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Pink Lady celebrates 21 years in the UK

Pink Lady celebrates 21 years in the UK

Pink Lady® is marking its 21st year in the UK with a large scale consumer promotion taking place this summer. An on-pack giveaway of 21 prizes over 21 days will be promoted on all bags and tray packs and in most major retailers[1] from 1st July with a prize a day being given away from 12th July – 1st August.  

The promotion will involve Pink Lady® giving away its ‘Birthday Wish List’ of prizes including:

  • A weekend for two in New York (the Big Apple!)
  • Orient express experience for two
  • A week-long family holiday in Tuscany
  • An overnight stay in London with tickets to a West End Show
  • A personal shopping experience in Selfridges

The 21st prize will be selected by the brand’s fans on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Print advertising titles such as Marie Claire, BBC Good Food, Tesco and Sainsbury’s Magazine will run alongside online activity, including a Mumsnet sponsored discussion and Yahoo takeover. The brand’s social channels – Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest – will be employed to boost direct consumer engagement and to promote the winners. In-store support includes radio and shelf barkers in Morrisons and shelf barkers in Waitrose.

Michelle Toft, Marketing Manager for Pink Lady® in the UK comments:

“We are really excited about this promotion. Our 21st birthday is a perfect opportunity to celebrate the success of the Pink Lady® brand with our customers and, of course, to further boost awareness and sales. We’ve been delighted by the support we’ve had from our retail customers across the board, which will help to ensure the promotion is as successful as it can be.”

The first shipment of 500 boxes of Pink Lady® apples were introduced to the UK market in 1992. With over 3.5 million boxes now sold every year, the UK has become one of the most important and successful markets for the Pink Lady® brand globally.

Andy Macdonald, Managing Director of Coregeo Ltd, Master Licensor for Pink Lady® in the UK, comments:

“Since entering the UK market in 1992, Pink Lady® has enjoyed impressive success, having carved out a market share of 11% – making the apple one of the top 3 by value in the UK.”

“We’re particularly proud of the sales gains and household penetration increase we have made during the challenging economic conditions of the last couple of years, during which time sales and penetration of other apples have been falling.”

“Our commitment to a high quality product, alongside a proactive marketing campaign, has been fundamental to the success of the brand, and we look forward to celebrating this success with our consumers through this promotion.”

Promotional packs of Pink Lady® apples – each containing a unique code – go on sale in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Waitrose, Co-op, Aldi, Asda, Ocado, Costco, Booths and Budgens from 1st July. Entry will be via a dedicated microsite on the Pink Lady® apples website at www.pinkladyapples.co.uk/21.

 

Publication date: 6/28/2013


FreshPlaza.com

Mexican mangos to US ahead of last year’s shipments

Mexican mangos to US ahead of last year’s shipments

About halfway through the window during which Mexican growers export mangos to the US, the rate at which mangos have arrived in the US is ahead of last year’s pace.

The National Mango Board projects that total shipments of Mexican mangos into the US will reach 42.1 million boxes this season. Shipments for the season reached 35.6 million boxes during the week ending on June 15, and that’s about three million more boxes than were shipped at the same time last year. Last season’s shipments from Mexico were at 35.7 million boxes for mid-June last year. The week ending June 15, 2013 saw Mexican growers ship 3.3 million boxes of mangos into the US, which means this is when shippers approach peak volumes for the season.

The most popular varieties this season have been the Tommy Atkins and Ataulfo, with those two varieties representing almost 70 percent of the mangos coming into the US from Mexico.

Publication date: 6/28/2013
Author: Carlos Nunez
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

20 Years of Data Show Poultry, Fish, Beef Have Remained Leading Sources of Food-Related Outbreaks

Between 1998 and 2008, poultry, fish and beef were consistently responsible for the greatest proportion of foodborne illness outbreaks, according to a new government analysis.

Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed the 13,405 food-related outbreaks reported during this time period, identifying 3,264 outbreaks that could be attributed to a specific food category. Fish and poultry remained responsible for the greatest share of these outbreaks over these 20 years — accounting for about 17 percent of outbreaks each — followed closely by beef, which was responsible for 14 percent of outbreaks.

