Building a better fruit

January 13, 2011 - 5:16 AM by

They’re in top secret laboratories wearing white coats and working on various formulas, writing down codes and checking monitors. No, these Israelis aren’t manning our non-existent nuclear facilities somewhere we don’t know, they’re perfecting the pitaya.

Israeli farmers, working together with Ben-Gurion University, have come up with a new, improved version of the an exotic cactus fruit known as the ‘dragon fruit’ usually native to wet tropical climates like South America.

According to a Media Line story by Arieh O’Sullivan, the pitaya fruit has white pulp and is said to be pretty bland in flavor. But the Israeli scientists have managed to alter the pulp into shades of purple and red that are sweeter and more tantalizing.

They’ve even developed different versions of the fruit, which looks like a colorful artichoke, with layers of spiky leaves. Peel this off and the inside pulp has the texture of a kiwi fruit. The “Venus” has red pulp, the “Golden” (also known as “Apollo”) has yellow pulp. The smaller “Desert King” has a deep purple pulp.

The pitaya and other fruits and agricultural innovations will be displayed at the upcoming Agro-Mashov agriculture conference in Tel Aviv in early March, which is expected to draw thousands of farmers and researchers from around the world.

Haim Alush, the chief executive officer of Agro-Mashov, told the Media Line that the world was facing a “catastrophe” as it tried to feed a mushrooming population that has grown from two billion to seven billion in just 70 years.

“For years, Israel has been working to do agriculture in a part of the world with little water and a lack of arable farm land. Israelis have learned how to get higher yields from less land and water. We have groundbreaking innovations and Israelis want to teach the world,” Alush said.

Pitayas for everyone!


One Comment on Building a better fruit

  1. Savvima » Pass the Pitaya on Wed, Jan 19th 2011 7:40 PM
  2. [...] new pitaya varieties will be on show at the Agro-Mashov agriculture conference in Tel Aviv in March. Representatives from about 110 countries are expected [...]

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