Blog Archives

“Strange Spanish melon season”

Niall Howe, Witkamp:
“Strange Spanish melon season”

The fruit and vegetable trading company Witkamp from Poeldijk receives melons from Spain every day. The company receives Galia, Canteloupe, Piel de Sapo, Honey Dew and watermelons (seedless), as well as watermelons in bulk, among other products. “The last car from Almeria arrived today. Soon the Murcia season will start,” says Niall Howe.


The salesman says it has been a strange season, which started late due to the cold weather conditions. “The cold weather meant that the demand has also been low. I can’t predict how the market will progress over the next few weeks. At the moment the prices are at a lower level than Spain would like. The price of the watermelon is between 35 and 40 cents and for the better sizes of Galias it’s between 5.50 and 6.50 Euro.”

“The quality of the last melons from Almeria is traditionally a little lower, but the prospects for the melons from Murcia are good,” continues Niall. “With daily arrivals we can also provide a fresh product. Due to good contacts with different suppliers in Spain we can always work with good prices. We carry various brands, so that there is something for every customer. We export most of the melons to the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and Germany.”


For more information:
Niall Howe
NJ. Witkamp BV.
Tel: 0174 28 29 31
Fax: 0174 28 29 00
[email protected]
www.witkamp.nl

Publication date: 6/26/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Italy: Positive melon campaign – less produce but satisfying prices

Bruno Francescon
Italy: Positive melon campaign – less produce but satisfying prices

“The 2014 melon campaign started very well in February with produce from Senegal: the fruit was of exceptional quality and clients responded well, so much so that we did not have enough to meet demand. Unfortunately, we finished our imports from Africa overlapping with production from Sicily, but it was an excellent spring campaign in general,” explains Bruno Francescon, chairman and administrator of a PO.


“As regards the Sicilian produce, prices were quite low, then temperatures dropped in May and demand remained low too, so we could barely cover production costs.”


“TerraEqua” is the brand of Francescon melons cultivated in Senegal.

“June and July went very well due to the increase in volumes and sufficient prices…up until the night between July 17th and 18th, when a hailstorm in the Mantua area changed things. Expectations were positive and quality was good, but we still had 700 ha to harvest and 400 ha were affected.”


“We recorded a +20% in July thanks to increased exports and new clients, but then in August and September we lost something like 500 trucks of melons. Thankfully, prices doubled in the last two months – almost €1/kg on average.”

“The 2014 campaign has been actually positive, with 25% less volumes but with a slightly increased turnover.”

Contacts:
OP Francescon
Via Retenago, 13
46040 Rodigo (MN) – Italy
Tel.: +39 0376 650727
Fax: +39 0376 684777
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.op-francescon.it

Publication date: 10/22/2014
Author: Rebecca Baron
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Itaueira Farms launches new sliced melon product

ANAHEIM, CA — Itaueira Farms, which markets premium extra-sweet melons from Brazil under the “REI” brand, introduced a new sliced melon pack at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit Convention & Expo, here.

The launch of the new product follows the 2013 debut of a fresh-cut melon pack, which featured chunks of the premium Brazilian Canary melons for which the company has built a following for the past several years.Itauera1

Rodrigo Lima, president of Crown International USA, the Coral Gables, FL-based North American marketing arm of Itaueira Farms, said the launch of the sliced melon pack is a continuation of the effort to offer more convenience for consumers who savor the flavor of the super premium melon.

“It’s ready to eat, with no fork necessary,” Lima said of the rind-on melon slices. “It’s very convenient for consumers and another way to help increase consumption of the melons.”

Lima said Itaueira is working to bring additional melon varieties from Brazil to the United States. He said the grower is about a year away from offering a Galia melon, and will have a limited supply of a Santa Claus melon as well.

“Itaueira has a policy of working with only the highest-quality producers in Brazil,” said Lima. “With the Galia melon, we have four years in research and development and expect to begin shipments next year. Right now, the Galia melons have a very good flavor, but they are too delicate to export. We found another seed that offers the high flavor and can withstand shipping, and next year we expect to be able to offer limited samples to key customers, but no commercial volumes yet.”

Carlos Prado, owner of Itaueira Farms, said that while the cost of production is higher for the premium melons he offers, his biggest concern is flavor.