Eggs, on the other hand, played an increasingly smaller role as outbreak sources – accounting for 6 percent of outbreaks in 1998-1999 and for just 2 percent in 2006-2008. This trend was largely due to a decrease in the amount of Salmonella outbreaks linked to eggs, according to the report authors.

Leafy greens became a more common outbreak source, responsible for 6 percent of outbreaks in 1998-1999 and 11 percent by 2008-2009. Dairy also grew as an outbreak source, rising from 4 percent in the beginning of the period studied to 6 percent by 2006-2008.

The researchers also looked at the leading pathogen-food combinations that caused outbreaks during the 20-year window, finding that histamine in fish was the most common outbreak source, followed by ciguatoxin in fish, Salmonella in poultry and norovirus in leafy vegetables.

“You see the same combinations of pathogens and foods repeatedly,” said Hannah Gould, epidemiologist in the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases at CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases and lead author of the report. “It’s good to keep tracking that and now to have a method to continue to look at changes over time,” Gould commented in an interview with Food Safety News.

The authors note that the number of outbreaks linked to these commodities should not be confused with the number of illnesses caused by these foods, as outbreaks result in varying numbers of illnesses.

While poultry was responsible for the largest share of illnesses (17 percent) between 1998 and 2008, leafy greens were the next greatest cause of illness, accounting for 13 percent of the 67,752 illnesses attributed to an outbreak food source.

The pathogen/commodity pairs responsible for the most outbreak-related illnesses were norovirus and leafy vegetables, which led to 4,011 illnesses of the 67,752 linked to a designated commodity category.

The team also looked at food preparation, finding that restaurants and delis accounted for the vast majority (68 percent) of the places where outbreak-linked foods were prepared. Private homes were the next most common place of preparation, at 9 percent, followed by catering or banquet facilities (7 percent).

“That’s something interesting that we talk about here more than we usually do,” said Gould, referring to the location data, which CDC doesn’t often report in its reviews of foodborne illness data.

Outbreaks after 2008

What about outbreaks that have occurred since 2008? Have these trends continued or have they changed in the past few years?

“Leafy greens and norovirus continues to be a problem and norovirus has been the number one cause of outbreaks in our data for years and years and years and has remained that way,” said Gould.

Gould also led an analysis of foodborne illness outbreaks that occurred between 2009 and 2010 — published in January of this year — which found that during that period, beef, dairy, fish, and poultry were associated with the largest number of foodborne disease outbreaks.

That report also showed that unpasteurized dairy products are the leading cause of dairy-related outbreaks, accounting for 81 percent of the outbreaks linked to dairy during that time period. Gould said the 1998-2008 report shows that the incidence of raw dairy-related outbreaks has been growing over this time.

“Outbreaks caused by dairy went up as well, and that seems to be caused by an increasing number of outbreaks due to unpasteurized milk,” she said.

The data used for this report comes from CDC’s Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System, which was started by CDC in 1973 and went online in 1998. The authors chose 1998-2008 as their reporting period because the format of the database changed starting in 2008, when it became the National Outbreak Reporting System.

Although this new report may appear similar to one CDC released in January titled “Attribution of Foodborne Illnesses, Hospitalizations, and Deaths to Food Commodities by Using Outbreak Data, United States, 1998-2008,” the two are very different. The January report offers an estimation of total U.S. illnesses linked to various food sources. Though it is based on data from the Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System, the figures in that report are extrapolated based on national foodborne illness estimates, while this June report looked only at outbreaks reported to CDC.

The complete results of the 2998-2008 data analysis can be found in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Food Safety News

US: Mango imports behind last year’s volumes

US: Mango imports behind last year’s volumes

The amount of mangos imported into the United States from Ecuador and Peru this season lag behind the volumes brought into the country last year.

At the end of the first week in December, the total volume of imported mangos from Ecuador reached 6.8 million boxes, which is 1.4 million fewer boxes than were imported by the same week last year. The projected total amount of fruit received from Ecuador this import season, which is expected to last into January, is 8.6 million boxes.

As of the end of last week, prices for a box of Tommy Atkins 7s from Ecuador were between $ 6.00 and $ 7.00 at the Philadelphia port of entry, between $ 5.00 and $ 7.00 at the South Florida ports of entry and between $ 6.50 and $ 7.50 at the Southern California ports of entry.

