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Pineapple Hybrid 73-50 was developed by the Hawaiian Pineapple Research Institute (dissovled in 1975). It was imported into Australia in 1987 by a farmer from out near Woodford (SE QLD) who realised its potential and as legend has it bought six plants into Australia in a suitcase. These pineapples were marketed as Bethonga Gold. The crowns of the 73-50 were removed by the Bethonga grower to stop other growers cultivating the variety via planting the tops. The topless feature stuck as the variety gained popularity with consumers through the large supermarkets. The custom has an adverse affect on the look of pineapple as the fruit tends to dehydrate faster with the top removed. Many in the industry would prefer to see the custom done away with, however the chain stores seem to want the practice to continue.
The 73-50 is a sweet pineapple. Its parentage includes 54% Cayenne, 20% Mordilona, 13% Pernambuco, 13% Red Spanish and 3% Queen. It was considered by PRI breeders to be a high yielding cultivar with low acidity and high vitamin C . This selection has been grown on an increasing scale in Australia under various names. All usually suffixed with "Gold". For example our own brand, Rollingstone Gold plus Mareeba Gold, Aussie Gold and Pure Gold from the other large pack houses. They are all the same variety. It is Australia's largest hybrid pineapple crop, however the MD2 is gaining in popularity (see below)
The acidity of the 73-50 is only about half that of the Smooth Cayene variety in early winter. The vitamin C content of the 73-50 is about 5 times greater than the Cayenne in winter. 73-50's normally have a very aromatic flavour, and when naturally ripened and picked with breaking colour produce a gorgeous perfume that demands attention. The 73-50 has a slightly smaller core than the Cayenne in comparison to the fruit width, and the flesh is more yellow. The 73-50 has a useful level of field resistance to blackheart (rotten core) but can be susceptible to internal browning.