Mike Haasl wrote:Nifty! What do they taste like? What is the plant like (vine, big, little)? Is it an annual or perennial?
Dan Boone wrote:I have never been certain that the one or two I bought for seed OR the ones I grew and ate were at the proper maturity and ripeness, though; my lack of reliable color vision is not a help here.)
The approximate color turning point is 30-40 days from fruit set and at this stage they reach their maximal weight. During the following month the concentrations of reducing sugars and total soluble solids increases and the peel color changes from green through whitish green to yellow and finally to orange. Fruits picked mature green (at about turning point) fail to develop the desirable uniform orange color even after three months in storage. Fruits left to ripen in the field exhibit higher TSS and reducing sugar values than fruits allowed to ripen in storage.
The present commercial cultigene has a rather bland taste which severely limits its potential as an eating fruit. If its eating quality can be improved, mainly by increasing sugar content, acidity, and aroma, it would be marketed as a new fruit.
A market for edible kiwano does not yet exist, because the fruit lacks taste. Increasing the sweetness and improving the aroma may give rise to a new product for a large-volume market.
Significant differences were found in important fruit quality characters between the commercial cultigene and the accession lines. The Botswana and commercial cultigenes had significantly larger fruit (up to twice as large) and fewer thorns than the other accession lines. The commercial line had significantly lower reducing sugar and higher pH than the other accession lines, but some of the accession lines were bitter.
The line from Botswana had large and attractive fruits, with a slightly different shape. Fruits of this line had high acidity and very good aroma.