Arrivals from Peru have also trailed imports from last season. While just over 441,000 boxes of mangos had arrived from Peru by the end of the first week of December in 2013, shipments from Peru were 11,000 boxes by the end of the first week of this month. But unlike Ecuador, the Peruvian import window is just getting underway, so there’s still time before April, when the Peruvian season is expected to wrap up, for total imports to reach the 9.0 million boxes which are expected to enter the United States.

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

US: Mango imports behind last year’s volumes

US: Mango imports behind last year’s volumes

The amount of mangos imported into the United States from Ecuador and Peru this season lag behind the volumes brought into the country last year.

At the end of the first week in December, the total volume of imported mangos from Ecuador reached 6.8 million boxes, which is 1.4 million fewer boxes than were imported by the same week last year. The projected total amount of fruit received from Ecuador this import season, which is expected to last into January, is 8.6 million boxes.

As of the end of last week, prices for a box of Tommy Atkins 7s from Ecuador were between $ 6.00 and $ 7.00 at the Philadelphia port of entry, between $ 5.00 and $ 7.00 at the South Florida ports of entry and between $ 6.50 and $ 7.50 at the Southern California ports of entry.

Arrivals from Peru have also trailed imports from last season. While just over 441,000 boxes of mangos had arrived from Peru by the end of the first week of December in 2013, shipments from Peru were 11,000 boxes by the end of the first week of this month. But unlike Ecuador, the Peruvian import window is just getting underway, so there’s still time before April, when the Peruvian season is expected to wrap up, for total imports to reach the 9.0 million boxes which are expected to enter the United States.

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

US: Mango imports behind last year’s volumes

US: Mango imports behind last year’s volumes

The amount of mangos imported into the United States from Ecuador and Peru this season lag behind the volumes brought into the country last year.

At the end of the first week in December, the total volume of imported mangos from Ecuador reached 6.8 million boxes, which is 1.4 million fewer boxes than were imported by the same week last year. The projected total amount of fruit received from Ecuador this import season, which is expected to last into January, is 8.6 million boxes.

As of the end of last week, prices for a box of Tommy Atkins 7s from Ecuador were between $ 6.00 and $ 7.00 at the Philadelphia port of entry, between $ 5.00 and $ 7.00 at the South Florida ports of entry and between $ 6.50 and $ 7.50 at the Southern California ports of entry.

Arrivals from Peru have also trailed imports from last season. While just over 441,000 boxes of mangos had arrived from Peru by the end of the first week of December in 2013, shipments from Peru were 11,000 boxes by the end of the first week of this month. But unlike Ecuador, the Peruvian import window is just getting underway, so there’s still time before April, when the Peruvian season is expected to wrap up, for total imports to reach the 9.0 million boxes which are expected to enter the United States.

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

US: Mango imports behind last year’s volumes

US: Mango imports behind last year’s volumes

The amount of mangos imported into the United States from Ecuador and Peru this season lag behind the volumes brought into the country last year.

At the end of the first week in December, the total volume of imported mangos from Ecuador reached 6.8 million boxes, which is 1.4 million fewer boxes than were imported by the same week last year. The projected total amount of fruit received from Ecuador this import season, which is expected to last into January, is 8.6 million boxes.

As of the end of last week, prices for a box of Tommy Atkins 7s from Ecuador were between $ 6.00 and $ 7.00 at the Philadelphia port of entry, between $ 5.00 and $ 7.00 at the South Florida ports of entry and between $ 6.50 and $ 7.50 at the Southern California ports of entry.

Arrivals from Peru have also trailed imports from last season. While just over 441,000 boxes of mangos had arrived from Peru by the end of the first week of December in 2013, shipments from Peru were 11,000 boxes by the end of the first week of this month. But unlike Ecuador, the Peruvian import window is just getting underway, so there’s still time before April, when the Peruvian season is expected to wrap up, for total imports to reach the 9.0 million boxes which are expected to enter the United States.

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

US: Mango imports behind last year’s volumes

US: Mango imports behind last year’s volumes

The amount of mangos imported into the United States from Ecuador and Peru this season lag behind the volumes brought into the country last year.

At the end of the first week in December, the total volume of imported mangos from Ecuador reached 6.8 million boxes, which is 1.4 million fewer boxes than were imported by the same week last year. The projected total amount of fruit received from Ecuador this import season, which is expected to last into January, is 8.6 million boxes.

