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November 2013

Get to know the white cucumber

Banglas F1, the first white Almería cucumber grown in Spain, has become one of the most exclusive vegetables for Central European consumers. Measuring 30 cm long on average and with a color that varies between white and light mint green, depending on maturation, this variety is very similar to the traditional cucumbers grown in the Netherlands and Belgium which have almost completely disappeared from the market at present, since dark green cucumbers have emerged as the benchmark for quality in international production.

A market survey in Central Europe conducted by Zayintec's R&D team, in cooperation with local operators, confirmed farmers' interest in offering original, appealing products which encourage fresh vegetable consumption. After ruling out several options, it was eventually decided to grow a white Almería cucumber with excellent organoleptic qualities, which represents "a return to our roots, because it reminds Dutch and Belgian consumers of traditional specialties that are only produced in small qualities and which are currently hard to find," says Francisco Bermúdez, general director of Zayintec.

Banglas F1 is in the final year of testing before large scale commercialization in the upcoming season. The cucumber was initially introduced into the Dutch market in May, and since then the results have been outstanding as it has generated notable interest among distributors and consumers. The white Almería cucumber, with its unique color and shape, opens the door to new and interesting sales possibilities for a vegetable that has barely innovated in decades. The white variety, which is sweeter and has a more intense flavor and unique color, will combine very well dark green cucumbers in the same package, offering a new format for presentation inspired in the tri-color pepper offer (a single package with a red, green and yellow pepper).

Excellent post-harvest performance

Zayintec believes that interest shown by Dutch companies will lead to sales agreements and that companies in Almería will be the main suppliers of this product during most of the year. Consumer demand in Central Europe will drive production of this new crop in Almería, which will in turn boost farmers' earnings. Banglas F1's excellent post-harvest performance also benefits distributors, since it can be shipped to very distant markets as it contains less water and has a longer shelf life.

 

For early planting

It is a variety with intermediate internodes, it is gynoecious (it has only female flowers), and is parthenocarpic (the blossoms create seedless fruit without pollination). It is an intermediate-vigor plant with good development of intermediate shoots, a medium green color, and one fruit per node. Production is homogeneous in terms of size and shape, and the fruit has a well-defined longitudinal groove with no bottleneck. This variety is resistant to vein yellowing virus (CVYV), cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), and cucurbit yellow stunting disorder virus (CYSDV). Banglas F1 is especially recommended for early spring plantings, and the yield is similar to dark green Almería cucumber varieties.

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23/11/2013