Blueberry Growth Pt 1

Blueberry Growth Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Surfs up as blueberry harvest gets underway here in the Pacific Northwest, again, with a surge in production numbers.

Washington Blueberry Commission Executive Director, Alan Schreiber says it’s been a trend for some time now that many are calling, the ‘Blue Wave’ …

SCHREIBER … “It’s both official and unofficial, the ‘Blue Wave’ or the ‘Blue Crush.’ I think, I don’t know, since 2006 in Washington, every year but two, we’ve had ever-increasing levels of production and overall, across the United States we’re seeing a ramp up in the volume of blueberries harvested.”

But, Schreiber says that might not be the biggest news …

SCHREIBER … “It’s quite a remarkable story, but the more remarkable story is the fact the consumption of blueberries has kept up with production. I mean, the per-capita increase in blueberry consumption in the last 10-years has virtually doubled.”

So I asked Schreiber, why the surge? …

SCHREIBER … “I can tell you two things, in general, what has happened is fresh consumption of blueberries has increased remarkably and we’re seeing blueberries in products like we’ve never seen before. You know, blueberry ice-cream, blueberry yogurt, a lot of blueberry dairy-type things and we’re seeing them in places like pet food, for example.”

Schreiber says, during the pandemic, there’s also been a growing demand for frozen blueberries as people stock up for the long haul.

Tune in tomorrow for more on the surge in blueberry production.


BL: Welcome back to another “Fruit Bites” brought to you by Valent U.S.A. With us once again is Valent’s Allison Walston. And this week Allison, the talk isn’t about my hair, but an apple disorder called greasiness.

AW: Some apple varieties can become and look greasy during storage. This apple disorder isn’t appealing to the average customer. Skin greasiness in apples is known to be associated with ripening and can appear during long term storage or in the field before harvest.

BL: What causes this greasiness?

AW: A separation of the two layers of the cuticle. Apples are covered by waxy-cuticle layers that protect against the environment and minimizing water loss. Basically, as the apple matures, the ethylene given off creates greasy esters, melting the waxy layer and separating it. It makes the surface of the apple look and feel greasy. If we can slow ethylene maturation down, the fruit in storage might not develop greasiness.

BL: Well, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I’m Bob Larson.

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