Frozen breadfruit both cooked and uncooked are being put through a trial run in the New Zealand market this week by the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa, SROS.
The market response is being watched closely, hopeful for a promising response that will re-open breadfruit exports to the huge demands to the local exporters.
Breadfruits were once allowed into New Zealand cooked until fruit flies were found that quickly ended in a ban.
SROS Manager of Food Science and Technology, Tuimaseve Ms. Kuinimeri Asora, confirmed the shipment of 12 frozen breadfruit bins, flown out on Samoa Airways this week, to test the market.
““At the moment, New Zealand still hasn’t lifted its ban on breadfruit entering the country from Samoa,” Tuimaseve explained.
Breadfruits are still seized by the NZ quarantine as soon as they arrive into the country.
“We carried out our research in 2015 and found out that frozen breadfruits can still make their way and become successful in the market.
“We then sent a few samples over and two Samoan-owned markets managed to give us very promising feedbacks of the demand.”
Tuimaseve is hopeful of an encouraging feedback from the sale of the shipment for SROS to assess the demand for the product in New Zealand.
Breadfruit is a favourite stable food for Samoans and the demand before the ban was high and this is what the success of the SROS trial run hopes to tap into again.
“Who knows maybe if this is successful we will be able to respond to the demands from our own people who have been eager to get this (breadfruit) to New Zealand.
“The breadfruits out of the oven have been frozen and are already packed in containers. We also have raw breadfruits already frozen.”
The frozen breadfruits will be customer ready when they arrive, it is only a matter of heating in the microwave for the ones already cooked.
‘You know there are ways in which we can avoid the ban and improve market opportunity of breadfruit as our people are desperate for its supply so
We really hope this will work because it will avoid the ban and ensure the undisrupted flow of export opportunities for our local farmers.
“Of course there are taros available in NZ but people also want breadfruits and we hope this will go well.”