Without a doubt, strawberries are Huelva's flagship berry; so naturally, a longer shelf life is desirable. That is exactly what the multinational Brandt Europe is striving for with the development of a technology that manages to extend the fruit's shelf life.
Several tests have shown that this new technology makes it possible to delay the appearance of post-harvest fungi and the start of the fruit's decay by up to five days. This can have a decisive impact on the crop's economic performance, given the high demand from foreign markets such as Germany, France and the UK and the short period there needs to be between the harvest and the fruit's arrival to store shelves.
According to data from Freshuelva, 280,300 tons of strawberries were produced in the 2017-2018 campaign, generating more than 437 million Euro in turnover.
Sources of Brandt Europe explain that delaying the decay of strawberries is possible thanks to a pioneering technology called "Manni-Plex Calcium for foliar use". They say that unlike with conventional foliar nutrients, "a complex is formed between calcium and sugar alcohols, which allow the product to have greater translocation capacity, and its small molecular size allows more calcium to be absorbed by the leaf and to reach the cell wall."
In this way, it is possible to keep the fruit in storage for several more days in perfect condition; a very important factor for transport to European markets and the product's shelf life in supermarkets.
Furthermore, this innovative system makes is possible to improve other characteristics of the fruit, allowing for greater homogeneity and the production of extra category fruits, which are the most demanded by the foreign markets.
The "Manni-Plex Calcio" technology has been developed and adapted for the Spanish market by Brandt Europe, with its headquarters and R & D laboratories in Carmona, Seville. Brandt Europe is the subsidiary for Europe, the Middle East and Africa of the American agricultural giant Brandt.
The development of this system for the European market has been carried out in the framework of the diversification strategy launched by Brandt Europe, with which it intends to achieve a significant qualitative leap. The company has so far worked mainly in the field of the generic and it is now exploring the specialties market with more exclusive products, with a greater technological and innovative effort and very little competition in the Spanish market. Customers are offered a greater added value and all this results in a better commercial margin.
Also, the new technology for strawberries entails a commitment to strengthening the fertilizers business, where the North American multinational has tripled its supply.