Aussie Farmer Successfully Creates Seedless Lychees After Years Of Work
Lychees are a beautiful, succulent, delicious fruit that loads of people enjoy around the world.
The only issue with them is the big seed that sits in the middle that you have to eat around. I mean, I appreciate there are bigger issues in the world at large, but imagine if you didn't have to navigate your tongue and teeth around that seed.
Well, imagine no more as an Australian farmer has spent years of work developing a seedless lychee.
After 19 years of careful cultivation, Tibby Dixon, from Sarina Beach in Far North Queensland, has managed to pull off the impossible.
According to The Daily Mail, the farmer bought a tree from China for AUD $5,000 (£2,600 / US $3,400) and got to work on tweaking the fruit's DNA to produce an essentially seedless variety.
We already have seedless grapes and watermelon, so why not lychees?
In order to produce the incredible variety, Tibby gathered pollen from the male part of the lychee flower and then used the imported tree to combine it with the female part of the flower. All of this happens by hand and the process relies on a lot of trial and error.
Tibby says it's a combination of selective breeding and cross-pollinating flowers, which takes generations of trees to complete.
He told ABC: "The cultivar [variety] itself is a medium-sized fruit, no seed, very flavoursome.
"To me, it actually tastes like it has a bit of pineapple in it - that's what my tastebuds tell me. It's very different to all the other cultivars we have."
Tibby admits that they're still a while off before they're able to sell out in commercial quantities, but the fact that seedless lychees even exist is a massive win.
He added: "You have to ensure that the material you're going to sell is highly productive."
Interestingly, while loads of people enjoy seedless fruit, it can be a bit trickier to ensure that it's ultimately safe.
According to Dan Koeppel, who wrote Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World, breeding seedless varieties of fruit will mean a lack of genetic diversity in the species. As a result, if a disease or pest latches onto the fruit, then can affect an entire crop.
So growers need to be very careful about how they protect their product.
Featured Image Credit: Camilleri's Farm Market/Facebook