Harvest indicators ensure the best-tasting Cantaloupes at all times
Ready to Eat melons
UNICA Group in Spain is currently growing two new Ready to Eat melon varieties from Rijk Zwaan: Zinasol RZ and Casasol RZ. Unique changes indicate when it is the ideal time for these Cantaloupes to be harvested. “Without a doubt, taste is one of the biggest strengths of these varieties,” says Maria Del Mar Mendoza from Cota 120, which is part of UNICA Group.
Headquartered in Almería, UNICA Group is a secondary cooperative made up of 16 member cooperatives, 22 packaging centres, 100 crops, almost 9,000 hectares (both outdoors and in greenhouses) and over 5,000 partner farmers spread across the Spanish peninsula. Member cooperative COTA 120, based in Murcia, produces melons as well as other crops.
Very good results
Maria Del Mar Mendoza is Head of Warehouse at COTA 120. She explains which Rijk Zwaan melon varieties they are producing: “The Cantaloupe varieties Zinasol RZ and Casasol RZ are already part of our programme and the results are very good. That’s why we will also test Paniol RZ in the Campo de Cartagena region in the last transplanting phases this year.”
Always harvested at the right time thanks to indicators
In this new concept from Rijk Zwaan, indicators ensure that growers know when it is the ideal moment to harvest the melons. Whereas it used to be difficult to see when a melon was ripe, these Rijk Zwaan varieties now indicate when they are ready for harvesting in two ways: the melons change colour, and the stem becomes slightly detached from the fruit (without breaking).
“These visible signs that the melons are ripe reduce the sorting effort since we harvest fewer unripe melons, plus we need fewer cuts to obtain the same weight.” says Maria Del Mar Mendoza. Besides signalling the best time for harvesting, the harvest indicators also help the company to supply melons with a consistent quality level and flavour.
Maria Del Mar Mendoza is pleased with the close collaboration with vegetable breeding companies like Rijk Zwaan: “It’s essential for growing added-value products, and such products are what a large proportion of the market is currently demanding. As UNICA Group, we must be able to offer supply continuity, quality, and safe and sustainable products. We closely align our new products with current consumer trends. That’s why collaboration is so important.”
Keen to know more?
To learn more about Rijk Zwaan’s Ready-to-Eat Cantaloupes concept, watch this video
Thanks to the harvest indicators on these varieties, growers know when the melons are ready for harvesting. This also helps to ensure a dependable level of quality throughout the chain, right up to the consumer.