Perfection Fresh Australia has the rights to commercialise the Merbeingold 2336 and Merbeingold 2350, two new seedless mandarin varieties bred by CSIRO, which were the first to be deliberately bred in Australia and the result of more than 20 years’ research and development.
Perfection Fresh and CSIRO are yet to allocate the varieties a brand name for commercial fruit sales.
Perfection Fresh is seeking expressions of interest from experienced citrus growers to produce the mandarins. The licence allows the company to manage the production and supply of these varieties and growers will be registered to produce the fruit and supply it to the company.
The two varieties originated from a series of controlled crosses first devised by CSIRO in 1984 to recombine the characteristics of popular Imperial and Ellendale mandarins for selection under Australian conditions. They have slightly different traits that contribute to their seedless characteristic and registered growers will be provided with information to maximise the production of seedless fruit.
The seedless Merbeingold 2336 matures from June to July and Merbeingold 2350 during late July to August.
Because the varieties will be marketed under one brand name, this effectively increases the seasonal availability of the new seedless mandarins from June to August. The ability of these new varieties to store for eight weeks extends the season even further.
Both varieties produce bright-orange, sweet, juicy and easy-to-peel fruits which readily separate into segments with thin, yet robust skins which will suit export conditions.