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Nunhems® continues to innovate in the lettuce segment to meet consumer demands

The vegetable seeds subsidiary of BASF is introducing new and original types of lettuce and bringing new concepts to supermarket shelves that put an emphasis on the flavour, colour and culinary uses of lettuces 

Nunhems®, the vegetable seeds subsidiary of BASF, is holding a new edition of its Lettuce and Spinach Demofield in Cartagena (Murcia) on 10-14 February, where it will be showcasing not only its new and original types of lettuce and spinach but also its commitment to bringing added value to consumers with the launch of new salad leaf concepts. “We want to go one step further and not just rest on our laurels as a producer but also make the whole retail chain aware of the variety and versatility of different types of lettuce, offering another way of presenting and consuming this product,” explained Juan Pedro Pérez, Crop Sales Manager Salads EMEA at BASF Vegetable Seeds. 

The novelty in the romaine lettuce segment is Magistral, a variety “with which we’re looking to increase crop profitability,” says Carlos del Espino, the lettuce specialist at BASF Vegetable Seeds. Thanks to its smaller size and weight and more uniform shape, Magistral is designed for high-density growing environments, thus increasing yield per hectare. 

In the mini-romaine segment the company is introducing Winbee F1 (NUN 6549 F1), a variety recommended for spring growing with high resistance to tip burn. In this respect, Del Espino revealed that they are working to round off the annual cycle with a new variety for winter. 

With a view to marketing in the Little Gem segment, the new variety from Nunhems® for the winter is the NUN 6806 F1. With this variety, BASF’s vegetable seeds business is complementing Thicket F1 and Thespian F1, two very hardy and versatile varieties that round off the annual growing cycle and consolidate the breed as a benchmark in this type of lettuce. All of them are resistant to mildew and aphids.   

Higher quality Iceberg lettuces

The Iceberg lettuce is one of the company’s hallmarks and its big showpiece in this segment, and this season it is introducing three new varieties: NUN 1212 F1, NUN 1228 F1 and NUN 1232 F1, for autumn, winter and spring respectively. “With these new varieties we are bringing even higher quality in terms of plant formation; these varieties are suitable for mechanized harvesting thanks to their uniform shape and we have even improved the post-harvest performance,” explains Del Espino, adding that they are also resistant to mildew and aphids. Nunhems® is thus offering the sector a range of varieties that will help them to improve their yield per hectare. 

 These three varieties join Melosa F1, which has shown how well it adapts to summer growing, performing extremely well in terms of bolting and tip burn in extreme conditions, and Goldiva F1, which has performed outstandingly in January harvests thanks to its good plant formation, calibre and resistance in the field, allowing a wide harvesting window.  

Concepts for consumers Nunhems® is taking a big step forward in the lettuce market to attract consumers by introducing new concepts that put an emphasis on the clearly differentiating factors of certain varieties. An example of this is Themes F1 and Intred F1, respectively green and red Little Gems, offering retailers the chance to sell these products in twin packs that bring added colour to the traditional salad range. Meanwhile, NUN 06193 F1 and NUN 06567 F1 are two varieties that stand out for their sweeter flavour, while with Agros, Nunhems® has demonstrated its support for producers and other agents in the chain in terms of the growing need for harvest mechanization. 

But the most revolutionary concept, without a doubt, is the Chef’s Lettuce, designed for the hotel, restaurant and catering industry. With Greenglace and Rubyglace, among others, Nunhems® is introducing different types of leaves for different sandwich formats. Meanwhile, the wrap is a lettuce whose leaves form a kind of spoon shape and can be used as a base for different cold or hot toppings. Crispol F1 is one of the varieties that falls within this concept. “We have the products, and now we want to offer ideas and suggestions about how to use them in the kitchen,” says Juan Pedro Pérez. 

Spinach Nunhems® is one of the market leaders in this crop and continues to make great strides in its cultivation. The result of the company’s work is the wide range featured in its catalogue, including such well-established varieties as Hydrus F1 and Alcor F1 which allow year-round spinach production.  Some of the new varieties include Formax F1, Sculptur F1 and Crater F1, all of which stand out for their high quality. From an agricultural point of view, all of them are resistant to mildew (1-17) and have a high tolerance to leaf spot. Nunhems® is thus underlining its commitment to the sector and continues to work hand-in-hand with producers to jointly develop solutions to the key challenges facing this flourishing segment. 
 
About BASF At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 122,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of around €63 billion in 2018. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS). Further information at www.basf.com. 
 
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 healthy environments. Working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, it is our role to help make this possible. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline and broad portfolio, including seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we connect innovative thinking and down-to-earth action to create real world ideas that work – for farmers, society and the planet. In 2018, our division generated sales of €6.2 billion. For more information, please visit www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social media channels. 

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Two Major Innovations for Ecofriendly Exotic Fruit and Vegetable Packaging

Exotic fruit and vegetable printed

Action on plastic pollution: an environmental emergency

According to an Ellen MacArthur Foundation study, “the ocean is expected to contain 1 tonne of plastic for every 3 tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight).” In response to that environmental emergency, the Environment and Community Ministry launched France’s National Plastics Pact on 21 February 2019.

 

Target: 60% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging in 2022 and 100% in 2025.