As of the end of last week, prices for a box of Tommy Atkins 7s from Ecuador were between $ 6.00 and $ 7.00 at the Philadelphia port of entry, between $ 5.00 and $ 7.00 at the South Florida ports of entry and between $ 6.50 and $ 7.50 at the Southern California ports of entry.

Arrivals from Peru have also trailed imports from last season. While just over 441,000 boxes of mangos had arrived from Peru by the end of the first week of December in 2013, shipments from Peru were 11,000 boxes by the end of the first week of this month. But unlike Ecuador, the Peruvian import window is just getting underway, so there’s still time before April, when the Peruvian season is expected to wrap up, for total imports to reach the 9.0 million boxes which are expected to enter the United States.

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

US: Mango imports behind last year’s volumes

US: Mango imports behind last year’s volumes

The amount of mangos imported into the United States from Ecuador and Peru this season lag behind the volumes brought into the country last year.

At the end of the first week in December, the total volume of imported mangos from Ecuador reached 6.8 million boxes, which is 1.4 million fewer boxes than were imported by the same week last year. The projected total amount of fruit received from Ecuador this import season, which is expected to last into January, is 8.6 million boxes.

As of the end of last week, prices for a box of Tommy Atkins 7s from Ecuador were between $ 6.00 and $ 7.00 at the Philadelphia port of entry, between $ 5.00 and $ 7.00 at the South Florida ports of entry and between $ 6.50 and $ 7.50 at the Southern California ports of entry.

Arrivals from Peru have also trailed imports from last season. While just over 441,000 boxes of mangos had arrived from Peru by the end of the first week of December in 2013, shipments from Peru were 11,000 boxes by the end of the first week of this month. But unlike Ecuador, the Peruvian import window is just getting underway, so there’s still time before April, when the Peruvian season is expected to wrap up, for total imports to reach the 9.0 million boxes which are expected to enter the United States.

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

US: Mango imports behind last year’s volumes

US: Mango imports behind last year’s volumes

The amount of mangos imported into the United States from Ecuador and Peru this season lag behind the volumes brought into the country last year.

At the end of the first week in December, the total volume of imported mangos from Ecuador reached 6.8 million boxes, which is 1.4 million fewer boxes than were imported by the same week last year. The projected total amount of fruit received from Ecuador this import season, which is expected to last into January, is 8.6 million boxes.

As of the end of last week, prices for a box of Tommy Atkins 7s from Ecuador were between $ 6.00 and $ 7.00 at the Philadelphia port of entry, between $ 5.00 and $ 7.00 at the South Florida ports of entry and between $ 6.50 and $ 7.50 at the Southern California ports of entry.

Arrivals from Peru have also trailed imports from last season. While just over 441,000 boxes of mangos had arrived from Peru by the end of the first week of December in 2013, shipments from Peru were 11,000 boxes by the end of the first week of this month. But unlike Ecuador, the Peruvian import window is just getting underway, so there’s still time before April, when the Peruvian season is expected to wrap up, for total imports to reach the 9.0 million boxes which are expected to enter the United States.

Publication date: 12/16/2014
Author: Carlos Nunez / Sander Bruins Slot
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Dragonberry celebrates 10 years of excellence

Dragonberry Produce celebrated its 10th anniversary with style and elegance at the River Place Hotel in Portland, OR, Dec. 6. “The intimate event was a small gathering of favorite friends, family, growers, customers and vendors,” Founder Amy Nguyen told The Produce News. “I took this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for the successful partnerships we have built in the last 10 years. These people believed in Dragonberry and invested in us. They have supported us and allowed us to market products and blossom at our own rate.”DragonberryAnniversaryDragonberry Produce founder Amy Nguyen (right) with Jackie Caplan Wiggins, COO of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, and Frieda Caplan, founder of Frieda’s. (Photo courtesy of Dragonberry Produce)

Frieda Caplan, founder of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, was the guest of honor at the event. “She was such an inspiration to me when I first entered the produce industry,” Nguyen said. “Her success story and achievements inspired me and infused my admiration for her from the first time meeting her 10 years ago. Her passions, love and excitement for what she does is so contigious that I can feel her energy even at her age of 91. Everyone was so excited to come and meet her, as she was the first lady of the produce industry.”

