’ and ‘should be considerably better promoted.’

The study also showed that black raspberries had a higher levels of secondary metabolites and there was no significant difference in antioxidant levels whether fruit was harvested in summer or autumn.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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New research on raspberry cane dormancy

New research suggests that longer periods of cold storage could help to break dormancy in raspberry canes, resulting in higher numbers of buds and bigger yields.

Crop scientists compared the growth of long-cane raspberry plants (Rubus idaeus L. ‘Maurin Makea’) in a polytunnel and an open field to study how nursery growing conditions affected their quality and cropping potential.

The plants were then cold-stored at –1ºC for different periods of time before forcing them in a greenhouse in order to determine how the duration of cold storage affected their carbohydrate status, cropping potential and performance after storage.

The authors write, ‘We conclude that, under high-latitude conditions, the maximum cropping potential was achieved by raising raspberry long-cane plants in a tunnel.  Moreover, while a cold storage period of 12 weeks was too short to overcome dormancy effects, 20 weeks of cold storage resulted in a high cropping potential in the cultivar studied here.’

The post New research on raspberry cane dormancy appeared first on Hort News on 10 December 2015.

UK grown Kwanza raspberries hit market

Raspberry variety Kwanza has been grown in the UK for the first time.

The primocane variety which was bred by Advanced Berry Breeding and is licenced by Meiosis has been produced in Spain for a number of years and marketed through Rodanto. Now Green Valley Berries, who grow the crop in Spain from September to July, have begun UK production.

Edward Velasco, CEO of Rodanto, said, “We’re hoping in this first year, and since it is a trial, to produce somewhere in the region of 20,000 kilograms. Harvesting of this year’s plants has only recently commenced and we expect to continue to harvest while the temperatures and weather permits.”

He added, “Kwanza has proved in these past few years to have an excellent sweet flavour and large sized berries with a bright and attractive colour which really makes them stand out from the rest.”

Meiosis describes the variety as, “An exciting new primocane raspberry with excellent yields for autumn cropping. Kwanza produces fruit of superb size, quality, flavour and shelf life.”

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