Discover New Fruits
Eating more fruit can be really beneficial to you, as they are packed with essential micro-nutrients and vitamins that are essential for maintaining good health. There is no shortage of delicious fruits to choose from either, particularly in the US, with so many different countries and climates producing such an array of different fruits.
If this wasn’t enough, however, there are also hybrid fruits which can add even more choice! In this guide we’re going to look at what hybrid fruits are available in the US, as well as what hybrid fruit is and what makes it different from normal fruit, so you can make an informed decision about including some in your next fruit salad.
What Is A Hybrid Fruit?
A hybrid fruit is one where two different types of fruit have been combined together to produce something new. This could be apples and pears, lemons and limes, or even strawberries and raspberries.
The most common type of hybrid fruit is known as a cross between two different varieties of the same species. For example, a strawberry/raspberry cross would result in a fruit that looks like a cross between a raspberry and a strawberry.
Hybrid fruits can be created by breeding two plants together, or by grafting two different parts of one plant onto another. In some cases, hybrids may not actually contain any seeds or pollen, but instead, rely on the fact that the offspring will inherit traits from both parents.
Another example is the nectaplum, which is a crossbreed of the nectarine and plum. The nectaplum inherits traits from both the parent plants meaning that the resulting hybrid has a unique flavor and color.
The first recorded hybrid was a peach tree produced by crossing two different varieties of peaches. These were then used to create a new variety of peach called the ‘Blenheim’.
Not all hybrid plants and fruits are so interesting and unique, however. Many are quite common now, and a lot of people don’t even know they are hybrids. The Pink Lady apple is one example of a hybrid fruit which is very popular, and one that not many people know is a hybrid. It’s quite likely that you’ve been eating hybrid fruit for a long time without even realizing it!
How Are Hybrids Made?
Hybrid fruits are made in a few different ways. One of the most effective methods is to cross-pollinate the flowers of two different fruit trees. This can happen naturally, but it can also be done purposefully to increase the chances of two different fruit trees cross-pollinating.
If a tree is successfully cross-pollinated, it will produce a fruit that contains hybrid seeds which can be planted to grow more hybrid fruit.
It’s also possible to produce a hybrid by taking a cutting from one tree and grafting it onto the rootstock of a different, mature fruit tree. This process involves essentially cutting into one tree, and forcing a small offshoot of another tree to grow from the rootstock of that different fruit tree.
The trunk and the branch will grow together and this will create a new hybrid. 3 in 1 blueberries were created using this method, and there are many other examples of this method working to create new hybrids.
Are Hybrid Varieties GMO?
Yes, all hybrid varieties are genetically modified organisms (GMO). This means that they contain genetic material from two or more plants. The most common way to produce hybrids is by crossing two species together, but some hybrids are created through selective breeding.
However, not all hybrids are GMO in the sense that scientists have manipulated the genes of these species in a lab setting. They are simply GMO in the sense that their genes have been altered through agricultural/horticultural processes.
GMO is also slightly confusing and a little bit of a misnomer, as plants have been mutating and cross pollinating for millions of years, so their genes are constantly in a state of evolution and change, and human genetic modification simply seeks to speed up this process and select characteristics that are desirable to help increase yields or protect from harmful diseases and pests.
Notable Hybrid Fruit
There are several prominent and famous hybrid fruits out there that you may or may not be aware of, and in this section we’re going to take a look at these to give you a better understanding of just how widespread and important hybrid fruits are to our daily lives.
1) Blood Limes, a hybrid of the Red Finger Lime and Ellendale Mandarin, creating a lime with red flesh and a smaller size, as well as a slightly more tangy flavor.
2) The Pink Lady Apple, which is a hybrid of the Lady Williams and Golden Delicious apple breed.
3) Peacotum, a hybrid of a Peach, Apricot, and Plum. Peacotum is thought to be the first three-in-one fruit hybrid ever made. It is a mellow fruit with the texture and feel of a peach, but the taste of a plum and apricot which gives a very delicious tropical taste.
4) Pineberry, a hybrid of the Wild South American Strawberry and the North American Strawberry, which creates a tiny, pineapple flavored strawberry with a unique color and shape. If you love the taste of pineapples, but hate cutting them up, Pineberries are the perfect choice for you.
Hopefully, now you’ve got a better idea about what hybrid fruits are and why they’re becoming increasingly popular. In addition to being delicious, they’re also incredibly nutritious and can provide us with a wide range of benefits if eaten regularly. So next time you go shopping for your weekly groceries, make sure you pick up a few hybrid fruits too.
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