“We don’t sell food – we sell flavor,” he said. “We want to sell a product that I want on my own table.”

Itaueira Farms has seen remarkable growth since 1999, when it first offered melons grown on about 20 acres. Today, it farms approximately 6,200 acres of melons, with the large majority — 90 percent — of product being consumed in Brazil. The remaining 10 percent is divided among Europe (6 percent) and the United States and Canada (4 percent combined).

Lima added that the new varieties already have U.S. Department of Agriculture clearance by virtue of the fact that they are grown in an area of Brazil deemed free of fruit flies.

Regarding food safety, Lima said Itaueira Farms has been in compliance with all Food & Drug Administration protocols for years, and has long met the strict GlobalGAP standards required in the European markets.

Additionally, each melon is labeled with traceability information, adding an extra layer of confidence in the quality and safety of the products.

At the PMA Fresh Summit, Itaueira was offering samples of the melons to visitors at the booth. Lima said sampling remains a key strategy to increasing sales of the melons, which carry a premium price at retail.

“The melons cost more at retail, but once people try them, they realize they are worth the price,” he said. “We encourage our retail customers to conduct sampling programs at their stores. When they do, they see a lot of repeat customers and the sales go up.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Peru: Melon exports to U.S. and Europe still paralysed

Peru: Melon exports to U.S. and Europe still paralysed

The project to produce and export melons developed by the agribusiness Gandules is paralysed, said its chief executive, John Varilias Velasquez. 

“This was an experimental project. While we did harvest the adequate quantity and quality of melons, the foreign market failed Peru because they want us to send fresh melon and not frozen or processed ones,” he said. 

In this regard, he said that what had stopped the melon export project had been the time it took for the melons to arrive at their destination markets, as it took them two weeks to get to the United States and about a month to arrive to Europe, and health institutions were seeking for a better product quality when it entered the port. 

“The improvement of the country’s infrastructure and logistics will give us a better chance to dispatch this product and we would work on this project again,” he said, noting that the agribusiness company he represents has acquired the know how of the business via their experimental project. “We have everything that is needed, such as the seeds, technologies, but the project is currently on stand-by,” he concluded. 

In 2013 Gandules led Peruvian melon exports with sales of $ 141,000 dollars. Its main markets were the Netherlands and Chile. That same year they made trial shipments to the United States and other countries in Europe. 

Source: agraria.pe

Publication date: 8/20/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Brazil: Agrícola Famosa to start shipping melon to Middle East

Brazil: Agrícola Famosa to start shipping melon to Middle East

Agrícola Famosa will start shipping its current fruit crop to the Middle East in September. The company is based in Icapuí, in Brazil’s Ceará state, and sells approximately ten containers a week to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “This is the third crop we have sold to these countries,” says company partner Luiz Roberto Barcelos. The enterprise sells mostly melon and watermelon.

Sales to the Middle East still pale in comparison to Agrícola Famosa’s total weekly export volume, which is 300 containers. But Barcelos believes in the market’s potential. “We are new to this market, but it holds great promise, what with its hot weather and widespread consumption of the fruits we sell,” says Barcelos regarding melons and watermelons, more widely consumed in high temperature places.

The company first entered the Arab market by taking part in overseas promotion programs of the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) and via a trader in Holland who occasionally sold Agrícola Famosa fruit to the Arab countries. Barcelos believes exports to Arabs can increase to thirty 40-foot containers a week within five years.

Presently, Agrícola Famosa’s premier foreign destination is Europe, which accounts for over 90% of sales. The company sells to England, Holland and Spain. Annual output is roughly 150,000 tonnes of fruit and approximately 60% is shipped abroad. Barcelos and the company’s other founding partner, Carlo Borro, both have backgrounds in trading companies. The company currently has two other partners, Richard Müller and Marconi Lima.

For more information:
Agrícola Famosa
Tel: (+55 85) 33245038
www.agricolafamosa.com.br

Publication date: 8/20/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Brazil: Agrícola Famosa to start shipping melon to Middle East

Brazil: Agrícola Famosa to start shipping melon to Middle East

Agrícola Famosa will start shipping its current fruit crop to the Middle East in September. The company is based in Icapuí, in Brazil’s Ceará state, and sells approximately ten containers a week to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “This is the third crop we have sold to these countries,” says company partner Luiz Roberto Barcelos. The enterprise sells mostly melon and watermelon.