The boutique-style specialty produce distributor first opened its doors in Clackamas, OR, eventually moving to its state-of-the-art facility in Canby, OR, in 2013.

The Canby facility is LEED-certified Silver by the U.S. Green Building Council, the first of its kind for produce distribution in Oregon. “We have built a strong company branding that is unique,” Nguyen said. “We became a knowledgeable company that exports, imports and distributes through our family of partnerships. We learned how to work with different government agencies to establish tolerances laws. We learned a lot in the last 10 years and will continue to become a better learner. I believe when you are a good learner, you become a strong achiever.”

As to the future, Ngyuen said, “I believe success is not a destination, but a continuous journey we travel together with all our partnerships. Dragonberry’s motto is to always have continuous improvement. I want to lead my company to become more refined and establish a culture of premium first-class quality that surpasses the ordinary.”

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

Dragonberry celebrates 10 years of excellence

Dragonberry Produce celebrated its 10th anniversary with style and elegance at the River Place Hotel in Portland, OR, Dec. 6. “The intimate event was a small gathering of favorite friends, family, growers, customers and vendors,” Founder Amy Nguyen told The Produce News. “I took this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for the successful partnerships we have built in the last 10 years. These people believed in Dragonberry and invested in us. They have supported us and allowed us to market products and blossom at our own rate.”DragonberryAnniversaryDragonberry Produce founder Amy Nguyen (right) with Jackie Caplan Wiggins, COO of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, and Frieda Caplan, founder of Frieda’s. (Photo courtesy of Dragonberry Produce)

Frieda Caplan, founder of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, was the guest of honor at the event. “She was such an inspiration to me when I first entered the produce industry,” Nguyen said. “Her success story and achievements inspired me and infused my admiration for her from the first time meeting her 10 years ago. Her passions, love and excitement for what she does is so contigious that I can feel her energy even at her age of 91. Everyone was so excited to come and meet her, as she was the first lady of the produce industry.”

The boutique-style specialty produce distributor first opened its doors in Clackamas, OR, eventually moving to its state-of-the-art facility in Canby, OR, in 2013.

The Canby facility is LEED-certified Silver by the U.S. Green Building Council, the first of its kind for produce distribution in Oregon. “We have built a strong company branding that is unique,” Nguyen said. “We became a knowledgeable company that exports, imports and distributes through our family of partnerships. We learned how to work with different government agencies to establish tolerances laws. We learned a lot in the last 10 years and will continue to become a better learner. I believe when you are a good learner, you become a strong achiever.”

As to the future, Ngyuen said, “I believe success is not a destination, but a continuous journey we travel together with all our partnerships. Dragonberry’s motto is to always have continuous improvement. I want to lead my company to become more refined and establish a culture of premium first-class quality that surpasses the ordinary.”

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

Dragonberry celebrates 10 years of excellence

Dragonberry Produce celebrated its 10th anniversary with style and elegance at the River Place Hotel in Portland, OR, Dec. 6. “The intimate event was a small gathering of favorite friends, family, growers, customers and vendors,” Founder Amy Nguyen told The Produce News. “I took this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation for the successful partnerships we have built in the last 10 years. These people believed in Dragonberry and invested in us. They have supported us and allowed us to market products and blossom at our own rate.”DragonberryAnniversaryDragonberry Produce founder Amy Nguyen (right) with Jackie Caplan Wiggins, COO of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, and Frieda Caplan, founder of Frieda’s. (Photo courtesy of Dragonberry Produce)

Frieda Caplan, founder of Frieda’s Specialty Produce, was the guest of honor at the event. “She was such an inspiration to me when I first entered the produce industry,” Nguyen said. “Her success story and achievements inspired me and infused my admiration for her from the first time meeting her 10 years ago. Her passions, love and excitement for what she does is so contigious that I can feel her energy even at her age of 91. Everyone was so excited to come and meet her, as she was the first lady of the produce industry.”

The boutique-style specialty produce distributor first opened its doors in Clackamas, OR, eventually moving to its state-of-the-art facility in Canby, OR, in 2013.

