The summer fruit delicacy: Blackberries

19 August 2022

The blackberry market is moving towards sweet eating varieties. With the consumer wanting more sweet blackberries on the market, the pressure on good varieties that produce superb blackberries with a low acidity level is rising. So what are the health benefits of blackberries and which ones are the sweetest? Let's have a look!

Sweet, succulent blackberries are an absolute summer delicacy and one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Blackberries are among the most antioxidant-rich foods which can improve brain function and reduce blood pressure. Apart from these amazing facts, blackberries are also low in calories and are rich in fibre, making them the perfect snack or a great addition to any meal. But the research in blackberries doesn’t end there. Currently there is research being done on the positve effects that blackberries have on gut health and common conditions such as IBS.

Sweet blackberries as a category didn’t really exist a few years ago, but with the careful breeding of blackberries in recent years, the fruits being bought in supermarkets are usually bigger, juicier and sweeter. Which in return grows the appetite for consumers regarding blackberries, with an estimated 25.5 million punnets sold last year in the UK alone, an eight per cent uplift on 2020, according to British Summer Fruits.

One of the most recent examples of better eating and sweet flavour blackberries is the variety Von, from North Carolina State University. The eating experience is superlative and this is borne out of several factors: a high level of soluble solids that provide a sweet flavour, low acids that reduce the berry’s astringency and uniquely, very small seeds that provide a texture and mouth-feel that are extremely unusual in blackberries. Von offers both growers and fruit marketers a number of advantages. Overall, it provides an excellent combination of fruit quality and exceptional productivity. Von is the result of many years of breeding and is a complex cross of a range of genetics that, all put together, have produced this leading blackberry cultivar. The fruit quality of Von really sets it apart from many varieties currently in the market place.

Von’s fruits are 6.6g each on average, making them of the medium sized nature. Agronomically speaking, Von blackberry is ideal for growers. It combines thornless canes with an upright growth habit. These character traits mean that the plants are easy to manage in a range of growing situations. Von has a medium chilling requirement and is considered as a late season cropper, making it ideal for season extension purposes. The final and very important fact to mention is that the marketable yields produced by Von are industry leading.

As you can see there is a lot happening in the world of blackberries, especially in the sweet catagory. We’re excited to see these developments unfold in the following years. Stay tuned to us here at Global Plant Genetics to hear more about this ever growing market. For more information you can always email us at solutions@globalplantgenetics.com

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