White strawberry by University of Florida introduced to U.S. market

White strawberry by University of Florida introduced to U.S. market

For the first time, a white strawberry that smells a bit like a pineapple will go to market in the U.S.

As western-central Florida strawberry harvesting season continues through the end of March, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Services is releasing two new varieties — the white one and a red one — neither named yet, according to a news release.

“The flavor is very different from a typical strawberry, sweet but with a pineapple-like aroma,” Vance Whitaker, associate professor of horticultural sciences and a strawberry breeder, said in the release. “White strawberries have been popular for some time in Japan, but this is expected to be the first white strawberry on the market in the United States.”

The strawberry is white inside and out even when it’s ripe and ready to eat. It has a slight pink blush on the skin and red seeds, said Whitaker, also a faculty member at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center.  

Breeders crossed white strawberries from the wild with modern strawberries to make this new specialty.

He expects these white strawberries to be available in U.S. grocery stores by 2022, marketed as “pineberries” because of the pineapple aroma.

The red strawberry has a high sugar level, somewhat similar to the Sensation variety but with more intense flavor because of its high acidity.