You might know breeding company Axia Vegetable Seeds best from their extensive range of tomato products. Get ready for something new then, if you are visiting the Fruit Attraction in Madrid this week. The company will launch sweet pointed pepper ETNA Healthy during the exhibition. "As the name says, health is key in this new product", Michel de Winter with Axia explains. He reveals the pepper is the harbinger of a complete line of hybrids, all selected for their nutritional value.
"The ETNA healthy offers a sweet taste, a good yield and a nice appearance - at least one that's competitive with the current standard in the market. That's a basic requirement in our breeding process. What makes it truly unique in the market, is the nutritional value", Michel explains. "The content of beta-carotene and polyphenols are unprecedentedly high, much higher than in other varieties."
Beta carotene is an antioxidant related to vitamin A and associated with the prevention of heart disease. Polyphenols is an antioxidant often used in anti-ageing products, for example to prevent the stress caused by UV radiation.
"The ongoing learning of the relationship between food and health offers challenges and opportunities to breeding companies as well. Focusing on the nutritional value in our products is how we play our part", Michel explains. "At the Fruit Attraction we've launched the ETNA Healthy and this is only the beginning. We are working on a complete line of products that in addition to having a good taste, distinguish themselves on their nutritional value and health benefits. These hybrids will for example be extra rich in anti-oxidants, carotene or vitamins, or offer micronutrients such as zinc, potassium, iodine, calcium or magnesium."
On the shelves
So much for the future plans - let's not forget about today's launch. This variety has been bred in Ameria and several trials are ongoing. "The focus on health also means a complete resistance package. Growers are enthusiastic about the results."
After it's launch today, the ETNA Healthy will soon be available to growers, traders and other parties in the fresh produce chain. "We're receiving interest from both national and international retail chains and expect the ETNA Healthy to be on the shelves soon."
Axia Vegetable Seeds launches the ETNA healthy on the Fruit Attraction at stand 10G03.