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Australian growers develop super-pineapple

09-07-2010 14:30 BJT

CANBERRA, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Up until now the pineapples Australians have eaten have been derived from those brought in from overseas, but Australian scientists on Tuesday officially introduced the first true blue Australian pineapple, with twice as much vitamin C as regular varieties.

Garth Sanewski, a horticulturalist with the Queensland Department of Innovation, led a 15-year project to breed the super- fruit.

"We've used conventional cross pollination ... so we use pollen from one favored variety and fertilize with another favored variety to produce seed, plant those out and pick out the best of those - no genetic modification whatsoever," Sanewski told ABC News on Tuesday.

The new variety is known as Australian Jubilee.

Its creators said it not only looks and tastes better, but it has a higher concentration of vitamin C.

"It's about 25mg (of vitamin C) per 100ml of juice - so that's a little bit less than orange juice, but it's about double that of what a normal pineapple is," Sanewski said.

The pineapple industry is worth 70 million dollars (64 million U.S. dollars) a year to the Australian state Queensland economy.

Queensland Minister for Primary Industries Tim Mulherin said Tuesday's commercial launch of the pineapple marks a new future for the fruit.

"The origins of the pineapple go back to when Christopher Columbus went to the Americas and came back with the pineapple and it's spread through Spain, the Philippines, and into Hawaii," Mulherin told ABC News.

"The Queensland industry has relied on Hawaiian-bred varieties, but this variety has been bred for Queensland conditions.

"It's truly our first ever born-and-bred pineapple."

Gympie pineapple farmer Chris Doyle said public tastings of the new fruit have already proven positive.

"I've just come back from the Brisbane Royal Show three weeks ago and over a 10-day period we gave out 10 tons of pineapple," he said.

"They just said 'where can we get this variety?'

"They were so impressed with the winter sweet ones and once you 've eaten one you won't go back to a normal old-fashioned pineapple."

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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