The Ambrosia is a relatively new apple variety, discovered in the early 1990s as a chance seedling in the Similkameen Valley.

“Its juicy, crisp texture and sweetness have made it a real favourite with consumers,” says Bruce Currie, chair of the New Variety Development Council, who also noted that for optimum quality, it was best if sold and shipped within five months of harvest.

Extending the marketing period was, therefore, a priority.

The New Variety Development Council conducted a three-year research project to determine optimal handling and storage conditions that would increase the marketing period while still keeping the fruit quality at a consistently high level.

Quality assurance for Ambrosia begins in the field and correct harvest procedures are of prime importance.

This research now gives Ambrosia growers scientifically-verified information as to optimum harvest dates and the best post-harvest storage regimes for improved quality and storage up to eight months.

Currie believes this is good news for growers, who are enjoying premium pricing for this variety.

“As volumes of Ambrosia increase, growers have more time to sell their fruit and still maintain the superb eating quality of the apple,” he adds.

Consumers also benefit. They get the best possible product available from October through April.

Funding for this project was provided by IAF and the Ontario Adaption Council through former federal adaptation programming.