Kiwi Quality Through the Eyes of the Consumer
01 January 2017
It is now the season for the Italian Green Kiwifruit and in the lab at the moment we are continuously analysing the quality of this unassuming, yet popular, fruit.
Kiwifruit has a unique place in the fruit world with its sweet flavour and soft texture. It is also easy to prepare and eat.
When customers are buying kiwifruit, they want the best possible taste, which means a ripe and ready product, or one which can be ripe within three or four days of purchase. This can be a sensitive issue at the start of each season, as it is difficult to assess the eating quality of the fruit, especially if it is packaged in plastic.
Kiwifruit growers in Italy and Greece are rushing to begin their harvest during the coming weeks, so it is particularly important to maintain quality specification, both at harvest, and also in packing stations in Southern Europe. Immature and unripe fruit should not be harvested or exported, as they will not develop into a great tasting product, resulting in disappointment for the consumer.
The perfect kiwifruit needs to have the right firmness and sugar/acid balance. At Innovative Fresh, the most important measurements we carry out relate to brix, acidity and texture. The most common issues we encounter are to do with ripeness, underripe fruits are firm and sour, while overripe ones are soft and unpalatable.
Here at Innovative Fresh we continuously monitor the quality of kiwifruit on the retail shelf. In this way we continue to provide insight into the seasonal changes in quality. For both suppliers and retailers, we help to fine-tune sourcing programmes and quality specifications. This leads to improved eating quality for consumers.