Although in this last period on the subject of berries we talk mainly about blueberry and the explosion of its consumption, raspberries also remain one of the main pillars of this category of fruit and vegetables.
In fact, we can also place it in second place in relation to the share of sales in the large-scale retail trade, both for its beneficial and taste properties and for its versatility in the kitchen.
The interest in investing resources to improve the production and quality standards of the fruit has become, especially in recent years, a challenge in order to meet the problems and the rapid development that this product is going through.
As with all species, the choice of variety is an essential aspect: there is a need for producers to have varieties that are sustainable both in economic terms (better performing and reducing management, cultivation and harvesting costs) and in environmental terms (more resistant cultivars).
MAIN CHARACTERISTICS REQUIRED FOR A RASPBERRY CULTIVAR
The main characteristics on the basis of which a raspberry clutivar is evaluated are:
- an acceptable size,
- good colour and flavour of the fruit,
- a good consistency so that it does not spoil during harvesting and processing,
- the plant's resistance to disease and climatic adversity,
- a satisfactory production yield ,
- scalable ripening and ease of detachment of the fruit, which can guarantee harvesting from the limited labour available and increasingly difficult to find.
Breeding programmes are focused on both re-flowering and uniformer varieties, but the main demand from growers is to increase the quality of the re-flowering compared to the uniformer. Raspberry varieties can be divided into two large families: uniformer varieties that fruit once a year on the previous year's shoots and re-flowering varieties that fruit twice a year on both the previous year's shoots and the current year's suckers.
The varieties cultivated today are all re-flowering (bifers) and therefore bear fruit twice a year.
Many companies are carrying out genetic improvement activities with the aim of finding the 'perfect' variety.
Of course, by perfect variety we mean raspberries with organoleptic qualities, size, shelf-life and hardness that are best suited to the whole process of processing and distribution that the product has to undergo and that can best satisfy the end consumer.
S. ORSOLA COOPERATIVE
Over the years, Sant'Orsola has developed a number of varieties, which are now registered and present on all five continents: Amaranta, Atena, Dafne, Lagorai Plus, Titania and several others.
MOLARI - BERRIES & BREEDING
Over the years, Molari Berries & Breeding has capitalised on its expertise and knowledge of market needs, patenting dozens of varieties that are distributed worldwide.
Raspberries, characterised by high productivity, quality and shelf-life, are today the company's flagship product with three important international patents: Enrosadira®, Castion® and Aurora®, Dorotea®, Halley®.
- ENROSADIRA®: characterised by a high earliness, which allows an earlier summer production. The fruit qualities are excellent and the shelf life extraordinary.
- CASTION®: Characterised by a medium ripening period. The fruit is characterised by a bright red colour and an excellent flavour.
- AURORA®: Characterised by excellent productivity, its ripening period is late. Aurora is an important novelty in the varietal landscape because of its excellent fruit qualities.
The Berrytech project, initiated by the Berryplant nursery, started in the 1980s by Ilario Ioriatti and from the first patents on Amira®, Regina® and Primalba®, we have arrived at the most recent varieties that are enjoying great success: Eros®, Optima® and Clarita®.
Planasa, a leader in the development of new varieties of berries that meet the demand of growers and end consumers in different markets, has research and development centres located in various geographical areas. In 2013, it launched the raspberry variety Adelita, which quickly became popular.
- ADELITA®: Characterised by a large fruit size and hardness which results in an excellent shelf life. Very rustic variety that can resist insect and fungal attacks.
- LUPITA®: Characterised by a very attractive, bright red fruit. This variety is also characterised by a high rusticity and a high yield.
- LOLITA®: Characterised by a light red colour and a sweet taste. The plant is resistant to fungi, mites and insects.
HERITAGE: Characterised by a light red fruit, good size and slightly elongated shape. It is a medium-late variety.
TULAMEEN: Fruit characterised by its bright red colour and excellent flavour. It is one of the most popular raspberry cultivars as it has an intermediate ripening period with a very long harvest time.
EVITA®: Raspberry variety created and patented in Italy by Soc. Agr. Sant'Orsola. Very big, bright and regular fruit. The ripening time is medium-late and the productivity is excellent.
While for blueberry the Italian producer is still almost totally dependent on varieties from foreign breeding programmes, this is not the case for raspberries: there are many Italian breeding projects working with the aim of finding better performing cultivars.