19 May 2011

Ways to extend shelf life of feijoas sought

4:47 am on 19 May 2011

Feijoa growers are exploring new techniques to extend the shelf life of their fruit for export.

There are currently about 200 commercial feijoa growers in the country producing up to 1000 tonnes per year. But only about 5% is exported, mainly to Australia.

The Feijoa Growers Association says the small industry needs to develop its export markets in order to stay profitable.

President Tim Harper says the soft fruit has a short shelf life which limits transport and marketing times.

Mr Harper says the association is working with agrichemical companies to try and develop a product that treats the fruit for pests and diseases, but also improves its storage life without impacting on quality and taste.

He says feijoas are only grown in abundance in New Zealand and South America, and other countries have to be shown and taught how to eat the fruit.