Rosa de Barbastro Tomato, awarded by the Aragonese Academy of Gastronomy

The Aragonese Gastronomy Academy has decided to award the Best Gastronomy Labor 2015 prize in the research field to the team formed by Cristina Mallor (from the Research and Food Technology Center of Aragon, CITA), Amparo Llamazares, and Pablo Bruna (both from Unit Plant Technology (UTV) of the Department of Sustainability and Rural Development), for their work in selecting pink tomatoes and onions from Fuentes.

The work of this multidisciplinary team has contributed to the creation of the Protected Designation of Origin for the Fuentes de Ebro Onion and the registration in the national catalogue of the Rosa de Barbastro Tomato variety. Both products are, at present, highly valued and transmit a guarantee of quality to the consumer.

Improving the Fuentes de Ebro Onion and the Rosa de Barbastro Tomato
The work to improve these varieties began in response to needs of the producers and consumers of the horticultural industry. Producers demanded a selected plant material that would fit the historical characteristics of horticultural varieties under study while the consumers demanded organoleptic properties that couldn't be found in the market's current supply. In that context, the Government of Aragon decided to try to meet said demands with the help of a multidisciplinary team of technicians and researchers of the UTV and CITA.

In order to have a holistic view, the team also counted on the collaboration of farmers, traders, associations and consumers from the traditional farming areas. The first step was to obtain the initial plant material to be studied. The onion samples were obtained from the ACEFUENTES Association and the tomatoes from the Gardeners and Friends of the Huerta del Alto Aragón Association, and the Agricultural Cooperative Society of Barbastro Limited. The study also included materials from the horticultural species Germplasm Bank of CITA.

The selection programs used identify the best plants from which researchers obtain seeds for the next generation. This is the method traditionally used by gardeners for generations. However, the methods used for the characterization and genetic improvements of the plants allow researchers to obtain more information about them, thus making the selection process more efficient.

Awards in previous years
This is the third time that the Aragonese Gastronomy Academy has rewarded the work of CITA researchers. In 2008, researcher Miguel Carrravedo was honoured for his work in preserving horticultural species and protecting biodiversity in Aragon. In 2009, Dr. Luis Miguel Albisu received an award for his research of the food chain, from production to final consumption in all circumstances, at home or in restaurants.

The 2015 award ceremony was held on Wednesday, October 28, at 7 pm in the former plenary hall of Provincial Zaragoza. Other award winners include: Nobodavo, Best Restaurant in Zaragoza; Bodegas Ignacio Marin, Best Winery; the Cesaraugusta Mycological Group received the award in the Field of Broadcasting; and Finca y Almazara La Redonda received an award for Best Mill.


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