Sales to the Middle East still pale in comparison to Agrícola Famosa’s total weekly export volume, which is 300 containers. But Barcelos believes in the market’s potential. “We are new to this market, but it holds great promise, what with its hot weather and widespread consumption of the fruits we sell,” says Barcelos regarding melons and watermelons, more widely consumed in high temperature places.

The company first entered the Arab market by taking part in overseas promotion programs of the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) and via a trader in Holland who occasionally sold Agrícola Famosa fruit to the Arab countries. Barcelos believes exports to Arabs can increase to thirty 40-foot containers a week within five years.

Presently, Agrícola Famosa’s premier foreign destination is Europe, which accounts for over 90% of sales. The company sells to England, Holland and Spain. Annual output is roughly 150,000 tonnes of fruit and approximately 60% is shipped abroad. Barcelos and the company’s other founding partner, Carlo Borro, both have backgrounds in trading companies. The company currently has two other partners, Richard Müller and Marconi Lima.

For more information:
Agrícola Famosa
Tel: (+55 85) 33245038
www.agricolafamosa.com.br

Publication date: 8/20/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Brazil: Agrícola Famosa to start shipping melon to Middle East

Brazil: Agrícola Famosa to start shipping melon to Middle East

Agrícola Famosa will start shipping its current fruit crop to the Middle East in September. The company is based in Icapuí, in Brazil’s Ceará state, and sells approximately ten containers a week to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “This is the third crop we have sold to these countries,” says company partner Luiz Roberto Barcelos. The enterprise sells mostly melon and watermelon.

Sales to the Middle East still pale in comparison to Agrícola Famosa’s total weekly export volume, which is 300 containers. But Barcelos believes in the market’s potential. “We are new to this market, but it holds great promise, what with its hot weather and widespread consumption of the fruits we sell,” says Barcelos regarding melons and watermelons, more widely consumed in high temperature places.

The company first entered the Arab market by taking part in overseas promotion programs of the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) and via a trader in Holland who occasionally sold Agrícola Famosa fruit to the Arab countries. Barcelos believes exports to Arabs can increase to thirty 40-foot containers a week within five years.

Presently, Agrícola Famosa’s premier foreign destination is Europe, which accounts for over 90% of sales. The company sells to England, Holland and Spain. Annual output is roughly 150,000 tonnes of fruit and approximately 60% is shipped abroad. Barcelos and the company’s other founding partner, Carlo Borro, both have backgrounds in trading companies. The company currently has two other partners, Richard Müller and Marconi Lima.

For more information:
Agrícola Famosa
Tel: (+55 85) 33245038
www.agricolafamosa.com.br

Publication date: 8/20/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Brazil: Agrícola Famosa to start shipping melon to Middle East

Brazil: Agrícola Famosa to start shipping melon to Middle East

Agrícola Famosa will start shipping its current fruit crop to the Middle East in September. The company is based in Icapuí, in Brazil’s Ceará state, and sells approximately ten containers a week to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. “This is the third crop we have sold to these countries,” says company partner Luiz Roberto Barcelos. The enterprise sells mostly melon and watermelon.

Sales to the Middle East still pale in comparison to Agrícola Famosa’s total weekly export volume, which is 300 containers. But Barcelos believes in the market’s potential. “We are new to this market, but it holds great promise, what with its hot weather and widespread consumption of the fruits we sell,” says Barcelos regarding melons and watermelons, more widely consumed in high temperature places.

The company first entered the Arab market by taking part in overseas promotion programs of the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) and via a trader in Holland who occasionally sold Agrícola Famosa fruit to the Arab countries. Barcelos believes exports to Arabs can increase to thirty 40-foot containers a week within five years.

Presently, Agrícola Famosa’s premier foreign destination is Europe, which accounts for over 90% of sales. The company sells to England, Holland and Spain. Annual output is roughly 150,000 tonnes of fruit and approximately 60% is shipped abroad. Barcelos and the company’s other founding partner, Carlo Borro, both have backgrounds in trading companies. The company currently has two other partners, Richard Müller and Marconi Lima.

