New Nunhems® lettuces conquer consumers with their taste

Wed 13/02/2019 by Richard Wilkinson
New Nunhems® lettuces conquer consumers with their taste

They are varieties adapted to high-density cultivation and mechanized harvesting

Since yesterday until next Friday, at the BASF experimental station in the Murcian town of La Palma. Nunhems®, BASF’s horticultural seed brand, is presenting during the field demonstration days the new varieties that are determined to change the rules of the international lettuce market, both for their organoleptic qualities and for their suitability for high-density cultivation and mechanised harvesting.

Nunhems®’s strong commitment to taste is clearly reflected in its new generation of Romaine lettuces. As a novelty for growing table, Magistral is presented for harvesting from the end of February to the beginning of April. MAGISTRAL* is a compact and very heavy variety that includes high resistance to Tip Burn and other agronomic advantages inherited from GLAMORAL, the market-leading variety in winter. Both varieties together with SIDERAL, complete the harvesting calendar from November to July.

In the range of Romaine lettuces, Nunhems® goes further and commits to the tendency to grow smaller and more compact varieties, with the aim of encouraging consumption in Spain, by offering lettuces that are better suited to consumer demands. Smaller Romaine- type lettuces, that weigh around 450 grams per piece, will introduce in the domestic market, a new concept inspired by British consumer habits. “Our market studies confirm that the consumption and market value of romaine lettuce in Spain is decreasing. This is due to the lack of harmony between the current supply of too large and over-ripe romaine lettuce which affects its flavour and consumption experience, and the demand of the current consumer who is more focused on the organoleptic quality of romaine”, explains Alfonso Fernández, lettuce specialist at BASF Vegetable Seeds.

Therefore, more flavour and smaller calibre are the new attributes added to the already complete, range of Nunhems® Romaine.

Romaine’s Industry

Special mention of the novelties in the Romaine typology is required, especially indicated for industrial processing and suitable for mechanised harvesting. This year we present NUN 6193 LTL, with a dark green colour to the taste of consumers in Northern Europe, and NUN 06567 LTL with a lighter colour, in accordance with consumer trends in Southern Europe. Both varieties offer a high yield per square metre and are characterised by their extra-sweet taste. In both cases, their suitability for processing and resisting to oxidation after mechanical cutting is very good.

Mini Romaine

In the Mini-Romaine lettuce category, Basf has presented NUN 06549 LTL, a classic mini-romaine that stands out for its wide harvesting calendar throughout the winter and spring and also because it has an extraordinary resistance to Tip Burn (from mid-February to summer). It is a guarantee of size, formation, flavour and resistance to Tip Burn. In addition to the technical field sessions, Nunhems® will hold next Thursday in La Puebla the event ‘Romaine Revolution’, in which several experts will offer updated information to know in depth the market and consumer trends in Romaine. Representatives of companies such as Hispatec and Kantar Worldpanel Spain will participate.

New trend in Multileaf®

For the first time, Nunhems® develops suitable Multileaf® varieties adapted to mechanised harvesting, with the aim of reducing labour costs and responding to the demand of the processing markets in Northern Europe, where labour availability is beginning to pose a problem. In this line, Multigreen 114* is presented, standing out for its performance and for offering a very complete resistance package. Multigreen 114* incorporates the signs of identity that already defined the Nunhems® Multileaf® range, such as high productivity per hectare and resistance to oxidation after cutting.


In Iceberg lettuce, the Nunhems® varieties are differentiating themselves by demonstrating excellent field performance and quality, which has already earned the trust of producers. This year, Nunhems® introduces new features that allow harvesting calendars to be extended to ensure a continued supply of Iceberg and to deliver the highest quality product throughout the year.

Goldiva* is one of the highlights at Iceberg, with a very long harvesting period and a freshly cut appearance at all times. NUN 216 LTL, with high resistance to Tip Burn is incorporated for the summer cycle.

In the Little Gem category, Nunhems® has introduced Thicket* for the autumn-winter campaign and Thespian* for the summer campaign. Both varieties offer the highest standards of quality and resistance.

Complete Spinach Programs

In the field demonstration that concludes next Friday, you can also learn about two important novelties in spinach. Serpens, with excellent quality and resistance to leaf spot for the autumn and spring cycles, and Regor, with vigour, quality and yield for the winter cycle.

With these two novelties, Nunhems® reinforces a wide range of spinach varieties for the entire sowing calendar. “Our mission is to offer to the whole chain, safe and profitable varieties for any crop cycle, so that complete spinach programmes can be tackled and buyers can be loyal”, according to Carlos del Espino, spinach specialist at BASF Vegetable Seeds.

* Provisional Marketing Approval granted and in process of applying for inclusion in the EC Common Catalogue of Vegetable Varieties.

About BASF

BASF produces chemistry for a sustainable future, combining economic success with environmental protection, without forgetting social responsibility. The more than 115,000 employees of the BASF Group contribute to customers success practically in every sector in almost every country in the world. The portfolio is divided into five sections: chemicals, high-performance products, functional materials and solutions, agricultural solutions, gas and oil. In 2017, BASF recorded sales of 64.5 billion euros. BASF’s shares are listed on the Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS) stock exchanges.

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About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions Division

With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and a healthy environment. By working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, our role is to help make it happen. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D portfolio and a broad portfolio that includes seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital agriculture. We have teams of experts in laboratories, in the field, in offices and in production, to translate innovative thinking into practical action, to create ideas that work in the real world for farmers, society and the planet. In 2017, our division generated sales of €5.7 billion.

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