Taste is primarily driven by the amount of sugars and acids in the fruit. Both sugars and acids are detected by our tongues with sugars providing the ‘sweetness’ and acids giving the tangy, zesty taste associated with kiwifruit.
One of the measures of taste developed from market research undertaken by Zespri has been the measure of dry matter reflecting the amount of carbohydrates in the fruit. Dry matter (DM) is the dry weight of kiwifruit or the measurement of mass when kiwifruit is completely dried.
In an effort to enhance the overall quality of Zespri kiwifruit, the Taste Zespri programme was launched in 2001. Taste Zespri Grade (TZG) was originally based on the premise that Japanese consumers preferred a sweeter tasting kiwifruit and were prepared to pay for it. The objective of TZG is to produce the best-tasting kiwifruit in each segment (Green, Gold, Red etc.) and for this superior taste experience to be consistently delivered to the consumer.
To achieve this objective, Zespri has integrated ‘Taste’ as a commercial target for improved product delivery. Through consumer research, acceptance and preference thresholds for all commercial cultivars have been established. A maturity criteria programme and payment mechanism have been developed to incentivise growers to grow fruit that is aligned to market requirements (See Payments and Incentives).
NZKGI’s Taste Review Group members are; Dermott Malley (Chair), Evan Heywood, Richard Glen, Mark Mayston, Doug Brown and Mike Smith. Feel free to contact Dermott should you have any questions regarding Taste.