For more information:
Agrícola Famosa
Tel: (+55 85) 33245038
www.agricolafamosa.com.br

Publication date: 8/20/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Spain: Difficult melon campaign with low prices

European markets realising that large calibres have a better quality
Spain: Difficult melon campaign with low prices

At the moment, the melon campaign is primarily focused in Murcia, although Almeria will remain on the market for around 15 more days, as many growers there planted later due to their fear to the New Delhi virus. 

“The results of the campaign are not positive so far in terms of quality, demand and prices,” points out Javier Uceda, manager of Somevisa.


 
With regard to quality, Uceda notes that the melons from both Murcia and Almeria have suffered the same problem this year: a lack of Brix because of the weather changes that accelerated the fruit’s growth. “Temperatures right now are lower than usual and the recent rains are not desirable during the harvesting period,” he adds. “Melons are generally not as sweet this year.”

As far as prices are concerned, melons have reached an average of less than € 0.40 this season; however, the situation right now has become more complicated and prices have dropped to an average of between 0.20 and 0.30 Euro per kilo at origin. “While it is difficult to make predictions, we expect this negative trend to continue throughout the season,” says Javier Uceda. “The quality problems and the lack of high summer temperatures are not favouring consumption, and there are also some oversupply issues at the moment.”

Growth in the export markets 

The domestic market has always been the most important and remains so for the Piel de Sapo melon, but Javier says that exports are gaining relevance given the increased demand outside the Spanish borders. 

“Over the past few years, we have gained a stable position in Portugal, where large calibres of between 3 and 5 kilos are demanded. In the rest of the continent, including Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, we are shipping melons of between 1.2 and 1.8 kg. It is very expensive to find small calibre melons, since almost all the varieties available are intended for the production of large calibres. And, when the melon is small in size, it is usually due to problems during the production process and the quality is not the same,” he explains. 

For this reason, Javier Uceda believes that the trends in demand may also change in the rest of Europe in favour of larger calibres. “This year we are noticing that European supermarkets are realising that large calibres have a better quality.”

Frutas Somevisa is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The Villaconejos-based company is devoted to the marketing of melons from all producing areas in Spain, mainly the Piel de Sapo variety. “We have warehouses for handling near the plantations in all production areas because we believe that in this way we reduce the time from harvest to the delivery to our customers, maintaining an ongoing relationship with growers,” states Javier. 

As soon as Murcia’s season ends, the firm will continue with melons from Castile-La Mancha and Villaconejos, which will be the last of a campaign finishing in late September.


For more information:
Javier Uceda García (Manager)
César Uceda (Director)
Frutas SOMEVISA, S.L.
Ctra Aranjuez, 29. Villaconejos, Madrid. Spain
T: +34 918910333
M: +34 629644247
[email protected]

Publication date: 6/26/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Kingston Fresh expands its melon program

Kingston Fresh announced that it has expanded its strategic sourcing partnerships with established growers of watermelons and cantaloupes within the Georgia and Mississippi region. The move will allow Kingston to extend its available melon volumes with the added summer production.KingstonFresh-sq Further, the strategic alliance has allowed the company to better service its key customers on the Eastern Seaboard.

“The dynamics of the domestic melon category continues to evolve each season,” Ken Nabal, Kingston president, said in a press release. “The shrinking truck capacity in Arizona combined with the serious water issues in California has forced us to look to the east to maintain consistency in the category. Whether it’s Athena cantaloupe, seedless mini watermelons or the western-type Harper variety cantaloupe now being grown in the east, we have experienced significant interest in promotional opportunities within our customer base.”

Kingston has been aggressively adding to its product line portfolio in recent years.