The Canby facility is LEED-certified Silver by the U.S. Green Building Council, the first of its kind for produce distribution in Oregon. “We have built a strong company branding that is unique,” Nguyen said. “We became a knowledgeable company that exports, imports and distributes through our family of partnerships. We learned how to work with different government agencies to establish tolerances laws. We learned a lot in the last 10 years and will continue to become a better learner. I believe when you are a good learner, you become a strong achiever.”

As to the future, Ngyuen said, “I believe success is not a destination, but a continuous journey we travel together with all our partnerships. Dragonberry’s motto is to always have continuous improvement. I want to lead my company to become more refined and establish a culture of premium first-class quality that surpasses the ordinary.”

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

Seed dormancy, a property that prevents germination, already existed 360 million years ago

An international team of scientists, coordinated by a researcher from the U. of Granada, has found that seed dormancy (a property that prevents germination under non-favorable conditions) was a feature already present in the first seeds, 360 million years ago.

Seed dormancy is a phenomenon that has intrigued naturalists for decades, since it conditions the dynamics of natural vegetation and agricultural cycles. There are several types of dormancy, and some of them are modulated by environmental conditions in more subtle ways than others.

In an article published in the New Phytologist journal, these scientists have studied the evolution of dormancy in seeds using a unique data group. This included the features of dormancy in more than 14,000 species. It is the result of Carol and Jerry Baskin’s work, the co-authors of this publication, who have been studying latency since the 60s.

The analyses conducted by this team of researchers have established that dormancy is as old as seeds themselves. In other words, the oldest among all seeds already had dormancy. ‘Of all possible types of dormancy, the oldest one already featured very sophisticated adjustments to environmental conditions,” according to the coordinator of this project, Rafael Rubio de Casas, a researcher from the Environment Department at the University of Granada, and the only Spaniard involved in this research.

Producing new species

The results of this project indicate that plants without dormancy tend to be less capable of diversification, i.e. to produce new species. “This can be due to the fact that dormancy facilitates that germination only takes place at the optimal moment, in spite of changes in the environment, due either to weather phenomena, or whether due to the fact that the seeds reach a new location after dispersal. This adjustment of the plant cycle to the new environment can reduce the probability of a particular species to become extinct,” Rubio de Casas pointed out.

Dormancy does not simply involve that seeds do not germinate when it is too hot or too cold, since under those conditions it is the environment itself which precludes germination. “What dormancy does is make sure that the seeds do not germinate even when conditions are favorable, which precludes germination after a summer storm, or during a few warm days in winter,” the U. of Granada researcher added.

However, not all plants have dormant seeds. Actually, many species of plants simply germinate at the moment when their seeds are exposed to favouable conditions. Besides, it appears that plants can acquire and lose the dormancy of their seeds in a relatively fast way as a result of natural selection.

“For instance, in the case of cultivated plants, dormancy is one of the first features that appear to have been lost over the domestication process, and for this reason the date for sowing is such an important parameter in farming,” according to Rubio de Casas.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Granada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Seed dormancy, a property that prevents germination, already existed 360 million years ago

An international team of scientists, coordinated by a researcher from the U. of Granada, has found that seed dormancy (a property that prevents germination under non-favorable conditions) was a feature already present in the first seeds, 360 million years ago.

Seed dormancy is a phenomenon that has intrigued naturalists for decades, since it conditions the dynamics of natural vegetation and agricultural cycles. There are several types of dormancy, and some of them are modulated by environmental conditions in more subtle ways than others.

In an article published in the New Phytologist journal, these scientists have studied the evolution of dormancy in seeds using a unique data group. This included the features of dormancy in more than 14,000 species. It is the result of Carol and Jerry Baskin’s work, the co-authors of this publication, who have been studying latency since the 60s.

The analyses conducted by this team of researchers have established that dormancy is as old as seeds themselves. In other words, the oldest among all seeds already had dormancy. ‘Of all possible types of dormancy, the oldest one already featured very sophisticated adjustments to environmental conditions,” according to the coordinator of this project, Rafael Rubio de Casas, a researcher from the Environment Department at the University of Granada, and the only Spaniard involved in this research.

