KIWIFRUIT SKINS: THE FRUIT'S NATURAL PACKAGING
Fruit skins perform similar functions to artificial packaging, protecting and identifying the product. Ideally, this packaging should allow easy access to the product, that is the fruit flesh. However, skins of commercial kiwifruit are relatively unpalatable and unpeelable, and thus kiwifruit is not perceived as a convenient product. Observation of fruit of many members of the genus Actinidia has shown that relatives of the kiwifruit have a wide range of fruit skin characteristics that include both thin edible skins and thicker peelable skins. Thus in the fruit of A. arguta, the skin comprises a relatively thin walled epidermis above a one to two cell hypodermis that is easily eaten whilst in A. eriantha skin structure is a much more complex structure of hairs, collapsed and uncollapsed suberised dead cells, and multiple layers of thick walled collenchyma-like hypodermal cells. Fruit of A. chinensis and A. indochinensis consistently show a zone of stone cells below the skin. The ability to peel the skin from the flesh does not appear to be associated with any specific structural features but does appear to be associated with differences in localisation of pectins in the flesh.
Hallett, I.C. and Sutherland, P.W. (2007). KIWIFRUIT SKINS: THE FRUIT'S NATURAL PACKAGING. Acta Hortic. 753, 89-96
peeling, convenience, pectin, Actinidia deliciosa, Actinidia chinensis, Actinidia arguta, Actinidia indochinensis, Actinidia eriantha