Berry heavy: Whopping blueberry smashes world record

World

A palm-sized blueberry has entered the record books after being officially crowned as the world’s heaviest.

The whopping fruit weighing in at 20.4g (0.71oz) and measuring 39.31mm across was grown by the Costa Group in New South Wales, Australia.

Picked on 13 November, 2023, it has now been recognised by the Guinness World Records.

Image:
There has been a shift towards larger fruit for snacking. Pic: Costa Group

The blueberry, which is of the Eterna variety, was cultivated as part of Costa’s variety improvement programme (VIP) by Brad Hocking, Jessica Scalzo and Marie-France Courtois.

The previous record-holder was for a 16.2g berry grown in Western Australia in 2020.

Mr Hocking said the Eterna variety was known for its large fruit size, crisp texture and long shelf life.

He added: “Eterna as a variety has a really great flavour and consistently large fruit.

“When we picked this one, there were probably around 20 other berries of a similar size.

“This really is a delightful piece of fruit.”

But he stressed: “While the fruit is large, there’s absolutely no compromise on quality or flavour as would be expected when developing a premium variety blueberry.”

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It was cultivated to meet the growing demand for bigger produce, with the shift from using fruit in baking and on breakfast cereal to snacking.

Costa’s VIP scheme, which is headquartered at Corindi around 200 miles (350km) south of Brisbane, has been operating for more than 25 years, developing on average one to two new varieties of blueberries of global commercial value each year.

George Jessett, Costa’s international horticulture manager, said: “We are always looking to develop new varieties that improve on the current benchmark and meet evolving customer requirements.

“We are also looking to breed varieties that are more adaptable to hotter climates, are more drought tolerant and with better resistance against pest and disease pressure.”

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