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Evolution and InnovationSave Biodiversity...Rise

Kiwis



 

The kiwifruit or Chinese gooseberry (often shortened to kiwi), is the edible berry of a woody vine in the genus Actinidia.[1]

The most common cultivar group of kiwifruit ('Hayward')[2] is oval, about the size of a large hen's egg (5–8 cm (2.0–3.1 in) in length and 4.5–5.5 cm (1.8–2.2 in) in diameter). It has a fibrous, dull greenish-brown skin and bright green or golden flesh with rows of tiny, black, edible seeds. The fruit has a soft texture and a sweet but unique flavor, and today is a commercial crop in several countries, such as ItalyNew ZealandChileGreece, and France.[3]

Cultivars


 

Hexagonal slices of red-ringed kiwifruit (A. chinensis)[7][8]

The genus Actinidia contains around 60 species. Though most kiwifruit are easily recognized as kiwifruit (due to basic shape) their fruit is quite variable. The skin of the fruit can vary in size, shape, hairiness, and color. The flesh can vary in color, juiciness, texture, and taste. Some fruits are unpalatable while others taste considerably better than the majority of the commercial varieties.[6][9]

The most common kiwifruit is the fuzzy kiwifruit, from the species A. deliciosa. Other species that are commonly eaten include golden kiwifruit (A. chinensis), Chinese egg gooseberry (A. coriacea), baby kiwifruit (A. arguta), Arctic kiwifruit (A. kolomikta), red kiwifruit (A. melanandra), silver vine (A. polygama), purple kiwifruit (A. purpurea).[9]

Fuzzy kiwifruit

 

A close-up view of fuzzy kiwi skin

Almost all kiwifruit sold belong to a few cultivars of fuzzy kiwi (Actinidia deliciosa): 'Hayward', 'Blake', and 'Saanichton 12'.[1] They have a fuzzy, dull-brown skin, and bright-green flesh. The familiar cultivar 'Hayward' was developed by Hayward Wright in Avondale, New Zealand, around 1924.[9] It was initially grown in domestic gardens, but commercial planting began in the 1940s.

 

'Hayward' is the most commonly available cultivar in stores. It is a large, egg-shaped fruit with a sweet flavor. 'Saanichton 12', from British Columbia, is somewhat more rectangular than 'Hayward' and comparably sweet, but the inner core of the fruit can be tough. 'Blake' can self-pollinate, but it has a smaller, more oval fruit and the flavor is considered inferior.[1][9]

 

Cultivation


 

Kiwifruit growing on supported vine

Kiwifruit can be grown in most temperate climates with adequate summer heat. Where fuzzy kiwi (A. deliciosa) is not hardy, other species can be grown as substitutes.

Kiwifruit is commercially grown on sturdy support structures, as it can produce several tonnes per hectare, more than the rather weak vines can support. These are generally equipped with a watering system for irrigation and frost protection in the spring. Kiwifruit vines require vigorous pruning, similar to that of grapevines. Fruit is borne on one-year-old and older canes, but production declines as each cane ages. Canes should be pruned off and replaced after their third year.[6]

Pollination

 

Hort16a kiwifruit at flowering

Most of the plants require a male plant to pollinate a female plant for the female plant to produce fruit (dioecious). For a good yield of fruit, one male vine for every three to eight female vines is required.[6] Other varieties can self pollinate, but they produce a greater and more reliable yield when pollinated by male kiwifruit vines.[6]

Kiwifruit is notoriously difficult to pollinate, because the flowers are not very attractive to bees. Some producers blow collected pollen over the female flowers. Generally, the most successful approach, though, is saturation pollination, where the bee populations are made so large (by placing hives in the orchards at a concentration of about 8 hives per hectare) that bees are forced to use this flower because of intense competition for all flowers within flight distance.[6]

 

 

Health Benefits 

Kiwifruits, or kiwi, is an edible berry about the size of a chicken egg. It features a fuzzy peel that surrounds a green fruit with black seeds and a creamy white center. Kiwis taste slightly sweet and tangy with a creamy texture. It is available year-round in most grocery stores and is often eaten alone or as part of a salad, on fruit tarts or in smoothies. In addition to counting as 1/2 cup, or one serving, of fruit, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Guide Pyramid, kiwis offer a wealth of nutrients.

Fiber

One cup of sliced kiwifruit provides 5g of fiber. The Institute of Medicine recommends most adult women consume at least 25g of fiber daily and men, 38g. Fiber can help fill you up, keep your digestive system running well and may help lower cholesterol.


Vitamins

In 1 cup of kiwi, you get over 270 percent of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, scavenging free radicals in your body to help prevent disease. It is also essential to the formation and repair of tissue, particularly cartilage, blood vessels, tendons and skin. Kiwi is also a source of vitamin K, with 1 cup offering 89 percent of the RDA. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting and absorption of vitamin D. Kiwi also provides 13 percent of the RDA for vitamin E and 11 percent for folate in a 1-cup serving.



Potassium

Potassium is a mineral that helps keep your body’s fluids and other minerals in balance. Too little potassium may lead to weakness, stroke and irregular heartbeat. One cup of kiwi contains 552mg of potassium, more than the 467mg found in a small banana. A potassium-rich diet helps to control blood pressure.


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