A melon whose rind changes color to signal its ideal harvest, storage, and consumption time? That's the new melon line developed by Syngenta Vegetable Seeds. The patent-pending technology was presented at this year's Berlin trade fair, where it won the Fruit Logistica Innovation Silver Award 2023.
© Syngenta / A technology currently being studied for other melon varieties
The natural Harvest Indicator selection developed in the IDEAL Melon range turns the melon rind from green to a "golden straw yellow" color. "IDEAL Melon is a long shelf-life orange-fleshed Cantaloupe type, which has been tested for the past two years by major producers in Central and South America. Other trials are planned in Brazil, Spain, South Africa, Australia, and Italy," says Jérémie Chabanis. This melon has a relatively firm texture with a Brix degree around 15 at maturity. Although its productivity is "identical" to market references, it has "more aromatic compounds" than its peers under the growing conditions observed.
"Reduction of harvesting times"
"We'll have confirmation of the first figures in a short time, but we've already noticed a reduction in the number of trips during harvesting: 1 to 2 trips as opposed to 4 or 5 usually. Not to mention a reduction in costs, both in terms of manpower and ecological footprint. These are all criteria that appeal to producers". In the countries where it is in production, positive feedback has been received, both in the fresh market and in the 4th range market. Additional data should be available by 2024.
Commercialized in Central and North America since the fall of 2022, Syngenta plans to market it in Europe by 2025.
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