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Historical document

Further development of value added nashi products (NA99001)

Key research provider: Food Science Australia
Publication date: NA99001

This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.

What was it all about?

The nashi (or Asian pear), which has a sweet taste and a crisp texture, appeals to many people. But an estimated 20-50 per cent of the production in Australia was classified low-grade because of minor physical defects. The majority of these defects did not affect eating quality.

Now it was possible to utilise low grade nashi in high value markets, as a team of scientists at Food Science Australia have demonstrated through a previous project (funded by the Australian Nashi Growers Association, the Horticultural Research and Development Corporation and the former Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment) by developing three value-added concept products: nashi chips (dried thin slices); nashi slices (intermediate moisture slices); and nashi based juices. These technologies developed for producing these new nashi products could also be successfully applied to a range of other fruits and could benefit manufacturers of snack-food, breakfast food and beverages.

The success of the value added nashi products in the market depended on a variety of factors such as consumer acceptability, market application, economic viability of the manufacturing processes, shelf life and packaging technology. The aim of this project was to further develop these products to make them commercially viable by undertaking in-house consumer evaluations in Australia and Japan, laboratory screening and modification trials, pilot plant productions, consumer/market evaluation, cost/benefit analysis and preliminary packaging trials.

The production of nashi juice and modified slice and chips products were successfully scaled up in small scale commercial facilities and the products produced were used for large scale consumer/market evaluations. Consumers (both children and adults) found both nashi chips and slices acceptable with around 84 per cent indicating they liked the products. About 77 per cent of the children indicated that they considered asking their parents to buy the products, 91 per cent of the consumers surveyed liked the juice and 67 per cent indicated they definitely or probably would buy the juice product.

Cost/Benefit analysis estimated that large scale production (based on building facilities from new) of the nashi chips and slices (processing 236 fresh tonnes per year) was a viable business with return on investments within three years. Small scale production (45 fresh tonnes per year) could only succeed if the distributor could be cut out of the marketing chain, with a return in four years.

The outcomes of this project demonstrated that the value added nashi products were economically viable to produce and there was great potential for success in the market. It was recommended to actively pursue the commercialisation of these products by seeking commercial partners to place one or two of these nashi products on the retail market. It was anticipated that the successful commercialisation of the products would provide growers with an alternative of utilising their low grade fruit, a potential increase in profits and nashi consumption and an opportunity to open up new domestic and overseas market opportunities.

Details

ISBN:
0 7341 1450 8

Funding statement:
This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Food Science Australia and the nashi industry.

Copyright:
Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2007. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).