Home' Grower : May 2013 Contents The South Australian Grower – May 2013
In this month’s issue:
Fresh fruit slices bag market share
SPC Ardmona has launched fresh fruit slices in a
bag onto the market, labelled Goulburn Valley
Fresh, in a venture requiring investment into a
14-person, $10 million unit at its Mooroopna
The company secured the exclusive licence for
Australia and New Zealand last year.
Consumers have a choice between green
(granny smith) or red apples (sundowner, gala or
pink lady), largely sourced from the Goulburn
Goulburn has reportedly committed to only
using Australian fruit, and seasonal conditions
will dictate which region the fruit is sourced
The manufacturing process prevents apples
from browning after they are cut open, by using
calcium ascorbate (a natural form of Vitamin C)
as an anti-oxidant. Calcium chloride is used as a
firming agent to ensure the apple slices stay
crunchy. Both are approved food additives.
Fruit is cut by four coring and slicing machines.
Once sliced, the fruit moves to a colour-sorting
machine which uses high-speed photography to
detect and reject slices that may have a blemish.
From there, the sliced fruit undergoes a unique
process that extends its shelf-life. The treatment,
which uses no artificial preservatives or
chemicals, ensures minimal losses to the aroma,
juiciness, physical freshness and appearance of
the fresh cut apples.
The slices are then bagged in an inert
atmosphere to prevent oxidation.
SPC Ardmona say the pre-packaged fruit
snacks represent one of the biggest innovations
for SPC Ardmona during recent years.
Goulburn Valley Fresh will be sold in
supermarkets and convenience stores and
marketed as a super convenient snack.
Source: Country News (mme.com.au)
Test kit for blotch
UNIVERSITY of Adelaide researchers
are working to prevent the introduc-
tion of a potentially devastating new
grapevine virus into Australia.
Waite Diagnostics, at the University’s
Waite Campus, has developed a diagnostic
test kit for the detection of grapevine red
blotch-associated virus using DNA analysis.
GRBaV was discovered and first reported
in the United States in October last year,
and is regarded as potentially far more dam-
aging than the grapevine leafroll-associated
viruses which are established in Australia.
“Viruses in grapevines are insidious and
often cause serious diseases which affect pro-
duction and quality, and can even result in
vine death,” says Prof John Randles,
Director of Waite Diagnostics.
“We don’t have any way of immunising
plants like we can with animals and so we
need to employ different methods of control
which require detailed knowledge of the
virus’ biological properties.”
University of Adelaide grapevine virologist
Nuredin Habili said the grapevine red
blotch disease was the most recently recog-
nised grapevine disease to date, and is appar-
ently widespread in the US.
It significantly cuts the levels of grape sugar
by up to five brix (a measure of sugar con-
tent), reducing suitability for wine-making.
The symptoms of the red blotch disease
resemble those of leafroll disease, with unex-
plained reddening of the leaves and, on
white varieties, leaf curling and chlorosis,
but the depressing effect on sugar content is
“The question is, do we already have this
▲ The grapevine red blotch-associated virus
significantly reduces grape sugar levels.
Photo: M R Sudarshana, United States
Department of Agriculture-Agricultural
virus in Australia?” Dr Habili said.
“If not, we need to import cuttings under
tight biosecurity conditions. All cuttings
imported from the United States or Canada
should be tested before being released from
Waite Diagnostics has tested 10 grapevine
varieties from Australian vineyards and they
have all tested negative.
The diagnostic test uses a specific ‘primer’
or piece of genetic material which recognises
the matching DNA sequence of the virus, if
present, allowing screening of cuttings.
“Viruses are ver y difficult to identify, the
symptoms of virus infection in grapevine all
look like each other,” Prof Randles said.
“With this latest technology using DNA
analysis, we now have 12 different tests for
grapevine viruses and phytoplasmas. Our
diagnostic kits already go all over the world.”
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General manager: Joe Wallman
Editor-in-chief: Peter Brady
Production editor: Percy Henry
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