Bayer launched its Galkia melon at Fruit Logistica 2016 with the promise of consistent melon flavour and quality, and optimum ripeness, all through summer. “The times of unpleasant surprises when buying a melon are over,” said Carin Stroeken, produce chain manager of the Europe Middle East & Africa region at Bayer’s vegetable seeds business.
Bayer says the new Galkia brand instead marks a return to the rich aroma and flavour of the time-honoured melon, and one which meets the demands of today’s markets “at every step of the value chain.”
Exclusive ripeness indicator
Harvesting Galkia melons at their ideal flavour and firmness is simple because this is when their skins turn from green to yellow. Bayer says this innovative ripeness indicator is the secret behind its guarantee that its melons will always taste like melons. It also means they reach Northern European markets at their optimum point of ripeness, throughout summer.
“One of our strengths is to work closely with each part of the food chain and the supply chain to understand and anticipate their demands,” Stroeken said. “Our customers can rely on the best quality. No surprises here!”
Galkia is being grown in different parts of Spain, such as Almeria, Murcia and La Mancha, to ensure summer-long supply – from early June to the end of September. Three Galkia varieties will be available this summer: Kirene, Kinder and Kinetic.
Bayer also has projects underway that would see Galkia varieties grown in the Southern Hemisphere, further increasing its availability.
Image courtesy of Bayer Crop Science
Tozer Seeds is the European market leader in parsnip and celery varieties and has been for decades although this year has been a little more difficult than previous ones due to overproduction of parsnips in the UK. Despite this, Tozer Seeds has seen growth in various markets this year. Celery has had a good season in many countries and there is more interest in varieties which are extremely suitable for the upright stalk market. As Robin Bartels, Sales and Marketing Manager for Tozer Seeds says, their company offers a complete portfolio and can be seen as one of the celery experts in the market and is constantly working to develop varieties with better resistance and flavour.
Breeding is the heart and soul of this company and Tozer Seeds’ breeders use both traditional breeding methods and modern molecular biology (although they do not use GM) as well as their own intuition to come up with new vegetables with an emphasis on flavour and uniqueness and the ability to thrive in the field around the world. The process usually starts with screening a wide range of existing cultivars and sometimes wild relatives for plants with desirable characteristics. Individual plants showing the desirable characteristics are selected and pollinated in subsequent generations until the required characteristics are stabilised. This process can often take up to a decade.
Their newest products are coloured kales and kalettes or flower sprouts and in this case the process has taken 15 years from start to finish. It was come across more or less by accident with no way of knowing that it would become such a trendy product because of its health benefits and would hit the market just at the right time to take off. How could any one know 15 years ago that a kale hybrid would become the hot new vegetable of 2015 in the US? This brassica mash up started as a way of lessening the bitterness that bothers brussel sprout detractors and a way of making kale more versatile. As a result this new super vegetable looks like a mini cabbage with delicate, kale-like leaves and has a sweet, nutty taste and can be roasted, sautéed, grilled, microwaved and even eaten raw.
This hybrid of kale and Brussels sprouts is being marketed in Europe under the brand name Flower Sprout® and Kalettes® in the USA and Australia due to the different perception the different markets have. Kale is the vegetable of the moment in the USA but will forever be thought of as fodder for cattle whereas sprouts have slightly better press in the UK than in the US where George Bush said that one of the perks of being president was not having to eat your Brussels. New varieties and colours are being developed in these ranges to increase hardiness and extend the maturity window of these products as this leafy vegetable has one major drawback: it is seasonal and for the moment is only available between November and March.
Image courtesy of: http://www.kalettes.com/about-kalettes.aspx
This article appeared on page 123 of edition 141, Jan/Feb 2016, of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read that issue online here.
An edible coating that extends the shelf life of melons (Decco), a pocket scanner providing the Brix value of a fruit sample (Sunforest), and a polytunnel with automated and permanent ventilation (Voen) are among the global debuts lined up for Fruit Logistica 2016, being held February 3-5 in Berlin.
Also slated to appear make their worldwide premieres are a new line of Pausa Pranzo salads with dressings, self-propelled harvesters for leafy vegetables (Ortomec), and two new attractive and tasty tomato varieties – Goutine (Hazera Seeds) and Belmonte F1 (Southern Seed).
These are among the innovations covered on the Fruit Logistica website in its Spotlight articles. The series provides an overview of new and improved products, machinery and processes, systems and techniques, technologies, services, promotions and exhibitor campaigns to be presented at the fair. The next deadline for submissions is November 30.
New from UK supermarket chain Tesco in the ready-to-eat fruit category is this cut and peeled mix of kiwi fruit, strawberry and melon.
With a ‘1 of 5 a day’ reminder on the lid, the 130g serve of melon (40%), kiwi fruit (33%) and strawberry (27%) is priced at £1.20 (£9.24/kg) at Tesco.com.
Also labelled new, is Tesco’s Ploughman’s Snack Pack.
This 330g serve of fruit and vegetables with cheddar cheese, silverskin onions and a pot of pickle is priced at £2.00 (£6.07/kg).
In hopes of widening cauliflower’s appeal, UK supermarket chain Waitrose has introduced a new, versatile long stemmed version called Sweet Sprouting Cauliflower.
In a press release, Waitrose said the vegetable, being grown exclusively for it in Lincolnshire, is faster to cook, crunchier in texture and sweeter than its larger relative.
It said Sweet Sprouting Cauliflower has never been sold before in the UK but has been popular in China for many years.
“It looks like a cross between long stemmed broccoli and the delicate white flowers popular in bridal bouquets. It is naturally low in calories and fats and is a source of fibre. An 80g serving counts as one of your five a day and will supply 60% of the daily requirement of Vitamin C,” Waitrose said.
“Traditional cauliflower has had a bit of a renaissance of late. Healthy food bloggers have been blitzing it to make low carb pizza bases and chefs serving it charred as vegetarian ‘steaks‘. Waitrose thinks this new style will only increase its popularity further.”
Waitrose Vegetable Buyer, Gemma Hodgson said: “Long stemmed broccoli is really popular with our shoppers and so we are excited to introduce new variety of cauliflower. It is less dense than the more commonly known type and therefore very versatile. It can be eaten raw in salads, used in stir fries, steamed, roasted or barbecued in a matter of minutes.”
Sweet Sprouting Cauliflower is grown in a similar way to normal cauliflower but allowed to mature further so its florets separate to grow into stems. The stems have small, white heads similar to normal cauliflower but are much smaller and more delicate.
Packs of the new cauliflower cost £1.99 for 160g and are available in 186 Waitrose branches.