“We remain steadfast in our expansion plans at Kingston, particularly in growing our footprint within the melon category.” David O. Kingston, chief executive officer, said in the press release. “Eastern melon production from Georgia and Mississippi represent key growing areas that perfectly compliment our western U.S. production. Between these partnerships and the offshore component imported directly into our cold storage facility in South Florida, we are rounding out our melon program with a consistent and quality product for our customers.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Charentais melon forecast : Morocco – Spain – France

Charentais melon forecast : Morocco – Spain – France
Yellow Charentais area increases in Spain


Production Morocco

The melon forecasts for Charentais from Morocco, Spain and France were presented at last week’s Medfel, Perpignan (France). Production of Charentais melons in Morocco covers 1560-1800 ha, of which 950-1,050 ha is in the Marrakech area.  The melon season begins at the end of February and lasts until April in Dakhla (260-300ha), followed by the start of greenhouse production in Agadir (350-450ha) and Marrakech at the end of March. Greenhouse harvest in Marrakech is slightly delayed this year.  Field crops are harvested from the 20th April for the yellow Charentais and the 25th April for the green, reaching it’s peak between the 5-15th May. There has been a slight drop in acreage in Dakhla this year and a continual decrease in Agadir.  Acreage remains stable in Marrakech and Kenitra despite a decrease in small producers.  The season is good this year with no weather problems.


Production Spain

Harvest in Spain begins between April-May in Almeria, in ‘competition’ with the Moroccan green Charentais, followed by May-July in Murcia-Malaga.  Yellow Charentais surface has increased in the Murcia-Malaga area and acreage reaches 2,500-2,600 ha (of which 500-600 ha are used for green Charentais).  Weather has been favourable and overall, crops are healthy.  Acreage remains stable in Almeria (especially that of greenhouse green Charentais) totalling 300-350 ha.  Volume increases between the 15-20th May through until the end of June with some continuing into July.  Crops are healthy with calibre varying depending on the plot.  


Production France

French melons are slightly early this year.  Melons from heated greenhouses were on the market at the start of May, followed by tunnels at the end of the month.  Charentais melon acreage in France totals 14,060 ha, of which 5,400 ha is in the South-East where the main production is under covers and tunnels (3,400 ha), followed by 1,350 ha in outdoor crops and 650 ha sheltered.   Favourable weather conditions mean that crops are healthy, about a week early at the moment, but to be confirmed depending on the weather over the second half of May.  Acreage has dropped slightly in the South-West to 3,500 ha (100 ha in large shelters, 1,500 ha under covers and tunnels, 1,900 ha outdoors) and to 4,900 ha in the Centre-West (30 ha in large shelters, 2,100 ha under covers and tunnels, 2,770 ha outdoors) but crops are healthy and volume could make up for the surface decrease.   The South-West and Centre-West have experienced good conditions, are slightly early but this could change depending on the weather over May and June.

Source: Medfel

Publication date: 5/20/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Italy: Consorzio Mundial increases Red Falcon melon crops

Italy: Consorzio Mundial increases Red Falcon melon crops

Pigmented Red Falcon melons, a type of Cantaloupe melon by Nunhems, was created specifically for the soil and weather conditions of South-Eastern Sicily.


Red flesh melons are cultivated and sold exclusively by the companies who are part of Consorzio Mundial, which covers 1,500 ha, 1,000 of which are dedicated precisely to Red Falcon. 

As the chairman of the Consortium, Giuseppe “Pino” Marrali, explains that, “Red Falcon crops are getting increasingly popular. We sell only the best melons under the Mundial brand. We package them in processing warehouses equipped with cold storage units, so the produce can be kept in its best condition. We export 15% of the total production.” 


The Consortium handles around 35/40 thousand tons of melons per year. The produce is sold between April and July and harvesting started a few days ago.


“Our processes are certified by Sata, an external company that guarantees that we comply with the standards required by the market. We want to guarantee that the produce is controlled along the whole chain.”


Marrali concludes by saying that “the melon market is getting increasingly competitive, but we see it as a stimulus to do things better.”

Per contacts:
Ivan Della Piazza (Marketing manager)
Tel.: +39 348 0159820
Giuseppe Marrali: +39 336 504868
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.consorziomundial.com

Publication date: 4/24/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Italy: Consorzio Mundial increases Red Falcon melon crops

Italy: Consorzio Mundial increases Red Falcon melon crops

Pigmented Red Falcon melons, a type of Cantaloupe melon by Nunhems, was created specifically for the soil and weather conditions of South-Eastern Sicily.


