Kiwi

History:

The kiwi is a small fruit in brown color with tiny coat on its skin and the green color of its inner tissue is very beautiful. The kiwi originates from a valley in China, later exported to New Zealand, where it now has a major share in world kiwi production. Kiwi has a very tasty fruit and taste similar to bananas, grapes and pineapples. Initially, it was a native plant in southern China. It was then taken to New Zealand at the beginning of the 20th century and cultivated commercially there. The name of the plant comes from a beautiful bird that was a national bird in New Zealand in the 1960s.

Production in Iran:

In Iran, in 1969, the first kiwifruit was planted in Ramsar. In Iran, this fruit is currently cultivated in three provinces of Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan on the Caspian coast and is added annually to its cultivated area. Today, kiwi is one of the export products of Iran. According to ISNA News Agency in 2012, Mazandaran (Tonekabon and its suburbs) with an annual production of more than 110 thousand ton of kiwi, was known as the kiwi production pole in Iran. And Gilan province (Talesh and its suburbs) became the second largest producer of kiwi with annual production of more than 70 thousand tons of kiwi. According to the Agricultural jihad of Talesh, in 2015, of two thousand two hundred and fifty acres under cultivation, 63 thousand tons of golden Hayward kiwi crops were harvested.

Kiwi health benefits:

Patients with asthma can consume a kiwi daily to improve their breathing. Kiwi makes digestion easier in the body and protein is easily digested in the intestine and people with digestive disorders use kiwi. Because kiwi is high in vitamin C, it boots the immune system. Blood pressure in people with high blood pressure is reduced by kiwifruit and it makes you have a normal blood pressure. Kiwi prevents blood in the arteries of the heart. People who have bad blood cholesterol can prevent stroke by kiwifruit and make their blood thinner. People who have weak eyes can eat their kiwifruit to increase their eyesight and prevent their eyes from becoming weak, as kiwi has a large amount of vitamin A, which is very useful for the eyes. Kiwi is the most ideal fruit to deal with today’s diseases. The high volume of vitamin C in it, made kiwi to counter anxiety and nervous states. Kiwi reduces stress so that it allows us to feel better and be stronger in face of the challenges and obstacles of daily life.

Nutritional Value:

Kiwi is a rich source of vitamin C which of the 100 grams, 98 grams of it is vitamin C and the amount of vitamin C is higher than oranges and its black seeds contain vitamin D. kiwi also contains vitamin A and B vitamins. Kiwi is one of the low-calorie fruits that can be classified as useful fruits.

Kiwifruit (often shortened to kiwi outside Australia and New Zealand), or Chinese gooseberry, is the edible berry of several species of woody vines in the genus Actinidia. The most common cultivar group of kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa ‘Hayward’) is oval, about the size of a large hen’s egg (5–8 cm (2.0–3.1 in) in length and 4.5–5.5 cm (1.8–2.2 in) in diameter). It has a thin, hair-like, fibrous, sour-but-edible light brown skin and light green or golden flesh with rows of tiny, black, edible seeds. The fruit has a soft texture with a sweet and unique flavour. In 2017, China produced 50% of the world total of kiwifruit.

Early varieties were described in a 1904 nursery catalogue as having “…edible fruits the size of walnuts, and the flavour of ripe gooseberries”, leading to the name Chinese gooseberry. In 1962, New Zealand growers began calling it “kiwifruit” for export marketing, a name commercially adopted in 1974. In New Zealand and Australia, the word “kiwi” refers to the kiwi bird or is used as a nickname for New Zealanders; it is almost never used to refer to the fruit. Kiwifruit has since become a common name for all commercially grown green kiwifruit from the genus Actinidia.

Kiwifruit is native to north-central and eastern China. The first recorded description of the kiwifruit dates to 12th century China during the Song dynasty. As it was usually collected from the wild and consumed for medicinal purposes, the plant was rarely cultivated or bred. Cultivation of kiwifruit spread from China in the early 20th century to New Zealand, where the first commercial plantings occurred. The fruit became popular with British and American servicemen stationed in New Zealand during World War II, and was later exported, first to Great Britain and then to California in the 1960s.

In New Zealand during the 1940s and 1950s, the fruit became an agricultural commodity through the development of commercially viable cultivars, agricultural practices, shipping, storage, and marketing. Much of the breeding to refine the green kiwifruit and develop the gold Zespri was undertaken by the Plant & Food Research Institute (formerly HortResearch) during the decades of 1970-1999. In 1990, the New Zealand Kiwifruit Marketing Board opened an office for Europe in Antwerp, Belgium, which became the headquarters for European marketing of Zespri gold kiwifruit in 2010. The general name, “Zespri“, has been used for marketing of all green and gold cultivars of kiwifruit from New Zealand since 2012.

