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Blueberry grown in NSW breaks Guinness World Record as world’s heaviest | Australia news

It is dark blue in color, about the diameter of a golf ball, and weighs 10 times more than the average blueberry.

The fruit, which was harvested on November 13, was officially recognized by Guinness World Records this week as the world’s heaviest blueberry.

“When I put it on the scale, it was a bit of a shock,” said Brad Hocking, head of blueberries at fruit and vegetable producer Costa in Corindi, New South Wales.

“We knew they were big, but we had to take another look to make sure.”

The fruit, grown by Hocking, Jessica Scalzo and Marie-France Courtois, weighs 20.4 grams and measures 39.31 mm wide.

The giant blueberry is currently frozen, but there is talk of molding it in resin and displaying it on a wall, Hocking said.

This is from the Eterna variety, a type of blueberry bred under Costa’s Variety Improvement Program (VIP), which develops one or two new blueberry varieties each year.

The blueberry that broke this record weighed 16.2g and was about 1.25 times the diameter of the previous record holder, which was 36.33mm. The previous two records were set by Osblue Western Australian producers in 2020 and 2018.

Mr Hocking said usually one would expect a sacrifice in quality with larger fruit, but Eterna blueberries are “firm and have a very long shelf life”.

“The consumer experience is consistently good and the flavor is great,” he said. “It’s really amazing that even though it’s large, it still remains filling.”

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Agronomist Brad Hocking at Costa Group’s blueberry farm in Corindi, New South Wales. Photo: Brigid Veale/Costa Group

Mr Hocking said the fruit was not an anomaly within the Eterna variety and said there were about 20 similarly sized blueberries present when he picked the fruit.

He said demand for larger fruits is increasing and this is due to a shift from using fruit in baking and breakfast cereals to snacking.

Mr Hocking said that although there was “always the potential for larger size”, Mr Costa was focusing on improving agronomic traits such as heat tolerance and resistance to pests and diseases rather than increasing size.

The record was “a long time in the making,” he said, noting that it took about 10 years from the start of the breeding process to commercialization.

Costa blueberries are grown using traditional techniques, including hand pollination and discarding seeds.

In Australia, Costa has also developed the Delight variety, which is specialized for production in lower latitudes, and the Arana variety, which has an expanded production profile and can be harvested six months of the year.