Producing new species

The results of this project indicate that plants without dormancy tend to be less capable of diversification, i.e. to produce new species. “This can be due to the fact that dormancy facilitates that germination only takes place at the optimal moment, in spite of changes in the environment, due either to weather phenomena, or whether due to the fact that the seeds reach a new location after dispersal. This adjustment of the plant cycle to the new environment can reduce the probability of a particular species to become extinct,” Rubio de Casas pointed out.

Dormancy does not simply involve that seeds do not germinate when it is too hot or too cold, since under those conditions it is the environment itself which precludes germination. “What dormancy does is make sure that the seeds do not germinate even when conditions are favorable, which precludes germination after a summer storm, or during a few warm days in winter,” the U. of Granada researcher added.

However, not all plants have dormant seeds. Actually, many species of plants simply germinate at the moment when their seeds are exposed to favouable conditions. Besides, it appears that plants can acquire and lose the dormancy of their seeds in a relatively fast way as a result of natural selection.

“For instance, in the case of cultivated plants, dormancy is one of the first features that appear to have been lost over the domestication process, and for this reason the date for sowing is such an important parameter in farming,” according to Rubio de Casas.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Granada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Seed dormancy, a property that prevents germination, already existed 360 million years ago

An international team of scientists, coordinated by a researcher from the U. of Granada, has found that seed dormancy (a property that prevents germination under non-favorable conditions) was a feature already present in the first seeds, 360 million years ago.

Seed dormancy is a phenomenon that has intrigued naturalists for decades, since it conditions the dynamics of natural vegetation and agricultural cycles. There are several types of dormancy, and some of them are modulated by environmental conditions in more subtle ways than others.

In an article published in the New Phytologist journal, these scientists have studied the evolution of dormancy in seeds using a unique data group. This included the features of dormancy in more than 14,000 species. It is the result of Carol and Jerry Baskin’s work, the co-authors of this publication, who have been studying latency since the 60s.

The analyses conducted by this team of researchers have established that dormancy is as old as seeds themselves. In other words, the oldest among all seeds already had dormancy. ‘Of all possible types of dormancy, the oldest one already featured very sophisticated adjustments to environmental conditions,” according to the coordinator of this project, Rafael Rubio de Casas, a researcher from the Environment Department at the University of Granada, and the only Spaniard involved in this research.

Producing new species

The results of this project indicate that plants without dormancy tend to be less capable of diversification, i.e. to produce new species. “This can be due to the fact that dormancy facilitates that germination only takes place at the optimal moment, in spite of changes in the environment, due either to weather phenomena, or whether due to the fact that the seeds reach a new location after dispersal. This adjustment of the plant cycle to the new environment can reduce the probability of a particular species to become extinct,” Rubio de Casas pointed out.

Dormancy does not simply involve that seeds do not germinate when it is too hot or too cold, since under those conditions it is the environment itself which precludes germination. “What dormancy does is make sure that the seeds do not germinate even when conditions are favorable, which precludes germination after a summer storm, or during a few warm days in winter,” the U. of Granada researcher added.

However, not all plants have dormant seeds. Actually, many species of plants simply germinate at the moment when their seeds are exposed to favouable conditions. Besides, it appears that plants can acquire and lose the dormancy of their seeds in a relatively fast way as a result of natural selection.

“For instance, in the case of cultivated plants, dormancy is one of the first features that appear to have been lost over the domestication process, and for this reason the date for sowing is such an important parameter in farming,” according to Rubio de Casas.

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The above story is based on materials provided by University of Granada. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Chinese garlic crop is largest in four years with lower prices expected

Prices for Chinese garlic have reached historic highs in recent years due to light crops, but this year’s crop is expected to be up in volume by about 35 percent with a corresponding drop in price, according to Jim Provost, managing partner of I Love Produce in West Grove, PA.

For the past three years, prices for Chinese garlic have been “stronger than they have ever been” previously, said Mr. Provost, who had just returned from a three-week visit to China when he spoke with The Produce News in late June.

ILP-Peeled-garlic-grading-aILP Peeled garlic grading after cooling.U.S. Department of Agriculture market reports show that “Chinese prices have been very strong, right up there compared to what California garlic is typically marketed at in a normal year,” he said.

Those strong prices are one reason for this year’s increase in production, he said. As with farmers in many places, when Chinese farmers “see there is money to be made, they plant more.”

In addition to the increased acreage, crop yields are particularly high this year, he said.