Red flesh melons are cultivated and sold exclusively by the companies who are part of Consorzio Mundial, which covers 1,500 ha, 1,000 of which are dedicated precisely to Red Falcon. 

As the chairman of the Consortium, Giuseppe “Pino” Marrali, explains that, “Red Falcon crops are getting increasingly popular. We sell only the best melons under the Mundial brand. We package them in processing warehouses equipped with cold storage units, so the produce can be kept in its best condition. We export 15% of the total production.” 


The Consortium handles around 35/40 thousand tons of melons per year. The produce is sold between April and July and harvesting started a few days ago.


“Our processes are certified by Sata, an external company that guarantees that we comply with the standards required by the market. We want to guarantee that the produce is controlled along the whole chain.”


Marrali concludes by saying that “the melon market is getting increasingly competitive, but we see it as a stimulus to do things better.”

Per contacts:
Ivan Della Piazza (Marketing manager)
Tel.: +39 348 0159820
Giuseppe Marrali: +39 336 504868
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.consorziomundial.com

Publication date: 4/24/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Staay-Hispa kicks off Costa Rican melon season.

Fred Rennen: “Expecting same volumes as last year”
Staay-Hispa kicks off Costa Rican melon season.

Tholen – Last week, Staay-Hispa kicked off the Costa Rican melon season with Cantaloupe melons, from grower Exporpack, under the brand Delicia. The first watermelons came from Dulce and this week the yellow melons will arrive.

“Everything will be postponed for a little while, certainly when it comes to yellow and water melons. There aren’t many products on the market right now,” said Fred Rennen, who recently visited the Costa Rican production areas.

“The grower-conditions in Costa Rica were fine until now, the productions look very good. The first Cantaloupe melons are good quality, sweet and have a high brix. I am very positive about the follow-up for the season. I see now, that prices are stabilizing and rising,” said Fred.

Staay-Hispa expects to receive the same volumes of melons from Costa Rica as last year. “We are focussed on Costa Rica and offer a wide packet of several varieties, such as Charentais, Cantaloupe, Galia, yellow and watermelons, with or without pips,” said Fred.

“The season takes until the middle of May. Because of the continuity and the volume of reliable partners, we are capable to close off large programs with our clients, inland and abroad.”

SFG- DULCE, share of Staay Food Group, produces melons, watermelons, mango’s and pineapple under the brand DULCE in Costa Rica. Export of these products focusses on Europe and the USA.

For more information
Staay Hispa B.V.
Handelscentrum ZHZ
2991 LD Barendrecht
T  +31 (0)180 679 117
F  +31 (0)180 679 101
[email protected]
www.staay-hispa.nl

Publication date: 2/10/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Scientists study the effect of edible coating on fresh-cut melon

QUAFETY Project:
Scientists study the effect of edible coating on fresh-cut melon

Currently, the Edible Coating represents an innovative and promising technology to extend the shelf life of fresh produce, especially with regards to fresh-cut produce.

The scientists of Volcani Centre (Israel), partners in the EU Quafety Project on quality and safety of fresh-cut produce, have studied the effects of two polysaccharides (alginate and chitosan) as components of edible coatings on the quality of fresh-cut melon Galia.

Alginate was used as a primary coating component, different alginate concentrations were tested (0.5% w/v, 1.5% w/v, 3% w/v, 6% w/v) on coating thickness and physiological properties of fresh-cut melon. The coating with 1.5% w/v of alginate gave the best results.

On side: Microbial spoilage of fresh-cut melons after 20 days of storage at 6°C (from left: control, chitosan coating, alginate coating and alginate-chitosan coating).

Afterwards, the scientists modified the alginate-based coating for providing an antimicrobial protection to the fresh-cut melon.

In the first case, the scientists added Citral (0.5%), an antimicrobial additive, to the alginate solution, but there were not significant antimicrobial effects.

In the second case, the scientists added chitosan, an antimicrobial polysaccharide, as component of the coating matrix. The addition of chitosan to the alginate matrix resulted in a significant microbial reduction (about 2 log units) as compared with the control and pure alginate coating.


Firmness of fresh-cut melons with alginate and alginate-chitosan coating with and without citral after 21 days of storage at 6°C.