Species and cultivars

The genus Actinidia comprises around 60 species. Their fruits are quite variable, although most are easily recognised as kiwifruit because of their appearance and shape. The skin of the fruit varies in size, hairiness and colour. The flesh varies in colour, juiciness, texture and taste. Some fruits are unpalatable, while others taste considerably better than the majority of commercial cultivars.

The most commonly sold kiwifruit is derived from A. deliciosa (fuzzy kiwifruit). Other species that are commonly eaten include A. chinensis (golden kiwifruit), A. coriacea (Chinese egg gooseberry), A. arguta (hardy kiwifruit), A. kolomikta (Arctic kiwifruit), A. melanandra (purple kiwifruit), A. polygama (silver vine) and A. purpurea (hearty red kiwifruit).

Actinidia deliciosa

Most kiwifruit sold belongs to a few cultivars of A. deliciosa (fuzzy kiwifruit): ‘Hayward’, ‘Blake’ and ‘Saanichton 12’. They have a fuzzy, dull brown skin and bright green flesh. The familiar cultivar ‘Hayward’ was developed by Hayward Wright in Avondale, New Zealand, around 1924. It was initially grown in domestic gardens, but commercial planting began in the 1940s.

‘Hayward’ is the most commonly available cultivar in stores. It is a large, egg-shaped fruit with a sweet flavour. ‘Saanichton 12’, from British Columbia, is somewhat more rectangular than ‘Hayward’ and comparably sweet, but the inner core of the fruit can be tough. ‘Blake’ can self-pollinate, but it has a smaller, more oval fruit and the flavour is considered inferior.

Kiwi berries

Kiwi berries are edible berry- or grape-sized fruits similar to fuzzy kiwifruit in taste and appearance, but with thin, smooth green skin. They are primarily produced by three species: Actinidia arguta (hardy kiwi), A. kolomikta (Arctic kiwifruit) and A. polygama (silver vine). They are fast-growing, climbing vines, durable over their growing season. They are referred to as kiwi berry, baby kiwi, dessert kiwi, grape kiwi, or cocktail kiwi.

The cultivar ‘Issai’ is a hybrid of hardy kiwi and silver vine which can self-pollinate. Grown commercially because of its relatively large fruit, ‘Issai’ is less hardy than most hardy kiwi.

Actinidia chinensis

Actinidia chinensis (golden kiwifruit) has a smooth, bronze skin, with a beak shape at the stem attachment. Flesh colour varies from bright green to a clear, intense yellow. This species is sweeter and more aromatic in flavour compared to A. deliciosa, similar to some subtropical fruits. One of the most attractive varieties has a red ‘iris’ around the centre of the fruit and yellow flesh outside. The yellow fruit obtains a higher market price and, being less hairy than the fuzzy kiwifruit, is more palatable for consumption without peeling.

A commercially viable variety of this red-ringed kiwifruit, patented as EnzaRed, is a cultivar of the Chinese hong yang variety.

‘Hort16A’ is a golden kiwifruit cultivar marketed worldwide as Zespri Gold. This cultivar has suffered significant losses in New Zealand from late 2010 to 2013 due to the PSA bacterium. A new cultivar of golden kiwifruit, Gold3, has been found to be more disease-resistant and most growers have now changed to this cultivar. ‘Gold3’, marketed by Zespri as SunGold is not quite as sweet as the previous ‘Hort16A’, having a sour flavour, and lacks the usually slightly pointed tip of ‘Hort16A’.

Cultivation

Kiwifruit can be grown in most temperate climates with adequate summer heat. Where fuzzy kiwifruit (A. deliciosa) is not hardy, other species can be grown as substitutes.

Breeding

Often in commercial farming, different breeds are used for rootstock, fruit bearing plants and pollinators. Therefore, the seeds produced are crossbreeds of their parents. Even if the same breeds are used for pollinators and fruit bearing plants, there is no guarantee that the fruit will have the same quality as the parent. Additionally, seedlings take seven years before they flower, so determining whether the kiwi is fruit bearing or a pollinator is time consuming. Therefore, most kiwifruits, with the exception of rootstock and new cultivars, are propagated asexually. This is done by grafting the fruit producing plant onto rootstock grown from seedlings or, if the plant is desired to be a true cultivar, rootstock grown from cuttings of a mature plant.

Pollination

Kiwifruit plants generally are dioecious, meaning a plant is either male or female. The male plants have flowers that produce pollen, the females receive the pollen to fertilise their ovules and grow fruit; most kiwifruit requires a male plant to pollinate the female plant. For a good yield of fruit, one male vine for every three to eight female vines is considered adequate. Some varieties can self-pollinate, but even they produce a greater and more reliable yield when pollinated by male kiwifruit. Cross-species pollination is often (but not always) successful as long as bloom times are synchronised.

