PINEAPPLE BREEDING: FULFILLING EXPECTATIONS OF THE GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN
Pineapple breeding, as in breeding of many other fruit species, usually has selection criteria based on conventional traits like high yield and fruit quality, at least before the breeding programme begins. In modern day production from farm to fork for the global markets, however, these selection criteria are largely inadequate and should be expanded to cover the demands of an integrated system of good agricultural practices. This makes breeding more complicated as the breeder has to understand and address the demands at each segment of the total global supply chain. At the beginning stage (upstream) of the supply chain, the production of bona fide and disease-free planting materials are an important matter before start-up of the pineapple farm. For the breeder, the cultivar selected should produce at least one or two suckers for continuity in propagation. New cultivars should have consistent and high early yield, stability in performance over environments and seasons and pest and disease resistance that reduces the use of chemical pesticides. The fruit must be symmetrical in configuration with a small crown for efficient packing, have good ripening characteristics, extended shelf-life and the ability to withstand specific sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements demanded by some importing countries. At the downstream marketing end, the extended shelf-life for a longer display window is important, as is the cosmetic appeal of the fruit on display. Extended shelf-life with the ability to withstand transport by refrigerated sea-reefers will score better in Food Miles and Carbon Footprints compared with air-freighted produce. Finally, consumer demands for organoleptic traits like freshness, flavour (balance of sugar and acid for e.g.), sweetness, texture and visual traits like fruit cosmetics and colour have to be satisfied to ensure repeat purchases. Convenience in serving such as the peeling-eye pineapples and mini-core cultivars for fresh cut (minimally processed) pineapples to make consumption more ubiquitous should also be addressed. Many global markets now demand food safety and traceability through Good Agriculture Practices (e.g., Global GAP, Carrefour Quality Line (CQL)) and cultivars should be adapted to such cultural methods (low pesticide use, organically grown, etc.). Lately, consumers are starting to recognize the role of tropical fruits as exotic functional foods with high vitamins, anti-oxidants and other health attributes for wellness. Breeding therefore should address the improvement of these nutritional contents as well.
Chan, Y.K. (2011). PINEAPPLE BREEDING: FULFILLING EXPECTATIONS OF THE GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN . Acta Hortic. 902, 109-114
Ananas comosus, pineapple breeding, Malaysia, supply chain