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In search of the perfect fruit

Breeding hybrids is a pain-staking and slow process, with a new fruit that makes it to market coming maybe once in 1,000 tries, fruit breeders and growers say.

From the Wall Street Journal:

For 50 years, the Zaiger family has been striving for a perfect piece of fruit: juicy like a plum, but not as messy. Sweeter, too, with a cherry snap.

Hybrid fruit is a potentially lucrative, and delicious, market. Fruit growers are motivated by the lure of inventing a product that commands premium prices, from 50 cents to $1 or more per pound than conventional fruit. The breeders are also aiming for fruit that will have a longer harvest period to be available to shoppers longer. And with the rise in cooking styles that celebrate the ingredients, American consumers are demonstrating a willingness to spend more on food and a desire to hear the stories behind their produce.

Breeding hybrids is a pain-staking and slow process, with a new fruit that makes it to market coming maybe once in 1,000 tries, fruit breeders and growers say. If successful, the Zaigers' genetic cross of plum and cherry would join the Pluot and Aprium—combinations of plum and apricot—in the firm's array of hybrid fruits available in produce aisles world-wide.

For more, see: When Apricot Met Plum...

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