The scientists conclude that:

  1. alginate-chitosan based edible coating allows to preserve quality and safety of fresh-cut melon Galia, thanks to the adhesive properties of alginate and the antimicrobial activity of chitosan;
  2. the use of antimicrobial essential oils needs further studies, because oil application at low concentrations is ineffective, while oil application at high concentrations has a negative impact on organoleptic characteristics of fresh-cut product.

Source: Poverenov E., Cohen R., Yefremov T., Vinokur Y., Rodov V., ‘Effects of polysaccharide-based edible coatings on fresh-cut melon quality’, 2014, Acta Horticulturae, Vol. 1015, pagg. 145-152. Further info: www.actahort.org/books/1015/1015_16.htm

Publication date: 1/17/2014
Author: Emanuela Fontana
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Spain: Salzillo F1: Nunhems’ Piel de Sapo melon variety

Suitable for open ground and greenhouse cultivation
Spain: Salzillo F1: Nunhems’ Piel de Sapo melon variety

Good settling, high productivity and very uniform fruits; these are the defining characteristics of the best melon variety for Cartagena, which is additionally highly resistant to oidium.

Salzillo F1 is especially indicated for transplants between 5 and 25 March and offers a full package of exclusive advantages, making it the best option for early cultivation of the Piel de Sapo melon in the Spanish Region of Murcia. It is suitable for both open ground and greenhouse growing, and the uniformity of its fruits is particularly noteworthy, with regular shapes and calibers oscillating between 3 and 4 kilos.

It also has a longer shelf life, making it ideal to cover the growing demand for melon varieties that can retain their qualities longer after being harvested. Its durability also gives producers flexibility when estimating the appropriate harvest time.

Sharp temperature oscillations and the conditions for production that are best suited for early cycle cultivation, have been taken into account for the development of this variety, as well as the incidence of the most common illnesses in the area of Cartagena. As a result, Salzillo F1 is highly resistant to oidium, allowing plants to remain healthy until the end of the harvest.

Additionally, it is a variety that settles easily, which ensures the desired earliness in order to be the first to arrive in the market. The excellent uniformity in production makes it possible to maximise second and third settlings, with fruits also meeting optimal conditions for commercialisation.

This new Piel de Sapo from Nunhems is just starting its grand scale commercialisation with the certainty of responding to specific demands, which will help in increasing profitability for producers and commercial operators. Nunhems also has great hopes for the use of Salzillo F1 in extra-early open ground cycles in La Mancha.

Publication date: 1/3/2014


FreshPlaza.com

Argentina: Melon production affected by the frosts

Argentina: Melon production affected by the frosts

The melon production came in late as some hectares were burned by the cold weather and the rest was planted very late. The sector lost an important market and the season’s best prices.

Almost all of this season’s Sarmiento’s novelty melon, which is harvested and sold in the beginning of December to the most important markets in the country, was lost due to late frosts that affected more than 25,000 acres of fruits and vegetables throughout the province. Sarmiento, a leading producer of melon, produces 70% of the novelty varieties most affected by the frost. The producers who had planted the fruit during the beginning of September lost their plants to the frosts, and those who had decided to wait, because of the weather forecasts, lost a month’s work, which in turn made the fruit lose its novelty factor.

Since the novelty melon fetches top prices due to it being one of the first on the market, the economic impact was also high, however, there are no estimated figures of the sector’s economic losses. “Producers from Sarmiento tend to grow the novelty melon because it leaves the best profit margin. 70% of them are planting the novelty melon here,” said Pedro Mestre, director of Produccion de Sarmiento.

Each season, San Juan produces some 5 million melons of different commercial qualities. Due to the late production this year, their melons will have to compete with other production areas such as Mendoza and La Rioja once they hit the markets this week.

Guillermo Videla, from the Association of Small Melon Producers in Tres Esquinas, said that he hadn’t been affected by the cold because he had decided to plant later, but that the producers who had planted earlier had lost their crops to the frosts had reseeded their plantations after the frost. “I’m about to harvest now which is unusual, I would have harvested novelty melons on the first days of December normally. People who lost their crops had to replant and make further investments.” said the producer.

Source: Tiempodesanjuan.com

Publication date: 1/3/2014


FreshPlaza.com