The South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), which leads the National Apricot Breeding Program, this month released 17 new varieties of the stone fruit at field days in the state’s Riverland.

The new varieties feature higher sugar levels and yields to provide more reliable cropping and better returns particularly for the dried fruit market. However, the increased sugar levels are also delivering more intensely flavoured fresh apricots, which is hoped to help win back a greater share of the highly competitive snacking market.

Leader of SARDI’s Fruit Tree Breeding program Darren Graetz said the latest varieties were the culmination of 35 years of research and had delivered some of the highest quality apricots ever produced in Australia.