Mikeski wrote: CorruptUser wrote:
Mikeski wrote:Artificial banana I kinda like.
That's because artificial banana actually tastes like banana; it's banana that doesn't taste like banana.
So in the early in the 20th century, scientists created the artificial banana flavor that was almost identical to the Gros Michel cultivar of banana. But then, mid century, disease killed off almost all the Gros Michel banana plants. So instead, the Cavendish cultivar was produced. But banana flavor already existed, and they weren't going to change it to match the Cavendish. So the flavor is still "correct", it just tastes more like the older bananas than the newer ones.
True. And, like all mass-market produce, bananas have been bred for durability for shipping, and not for flavor. And they're picked well ahead of ripeness, so they're still edible
when they get to where they're going, but... well, there aren't many delicions per gram in produce like that. It's surprising they taste like anything.
They haven't really been bred much at all. When they moved to Cavendish, it happened because that cultivar is easy to ship and resistant to the original strain of Panama Disease. They didn't specifically breed it that way.
Because most bananas are triploid or mostly sterile diploids, and even wild banana seeds are hard (almost impossible) to germinate, it is very, very, very difficult to breed them. Only recently has there been any concerted effort to breed bananas -- most notably, the FHIA program. Even they have issues -- IIRC, out of every few hundred pounds of hand-pollinated bananas they have, they only get one or two seeds. They then do embryo rescue on the seeds to grow new plants.
Banana breeding is insanely difficult by conventional means, which is why GMO's have been looked into some. There are a few promising ones, but they've had trouble getting permission to field test, last I checked.
EDIT: This actually makes me wonder if they've dried restoring some fertility to the triploid by trying to induce chromosome doubling with colchicine...
It would require genetic screening to weed out any horribly abnormal ones, and careful care, but t may be possible.
That being said, the highest ploidy I've heard of in bananas is tetraploid. I have no idea if he applies would survive.