Australian Researchers Create ‘Coconut-Flavoured’ Pineapple

NEW YORK | Thursday, December 6th, 2012 2:16am EDT

In what is believed to be a world first, Queensland researchers have created a new variety of pineapple with a coconut flavour. “It’s sweet, low acid, very juicy!”

Australian Researchers Create Coconut Flavoured Pineapple 01

The Department of Agriculture’s research station on the state’s Sunshine Coast has been working on the new breed of pineapple for more than a decade. Photo: Wolfharu/Flickr

Cocktail lovers rejoice! Australian researchers have developed what could be the ultimate ingredient for the piña colada of the future.

The researchers from the Department of Agriculture’s research station on the state’s Sunshine Coasthave worked out a brand new breed of pineapple – one that is not only sweet and juicy but which has the added tropical taste of coconut.

In general it took them 10 years and, actually, they didn’t intend to create the coconut flavour. Senior horticulturalist Garth Senewski says the these new pineapples are now in the final stages of production.

Garth Sanewski, a senior horticulturalist at Queensland’s department of agriculture, commented that “it’s currently being multipled by our commercial development partner.”

“It’s sweet, low acid, very juicy,” said Garth Sanewski. “It has this lovely coconut flavour, which you won’t find in any other pineapple in Australia.”

It is expected that  its unique taste should prove popular with consumers. And definitely the new breed of pineapple has the potential to revolutionise cocktail mixology.

Currently piña colada cocktails are made by shaking rum, cream of coconut and pineapple juice together with ice, before straining the resulting mixture into a goblet-type glass.

The Daily Mail reports that the AusFestival would do away with any need for coconut at all.

Actually, the cocktail piña colada was first served on August 15, 1954, at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico by head barman Ramón ‘Monchito’ Marrero.

According to legend, Monchito’s managers had asked him to mix a new signature drink for the bar that would delight the demanding palates of its star-studded clientele.

Monchito accepted the challenge, and after three intense months of blending, shaking and experimenting, the first piña colada was born.

He made the drink using local Don Q rum mixed with Coco López coconut cream, which was invented the same year at the University of Puerto Rico.

These days the International Bartenders Association defines the piña colada as a Collins-Type Long Drink and stipulates that it must contain one part white rum, one part cream of coconut, and three parts pineapple juice.

“Taste tests tell us that AusFestival is a winner — it has this lovely coconut flavour, which you won’t find in any other pineapple in Australia,” Mr. Senewski told the ABC  on Wednesday.

“When we’re doing the breeding, we’re not actually looking for a coconut-flavoured pineapple or any other particular flavour,’ he added.

‘We’re looking for a nice flavoured pineapple. We’re looking for a variety that is sweet, low acid and aromatic.’

The Department of Agriculture confirmed the development but said anyone hoping for a ‘pina colada’ pineapple will have to wait.

The first pineapples are expected to be planted commercially only in two years.

According to The Telegraph, two years ago, scientists in Queensland, which has a warm climate and produces various tropical fruits, developed Australia’s first home-grown pineapple, called the Australian Jubilee. Most Australian pineapples are Hawaiian-bred varieties.

Queensland produces more than 80,000 tons of pineapples a year but the government has been looking to create less costly and tastier varieties to compete with cheaper imports.

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