From Delica®, Butternut®, Violina®, Hokkaido® to mini-pumpkins, the consumption of Italian pumpkins continues to rise, thanks to their natural varieties and important healthy characteristics.
In Italy the cultivation of pumpkins was extended by more then 2000 hectares, especially between the regions of Lombardia (25% of the total amount), Emilia Romagna and Veneto, with smaller areas in Campania, Lazio, Liguria, Sicily and Tuscany. The most cultivated products are addressed to the alimentation but, in recent years, the cultivation of ornamental pumpkins has increased, with specimens that can reach weights of 900 kg.
The importance and the quality of Italian pumpkins is confirmed by the export results. Italy is, in fact, one of the most important countries in the world, with an exportation value of 38 million euros, following Spain (30% of all worldwide amounts), Mexico, the Netherlands, the USA and Turkey. The largest part of Italian pumpkins are sent to Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.
The diffusion of Italian pumpkin has been possible thanks to new techniques of cultivation and research on varieties. Differently from a few years ago, when the sales were concentrated in October and November, nowadays the calendar has been extended to all winter. The growth potential, now, is huge following the worldwide increase in consumption and appreciation by the customers.
For AOP Gruppo Vi. Va., promoter of Fruit & Veg: Natural Health!, the project funded by the European Union for 1.5 million Euro, the Italian pumpkin is a crucial product. As is the organic and conventional version for the IV range market, with the sliced pumpkin helping to facilitate use.
Pumpkin consumption is constantly increasing, thanks to its taste and great healthy characteristics. The companies of AOP Gruppo Vi. Va who represents the pumpkin offer for Fruit & Veg: Natural Health! are Apofruit and Canova.
"In 2020", said Stefano Giunchi, an agronomist at Apofruit, "the production of pumpkins has been extraordinary, in quality and numbers. The most cultivated variety for Apofruit has been Butternut®, and its varieties Matilda® and Pluto®. They are harvested in October and they can be stored for 6-7 months with temperatures higher than 10 degrees".
The pumpkin is a tasty and healthy vegetable, which has few agronomic requirements and does not need special treatments. For the IV range market the most cultivated is the Violina®, which is similar to the Butternut® but is traditional in the zones of Ferrara and Bologna.
The boom in pumpkin consumption is linked, in addition to its goodness, to its health benefits. The pumpkin has just 29 calories per 100 grams, is rich in water, essential minerals and beta carotene. Beta carotene is transformed into vitamin A, essential for skin protection and for its anti-free radical action.
The Italian pumpkins enrich the offer of Fruit & Veg: Natural Health!, who promote, to the consumers of Italy, the Netherlands and Romania, the quality of wild berries, tomatoes, artichokes, pomegranates, baby carrots and broccoli, all of which represent the excellence of Italian production.
All of the products details, reported by Doctor Martina Donegani, the project nutritionist, are available on the official website of Fruit & Veg: Natural Health! (https://fruvenh.it/), together with the information about the project, the producers and the way to use these excellent natural products.