Top Seeds International (TSI) has introduced its first mini-plum tomato, Fanello, which it has said is the outcome of more than four years of research.
The new tomato has been launched by the vegetable seed company's Italian division.
The group noted that, as well as ensuring the yield, quality and fruit appearance needed to be competitive on the market, it had concentrated on flavour in particular in the development of the new Sicily-grown variety.
“The mini-plum tomato market is strongly focused on flavour, and Fanello meets this need in full, actually raising the bar," said Fabrizio Iurato, product developer and sales representative at TSI Italia. "In fact, Fanello is characterised by an impressive sweetness of up to 11 degrees Brix, one of the highest on the market in this category."
TSI described the shape as that of a true data tomato, similar to the fruit after which it is named, with an intense, shiny red colour featuring noticeable green parts and "absolutely none of the unpleasant stalk odours sometimes found in this type".
Fanello also has a very low drop rate, the group said, with the fruit staying firmly attached to the stalk, and a lengthy shelf-life, with fruit staying firmer for longer.
The tomato can be transplanted at different times of year, from September to late May, with harvesting from November to August.
“Fanello is the name of a part of Vittoria (a town near Ragusa, Sicily) where the fruit and vegetable market is held,” explained Rosario Privitera, area manager for central-southern Italy. “We intend this name to celebrate Sicily and the area where this tomato originated, and to help to promote it worldwide.”