In nature, the species are pollinated by birds and native bumblebees, which visit the flowers for pollen, not nectar. The female flowers produce fake anthers with what appears to be pollen on the tips in order to attract the pollinators, although these fake anthers lack the DNA and food value of the male anthers.

Kiwifruit growers rely on honey bees, the principal ‘for-hire’ pollinator. But commercially grown kiwifruit is notoriously difficult to pollinate. The flowers are not very attractive to honey bees, in part because the flowers do not produce nectar and bees quickly learn to prefer flowers with nectar.

And for kiwifruit, honey bees are inefficient cross-pollinators because they practice “floral fidelity”. Each honey bee visits only a single type of flower in any foray and maybe only a few branches of a single plant. The pollen needed from a different plant (such as a male for a female kiwifruit) might never reach it were it not for the cross-pollination that principally occurs in the crowded colony. It is in the colonies where bees laden with different pollen literally cross paths.

To deal with these pollination challenges, some producers blow collected pollen over the female flowers. Most common, though, is saturation pollination, where the honey bee populations are made so large (by placing hives in the orchards at a concentration of about 8 hives per hectare) that bees are forced to use this flower because of intense competition for all flowers within flight distance.

Maturation and harvest

Kiwifruit is picked by hand and commercially grown on sturdy support structures, as it can produce several tonnes per hectare, more than the rather weak vines can support. These are generally equipped with a watering system for irrigation and frost protection in the spring.

Kiwifruit vines require vigorous pruning, similar to that of grapevines. Fruit is borne on one-year-old and older canes, but production declines as each cane ages. Canes should be pruned off and replaced after their third year. In the northern hemisphere the fruit ripens in November, while in the southern it ripens in May. Four-year-old plants can produce up to 14,000 lbs per acre while eight-year-old plants can produce 18,000 lbs per acre. The plants produce their maximum at 8 to 10 years old. The seasonal yields are variable, a heavy crop on a vine one season generally comes with a light crop the following season.

Storage

Fruits harvested when firm will ripen when stored properly for long periods. This allows fruit to be sent to market up to 8 weeks after harvest.

Firm kiwifruit ripens after a few days to a week when stored at room temperature, but should not be kept in direct sunlight. Faster ripening occurs when placed in a paper bag with an apple, pear, or banana. Once a kiwifruit is ripe, however, it is preserved optimally when stored far from other fruits, as it is very sensitive to the ethylene gas they may emit, thereby tending to over-ripen even in the refrigerator. If stored appropriately, ripe kiwifruit normally keep for about one to two weeks.

Pests and diseases

Pseudomonas syringae actinidiae (PSA) was first identified in Japan in the 1980s. This bacterial strain has been controlled and managed successfully in orchards in Asia. In 1992, it was found in northern Italy. In 2007/2008, economic losses were observed, as a more virulent strain became more dominant (PSA V). In 2010 it was found in New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty kiwifruit orchards in the North Island.

Scientists reported they had worked out the strain of PSA affecting kiwifruit from New Zealand, Italy and Chile originated in China.

Production 

In 2017, global production of kiwifruit was 4.04 million tonnes, led by China with 50% of the world total (table). Italy, New Zealand, Iran, and Chile were other major producers. In China, kiwifruit is grown mainly in the mountainous area upstream of the Yangtze River, as well as Sichuan.

Production history

Kiwifruit exports rapidly increased from the late 1960s to early 1970s in New Zealand. By 1976, exports exceeded the amount consumed domestically. Outside of Australasia, New Zealand kiwifruit are marketed under the brand-name label, Zespri.

In the 1980s, countries outside New Zealand began to export kiwifruit. In Italy, the infrastructure and techniques required to support grape production were adapted to the kiwifruit. This, coupled with being close to the European kiwifruit market, led to Italians becoming the leading producer of kiwifruit in 1989. The growing season of Italian kiwifruit does not overlap much with the New Zealand or the Chilean growing seasons, therefore direct competition between New Zealand or Chile was not a significant factor.

In 2017, New Zealand growers were acquiring additional land to grow Zespri gold kiwifruit under rising costs for a Zespri license to meet global demand for the gold cultivar.

Nutrition

In a 100-gram amount, green kiwifruit provides 61 calories, is 83% water and 15% carbohydrates, with negligible protein and fat (table). It is particularly rich (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) in vitamin C (112% DV) and vitamin K (38% DV), has a moderate content of vitamin E (10% DV), with no other micronutrients in significant content. Gold kiwifruit has similar nutritional value, although only vitamin C has high content in a 100-gram amount (194% DV, table).

Kiwifruit seed oil contains on average 62% alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. Kiwifruit pulp contains carotenoids, such as provitamin A beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Allergies

The actinidain found in kiwifruit can be an allergen for some individuals, including children. The most common symptoms are unpleasant itching and soreness of the mouth, with wheezing as the most common severe symptom; anaphylaxis may occur.

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