2011- FRUIT TODAY EUROMAGAZINE VISITED DON BENITO (BADAJOZ), ONE OF THE MOST ADVANCED R&D CENTRES FOR OBTAINING NEW STONE FRUIT VARIETIES.

This is all about carrying out a lengthy research process, succeeding in selecting the best fruit and optimising it for consumption and commercialisation. All this in a natural way” commented Luís Aliseda, the Director of Viveros Provedo’s Research & Development Centre for new varieties.

The working calendar for Provedo’s research team is adapted to suit the seasons of the year, as all their activities are strictly natural. Projects begin in November-December to collect the necessary data and schedule new crosses. In January flowers are pollinated, selecting those varieties that are best suited to market demands. Once pollination is complete, the development period begins in May.

Currently, the company has its “greatest parents” introduced in the main cultivation areas across Spain. “There are more than 80 new varieties in their final stages of evaluation about to be released in the market and around 311 pre-selections which will reach the final stage and be validated during this summer”. This year there will be new pre-selections made from more than 47,000 trees, each one with a different fruit.

The market has four available varieties which are producing excellent results: Extreme® White, Extreme® Red, Extreme® July, Extreme® Sweet and the so-called Platerina, a paraguayo with the skin of a nectarine which will enter the market in 2007 with 12 new varieties.

Platerina®

Platerina is one of the fruits that has been obtained after many years of research. Platerina is a paraguayo with the skin of a nectarine, a crispy flesh and has more than 14º Brix degrees. It lasts a long time and this means it can be exported further a field, something which up until now had been impossible. This fruit, high in antioxidants, will be positioned in supermarkets on the packaged food shelves. It will be offered in convenient, portable tubs to be eaten “like biscuits”. In coming years more varieties will appear to cover the whole summer period.

According to Aliseda, “society today wants products to suit their needs: fruit with a sweet flavour and long shelf-life, soft skin, crispy flesh that is not at all jelly-like, convenient packaging and year-round availability.”

The significance and scale of this project has already attracted foreign companies interested in representing these new varieties. The company has visits every day and contacts with companies from South Africa, Australia and the USA. It is also collaborating with the Andes Nursery Association (ANA) in Chile to launch its varieties in South America.

Varieties for pre-prepared convenience food

Viveros Provedo has already optimised its varieties especially those aimed at the pre-prepared convenience food sector with suitable characteristics to allow them to be placed on refrigerated shelves. This task is being implemented by its associate, Caval, and will shortly be introduced in the market on a large scale. “This is fresh, chopped fruit prepared in appetising bags in a completely natural state and ready-to-eat. We are entering the fast food chain. This is the tip of the iceberg which will pave the way for much more to come”.

Article published in www. fruittoday.com in 2011