KIWIFRUIT - The kiwifruit, which was originally native to China and is therefore sometimes known as Chinese gooseberry, belongs to the family Actinidiaceae. It is named after the New Zealand ostrich-like bird.
Like grapevines, kiwi plants grow on plant supports, to which their very long creeping branches are secured.
The berry fruit has an elongated oval shape and may be up to 10 cm long, 5 cm wide and 100 g in weight. It has a hard, inedible skin, which is initially green and becomes brown as the fruit ripens and which is covered in short brown hairs. The hairs serve to protect the fruit from excessive water loss by evaporation. The pulp is soft and contains a large number of small seeds. The kiwifruit has one of the highest vitamin C contents of any fruit (up to 380 mg/100 g).
Kiwifruit are harvested at the preclimacteric stage (picking ripeness), to ensure the longest possible storage and transport life. One way of determining the stage of ripeness is the color and size of the fruit. These days, however, the ripeness criterion commonly applied is the Brix value, which is a measure of the sugar/acid ratio of the juice. New Zealand law states, for instance, that a minimum value of 6.25% must be reached before harvest can begin. The fruit is ready to eat when it yields under light finger pressure.
Ripening may be greatly accelerated by storing the kiwifruit in a closed room together with fruit which produces large quantities of ethylene (e.g. apples).
Kiwifruit are harvested by hand owing to their high sensitivity
- Commodity Name:
VEGETABLES AND FRUIT (Fresh)