 

In the exotic fruit and vegetable sector, plastic packaging is a pressing issue that raises the challenge of developing eco-friendly solutions from the packaging to the labelling whilst maintaining the quality and traceability of fresh produce.

The company CAPEXPO is now making its contribution with two major innovations in exotic fruit and vegetable packaging and labelling, beating the official target by two years!

 

INNOVATION #1 

EXOTIC FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PRINTING

The patented process, which CAPEXO owns for France, makes it possible to print food-grade ink on the skin of almost all fruit and vegetables, adding a barcode, price or any other consumer information. The innovation heralds the end of excess plastic packaging and stickers for exotic fruit and vegetables and more. 

All exotic fruit and vegetables with a relatively smooth skin can be printed. Pineapple, for example, cannot. Grainy-skinned avocado can, but a barcode would not be legible enough to work properly at the checkout. It is possible to print the sale price, however. The printing process also adapts to the fruit’s ripeness to avoid any possible damage. 

Exotic fruit and vegetable printed

Food safety guaranteed 

The process involves patented, quality-tested food-grade inks — the same ones used in the pharmaceutical industry to coat tablets. 

End of checkout shrinkage

In store, on-fruit printing avoids the problem of differentiating between, for example, an air-freighted and seaborne mango, which have different sale prices, at the supermarket checkout. The process removes all possible confusion as either the barcode or price is shown on each individual fruit.

INNOVATION #2

BIOCOMPOSTABLE PUNNET PACKAGING 

Ready to eat fruit sold in batches, such as ripe avocadoes or air-freighted bananas, needs punnet packaging to protect it and prevent checkout shrinkage. To replace the plastic film and punnet, which are at best recyclable, CAPEXO biocompostable packaging features cardboard sourced from sustainably managed birchwood forests, wrapped in a protective transparent film, which is also derived from birchwood, and heat-sealed on a flow-pack machine. That makes the punnet packaging fully biocompostable. Corn starch-based biocompostable films are already available. As they may not be 100% GMO-free, however, CAPEXO rejected that option as a precautionary measure. 

Home composting 

End consumers can throw the punnet and film away in their home compost bin, where they will naturally degrade in the same way as other compostable waste. Failing which, the packaging can be disposed of in a recycling bin.

Punnet traceability maintained 

CAPEXO biocompostable packaging enables ecofriendly product traceability with a batch number, origin, best-before date and all other information required by consumers using foodgrade ink.

Exotic fruit and vegetable printed

About CAPEXPO

Founded in 1996, the company CAPEXO imports and markets exotic fruit and vegetables in France under the Lilot Fruits brand. A key player at Rungis International Market, CAPEXO provides a constant supply of delicious and nutritious produce to wholesalers and the wholesale markets as well as specialist (Grand Frais, Métro, etc.) and generalist (Carrefour, Casino, Monoprix, etc.) food retailers. 
Sharing the same high standards as its suppliers, CAPEXO selects produce from the finest sources. The company works closely with one of Reunion’s biggest cooperatives. 90% of the island’s air-freighted fruit is exported by Lilot Fruits. 
Victoria pineapple, avocado, mango, passionfruit, lime, etc. are just some of CAPEXO’s flagship products.

Source: Press release
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Italy’s new Fruit&Veg Innovation show starts next May

Italian trade show organisers Veronafiere and Fiera Milano have signed an agreement to give the country a single annual international trade show for fruit and vegetables – Fruit&Veg Innovation – with the main focus on innovation and international markets.

Fruit&Veg Innovation – a new annual international trade show for fruit and vegetables – is to make its debut May 8-11, 2017, in conjunction with Tuttofood in Milan.

Last week, Italian trade show organisers Veronafiere and Fiera Milano signed an agreement to launch the event, which they said would mainly focus on innovation and international markets.

In a press release, they said the new show stems from the union of Fruit Innovation in Milan and Fruit&Veg System in Verona. It will take place yearly, held in Verona in even years and Milan in odd years. The show in Verona will concentrate on manufacturing and farming technologies, whilst the Milan show will focus on the end product.

The first edition of Fruit&Veg Innovation will round off the offering of the emerging organic and vegan products segment, in which Milan today plays a leading role, and will also benefit from coinciding with Spazio Nutrizione, a major medical and scientific conference also taking place during Tuttofood 2017, thus reaching out to a new target of nutritionists and dieticians.

“It’s thanks to this agreement,” said Fiera Milano CEO Corrado Peraboni, “that two trade fair organisers are pooling their expertise and setting aside rivalries to build an offering capable of meeting the expectations of a mature market that is increasingly and keenly focusing on internationalisation.”

“The new strategic partnership between Verona and Milan,” said Veronafiere general manager Giovanni Mantovani, “should set an example for Italy’s entire trade fair industry.”

“In an increasingly aggressive international trade show environment, we are optimising our resources and seeking industry-wide synergies among our events, in the business interests of exhibitors and operators alike,” Mantovani said.

The agreement represents the implementation of a rationalisation drive embarked upon by former Italian Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Maurizio Martina. Veronafiere and Fiera Milano have also agreed to look into the feasibility of drafting a business plan to continue staging SaMoTer and Transpotec Logitec (Verona, 22/25 February) concomitantly, after the joint event makes its debut in 2017. The decision will be made within a month of next year’s combined edition, the release says.