The Company of Protected Varieties (CVVP) recently organized visits to experimental farms in Huelva, Spain, attended by more than 100 people interested in learning about the pigmented orange variety Red Lina. The company highlighted the success of this variety, originally from South Africa, among those who attended the visits.
"We had three days of visits from both growers and representatives of marketing companies and other operators in the sector. The truth is that we had not expected such a level of interest, since we have had to adjust the number of visitors in the groups. This shows the sector's interest in finding new pigmented varieties, driven by growing consumer demand. Achieving greater differentiation is increasingly important in the citrus market," said Reyes Moratal, manager of CVVP.
The Red Lina is the result of a spontaneous mutation of the Navelina orange, so its external appearance is similar, although its pulp is red due to its high content of lycopene, the carotenoid that gives the red or pink color to many fruits, such as tomatoes and watermelons. It is also harvested early, at the end of October in Spain, similarly to the Navelina, with also similar maturity ratios. "It is the earliest pigmented orange variety on record in the Spanish market," said Reyes Moratal.
"Since it's orange on the outside and red on the inside, it is inevitable to compare it with the Cara Cara variety, but the Red Lina ripens about four weeks earlier, has a more intense orange flavedo, a pinkish pigmented albedo and a more intense orange juice," said the CVVP representative.
"The visits have given us a very positive feeling," said Reyes Moratal. "The variety's excellent taste quality has greatly surprised those who have tried it, in a season marked by drought in southern Spain, where the visits have taken place," he said.
Citrus Rosso, holder of the rights over the Red Lina in Spain and other countries, is investing heavily into the scientific study and promotion of the nutraceutical properties and health benefits of pigmented citrus fruits. The fact is that the accumulation of lycopene is a very unusual property in citrus fruits, detected only in some varieties of grapefruit, pummelo, lemon and sweet orange.
"Besides their more striking color, consumers are highly interested in the health properties of red-pulped citrus fruits. Because of its structure, lycopene has a high antioxidant capacity. Numerous epidemiological studies, in vivo and in vitro, suggest that regular consumption of lycopene has beneficial effects on health, reducing, for example, the risk of numerous chronic or degenerative diseases," said Reyes Moratal.
The CVVP has already sold many contracts for the cultivation and marketing of the Red Lina, mainly in Andalusia, Valencia, Murcia, Almeria and Tarragona. The first commercial harvests are expected to arrive within 3 to 4 years.
The CVVP provides a full range of services for plant variety management in Spain, such as administration, license processing, IT management and control through ERP systems, a specialized human team, marketing and communication, as well as legal advice. "Our flexibility allows us to offer a customized approach, whether you are interested in a full package or just need some specific services. We are prepared to meet individual needs and circumstances and are the perfect partner in the protected plant variety sector," said Reyes Moratal.