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Maura Maxwell



Nunhems puts innovation centre stage at FA

Living Lettuce trio, Kisy watermelon and Minigustos snacking cucumber among the products showcased

Nunhems puts innovation centre stage at FA

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Nunhems, the vegetable seeds division of BASF Group, unveiled a range of new offerings for the fruit and vegetable producers at last week’s Fruit Attraction trade fair in Madrid.

The company showcased its revamped “lettuce trio” made up of new varieties that have been developed to grow at the same rate, regardless of their colour or type.

The trio, comprising Multiblond 3, Multired 4 and Multired 80, is available as part of the company’s Living Lettuce concept which enables different types of lettuce to be sold with their roots.

“The lettuce team at Nunhems has managed to achieve what seemed to be impossible,” the company said.

“This achievement has been made possible through the research undertaken by Nunhems in conjunction with clients in the 'high tech' lettuce sector, which is very important in northern Europe where lettuce production in advanced greenhouses with artificial lighting and hydroponic systems is flourishing.”

Nunhems also showcased its Sideral Romaine lettuce, offering lettuce hearts of more than 500g. The variety is particularly suitable for autumn production in coastal areas, with harvesting in November and December, and for spring production in intermediate zones with harvesting between April and June.

Kisy grabs visitors’ attention

Another novelty presented at the show was the Kisy watermelon for individual consumption. Weighing in at 600-900g, Kisy is a brand new concept that stands out because it is easy to peel and can be eaten in so many different formats and situations.

“Kisy adapts perfectly to the new trend for healthy snacking because its compact size makes it easy to buy and transport, added to which it has a long shelf life,” the company said.

The Kisy line includes a seedless watermelon aimed at the Horeca sector with an attractive thin, dark green skin, easy-to-eat flesh with a unique deep pink colour and a Brix of between 9o and 11o.

“It is ideal for eating like an ice cream with a spoon or for making cocktails in the shell of the watermelon once the pulp has been removed,” Nunhems said.

“Indeed, the interesting possibilities that Kisy offers to the cocktail sector have already borne fruit in an exciting collaboration between Nunhems and Bidfood to come up with new cocktail recipes featuring this innovative watermelon.”

At the same time, a Kisy range has been developed for domestic consumers, along with a unique line of packaging that helps distributors to differentiate the variety and attract customers’ attention at the point of sale.

Minigustos sales soar

In the snack category meanwhile, Nunhems reported significant sales growth in its Minigustos baby cucumber line. Planted area has tripled in the two years since its launch, with a number of large companies including Indasol, Eco inver, Perichan, Murgiverde, G’s España and Miguel García now producing the line.

Joaquin F1 leads long-day onion segment

Another variety on display at Nunhems’ stand was the Joaquin F1, the yellow long-day onion that is notable for its high yield and minimal discards when it reaches a large calibre.

“Joaquin F1 is characterised by its high percentage of single centres that minimise discards for double centres when it grows very large, representing a great agricultural advantage for producers as well as a big plus for distributors and retailers,” Nunhems said.

“The onion team at Nunhems has managed to ensure the Joaquin F1 meets the needs of producers who are looking for a reliable and highly productive onion, even in adverse weather conditions. They have achieved this with a highly vigorous plant that is capable of tolerating any kind of stress situation.”

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