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New apples cut it with consumers

Kim CousinsCountryman

Two new apple brands were available for buyers to try to buy at Perth City Markets this week - the red Kanzi and the non-browning Greenstar.

A cross between a Gala and a Braeburn, the Kanzi is one of the most popular varieties in Europe with production topping 40,000 this year.

The Greenstar, also developed in Europe, is a cross between the Delbarestival and Granny Smith varieties. It was developed to resist oxidisation which causes the browning when cut.

Des Muir, varietal manager with Greenstar Kanzi Australia and manager of Giston Consulting Services, said it had been a long process bringing the apple brands into Australia but they were proving successful.

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"It's taken 15 years to get them to commercialisation," he said. "Volumes are still relatively small - we have 250 tonnes across Australia, next year's estimate is 1000 tonnes.

"Sydney has been selling for one week and Melbourne for two weeks, both with good results."

In WA there are 20 hectares of the apples planted at Manjimup. Most of the Australian crop is being grown in Orange and Batlow in New South Wales and in South Australia's Adelaide Hills.

"Both the Kanzi and Greenstar are grower friendly in terms of production as well as being high yielding," Mr Muir said. "We're only planting them where we know they'll produce. You've got to select your areas."

The Kanzi and Greenstar originated in Belgium where the Kanzi is the second most popular apple brand after Pink Lady.

Mr Muir said the Greenstar, with its non-browning flesh, was proving a hit with kids.

"Nobody wants to eat a brown apple," he said. "The Greenstar has a high level of vitamin C in its flesh while in other apples it's in the skin. The vitamin C acts as a natural antioxidant.

"The Greenstar is also a sweet apple, returning 15 brix."

The apples, being marketed as premium products, are available at eight makor retailers and supermarkets.

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