“This year was a convergence of not only the amount of acreage planted” but of higher yields as well, “so the combination of the two has led to the biggest crop in four years,” Provost said.

Planting acreage is about 20 percent higher than last year, and yields are up 10-15 percent, according to Provost. The net increase is expected to be in the range of 1 million to 1.5 million metric tons.

It is not a record crop, however, but more of a return to a typical crop, he said.

Provost said he expects to receive the first peeled garlic of the season from China the week of July 8 and the first fresh garlic the week of July 15. He expects I Love Produce to be the first company to have new-crop Chinese garlic available in the United States.

After three years of “relatively tight” supplies with prices “comparable to domestically grown garlic,” this year will be “an entirely different deal, with garlic at least 30 percent cheaper on average,” Provost said. “The quality is excellent and the size is very good, so it is time to promote garlic again. We are offering ads for peeled garlic, bulk garlic and packaged five-bulb netted garlic.”

Currently, there is a glut of last year’s garlic from China on the market, as importers are cleaning up old inventories in anticipation of this year’s larger crop, according to Provost.

“In order to provide our customers the freshest garlic, I made a trip to China in early June to inspect the new crop and settle some purchases with our growers,” he said.

Provost said that in addition to looking at new-crop garlic, he had a couple of other purposes in going to China in early June. One was to attend the Asian Fruit Congress in Qingdao in the Shandong province of China, a coastal city of about 8 million people located about midway between Beijing and Shanghai. At the conference, he said, there were guest speakers who talked about marketing in China, with a focus on second-tier cities such as Quingdao.

In addition, I Love Produce has “a couple of offices in China” through which it exports U.S.-grown fruit into China.

“So I spend more time in China than I used to because … the export side is a larger focus of what we are doing,” Provost said.

China is “an important market for U.S. food products and is now our number one agricultural customer, according to the USDA,” he said.

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Ancient Europeans intolerant to lactose for 5,000 years after they adopted agriculture

By analysing DNA extracted from the petrous bones of skulls of ancient Europeans, scientists have identified that these peoples remained intolerant to lactose (natural sugar in the milk of mammals) for 5,000 years after they adopted agricultural practices and 4,000 years after the onset of cheese-making among Central European Neolithic farmers.

The findings published online in the scientific journal Nature Communications (21 Oct) also suggest that major technological transitions in Central Europe between the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age were also associated with major changes in the genetics of these populations.

For the study, the international team of scientists examined nuclear ancient DNA extracted from thirteen individuals from burials from archaeological sites located in the Great Hungarian Plain, an area known to have been at the crossroads of major cultural transformations that shaped European prehistory. The skeletons sampled date from 5,700 BC (Early Neolithic) to 800 BC (Iron Age).

It took several years of experimentation with different bones of varying density and DNA preservation for the scientists to discover that the inner ear region of the petrous bone in the skull, which is the hardest bone and well protected from damage, is ideal for ancient DNA analysis in humans and any other mammals.

According to Professor Ron Pinhasi from the UCD Earth Institute and UCD School of Archaeology, University College Dublin, the joint senior author on the paper, “the high percentage DNA yield from the petrous bones exceeded those from other bones by up to 183-fold. This gave us anywhere between 12% and almost 90% human DNA in our samples compared to somewhere between 0% and 20% obtained from teeth, fingers and rib bones.”

For the first time, these exceptionally high percentage DNA yields from ancient remains made it possible for scientists to systematically analyse a series of skeletons from the same region and check for known genetic markers including lactose intolerance.

“Our findings show progression towards lighter skin pigmentation as hunter and gatherers and non-local farmers intermarried, but surprisingly no presence of increased lactose persistence or tolerance to lactose” adds Professor Pinhasi.

“This means that these ancient Europeans would have had domesticated animals like cows, goats and sheep, but they would not yet have genetically developed a tolerance for drinking large quantities of milk from mammals,” he says.

According to Professor Dan Bradley from the Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin, co-senior author on the paper, “our results also imply that the great changes in prehistoric technology including the adoption of farming, followed by the first use of the hard metals, bronze and then iron, were each associated with the substantial influx of new people. We can no longer believe these fundamental innovations were simply absorbed by existing populations in a sort of cultural osmosis.”

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The above story is based on materials provided by University College Dublin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily