Consumer driven selection of red bayberry cultivars for Australia
Red bayberry (Myrica rubra) is a summer season fruit crop traditionally grown in Zhejiang and nearby provinces of China. The fruit is typically deep red in colour when ripe and is about the size of a lychee fruit. It has a soft, juicy texture and a central seed approximately the size of a cherry stone. It is best consumed fresh. However, there are also markets for its processed products. Potential exists to establish a red bayberry industry in Australia. Initial field trials showed that red bayberry performs well in the subtopics of Queensland. There, some cultivars yield >40 kg tree-1. A consumer driven approach was applied to the selection of red bayberry cultivars suited to the Australian marketplace. Queensland-grown fruit of four high yielding cultivars were assessed by a trained consumer panel for flavour, texture, and appearance. Good overall likability scores were recorded for three of the cultivars. A second survey involving untrained panellists found that Australian consumers consider red bayberry fruit to be attractive with an agreeable taste and a novel texture. In both studies, consumers anticipated that red bayberry would be found in the berry fruit section of fruit and vegetable shops and be priced similarly to strawberries.
Perkins, M.L., Turner, C. and Joyce, D.C. (2016). Consumer driven selection of red bayberry cultivars for Australia. Acta Hortic. 1120, 455-458
Chinese bayberry, consumer acceptance, flavour, Myrica rubra, sensory evaluation, texture, yang mei