PROS AND CONS OF JAPANESE QUINCE (CHAENOMELES JAPONICA) ¿ AN UNDERUTILIZED POME FRUIT

K. Rumpunen
Japanese quince is an East Asian Rosaceaous species closely related to quince, pear and apple, mostly used as an ornamental plant being appreciated for its beautiful flowers. During the 1980s it was introduced as a minor fruit crop (propagated by seeds), primarily in Latvia and Lithuania, and cultivated at most on 400 ha. Although Japanese quince was successfully introduced in cultivation, there was an obvious need to start crop improvement projects, e.g., to develop cultivars that would facilitate high quality fruit production in the future. Therefore, a detailed study of different aspects of the crop was considered necessary and a research project involving breeding institutes, universities and food industries in seven European countries was initiated and supported by the European Commission (FAIR-CT97-3894). This paper will report and discuss the most important results of the project as well as the outcome of the subsequent breeding efforts. It is clear that Japanese quince indeed has potential that could be explored commercially. Japanese quince plants are comparatively healthy (but susceptible to fire blight) and amenable to organic growing methods (but cannot compete with weeds). The short juvenile stage, the dwarf growth and the high yield of fruits, which are rich in juice, flavour, polyphenols and fruit fibre, and that it is most suitable for processing, contribute to the potential of the crop. Finally, and probably the most important factor: consumers very much appreciate the flavour of different Japanese quince products. Disadvantages e.g., are that the firm fruits must be picked by hand, handled with care during harvest and cannot be consumed fresh.
Rumpunen, K. (2011). PROS AND CONS OF JAPANESE QUINCE (CHAENOMELES JAPONICA) ¿ AN UNDERUTILIZED POME FRUIT . Acta Hortic. 918, 887-900
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.918.117
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2011.918.117
breeding, cultivation, diseases, diversity, domestication, pests, propagation
English

Acta Horticulturae