Watermelon sweetness guaranteed thanks to new optical technology

"This year, our melons and watermelons will reach more markets than ever"

La Unió is optimistic about the new melon and watermelon campaign in view of the expected increase in the marketed volume and in the number of destinations for the fruit. Production in Almeria and Granada has been planned to ensure a stable supply of first class products and to adequately meet all commercial commitments. The campaign is expected to end by late September, although this will depend on the weather conditions.

A total of 60,000 tonnes of watermelons and 12,000 tonnes of melons were produced last season; figures that were already an improvement over those of the previous campaign. The outlook for 2018 is to improve those figures. La Union has kept this production volume stable for 5 years, which has allowed it to become one of the main melon and watermelon marketing powers in Spain.

The development of consumer demands and food standards has facilitated new advances in the cultivation of these fruits. Current market trends favour seedless watermelon weighing between 3 and 5 kilos. For its part, La Unión sells all watermelon varieties (black, white, with seeds, seedless, yellow, mini, etc.).

La Unión hopes that the planning of the campaign and the increase in the volume of quality fruit will allow producers to get good prices, as well as to strengthen the loyalty of its consumer markets and reach new destinations.

In terms of quality and taste, expectations remain high. The experience of previous years shows that the watermelons and melons grown in Almeria and Granada comply with all quality and food safety standards.

"La Unión's Technical Department is available to all producers. They can count on us for any questions and we will be happy to help and guide them during the entire crop cycle," they say.

The company reported that it has introduced the NEAR INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY (NIRS) technology in its production plant; a non-invasive technique that makes it possible to determine the sugar content of each watermelon and guarantee optimum Brix levels. Using advanced optical sensors for analysis and sorting, NIRS automates the handling and packaging line, reaching speeds of 2 fruits/second without generating waste.

"It allows us to sell the sweetest watermelons on the market through Shybari, our new brand of premium fruits and vegetables," they say. "We collaborate with the growers in the monitoring of the production process, as well as with technical advice and quality controls to obtain first class products and good prices." The company representative said that "for us, every campaign is a new challenge and the goal is always to achieve the best for our producers and customers."

For more information:
Alberto Rodríguez Aguilera
Alhóndiga La Unión
T: +34 950580800
M: +34 673633887

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