Canada: Five tomato varieties to look out for

Rijk Zwaan currently has several promising tomato varieties available for the North American industry. Together with greenhouse crop advisor Marleen van der Torre, we toured their demonstration greenhouse in Leamington to see five of their key varieties.




Florantino RZ

Florantino RZ is one of the leading mini plum tomatoes in North America. Thanks to its high brix levels and crunchy bite experience, it is a favourite among retailers. According to Marleen van der Torre, the crop has a fast harvest speed compared to standard grape varieties in the market. "Florantino is a mini plum variety for loose harvest with an average fruit weight of 8-10 grams. The crop is known for its strong generativity and has very regular forked trusses. Because the plants are open, it is labour friendly. The fruits are not only known for their great sweet taste experience, but also for their good shelf life.”


72-190 RZ

The 72-190 RZ is a new grape tomato from Rijk Zwaan. This variety is fairly strong and generative and shows a regular plant type. Van der Torre said that the adaptation of the variety is still in an early stage, but that it is favoured for its good taste and high production potential. "Due to its high production potential and quality, the 72-190 is excellent for retail markets. Its slightly different texture gives it just that extra taste experience; and the fruit has a cute little dimple. Our expectations for this new variety are high, especially for North America where there is a large acreage with grape tomatoes. With its average brix of 9.0, it is a great tomato for snacking."

The 72-190 is a nice balanced and open crop that produces fruits with an average size of 10-12 grams. "It produces many double trusses and has a very good fruit setting. As well as this the fruits are very strong against cracking and Blossom End Rot."

Large TOV

In the large TOV segment, Rijk Zwaan has a range of new contenders, among the 72-759 RZ. “This year one of the new numbers that performed very well in our selection was the 72-759,” said van der Torre. “This large TOV has a generative plant type with powdery mildew tolerance in its resistance package. It shows a high production potential with average fruit weights between 150 and 170 grams. We are excited to start external trials with this variety in the coming season!”

Internal Red

In 2014, Rijk Zwaan introduced their Internal Red label; these tomatoes have attractive, dark red flesh and a deep-red core, which gives them a healthy and tasty-looking appearance.


Internal Red on the left, regular variety on the right.
 
The Internal Red trait is currently being bred into the wider Rijk Zwaan tomato range. At this moment the small TOV 72-245 RZ is the first variety from Internal Red that will be on available on the North American market. Internal Red does not only provide a very healthy look, but they are actually also very tasty and are known for their high amount of lycopene. The distinctness compared with a standard tomato provides benefits throughout the chain. After all, the good flavour of the small and medium tomatoes currently on the market is often not clearly apparent. Internal Red tomatoes are set to change that, which offers various opportunities.


72-245 RZ Internal Red

"Many growers and markets are enthusiast about our Internal Red concept, and growers are looking forward to start with it. The 72-245 RZ is a variety with nice uniform trusses and strong green parts and with its fruit weight of 90 grams it is extremely suitable for dedicated markets. Thanks to the distinct appearance compared with standard tomatoes, Internal Red makes it possible to reap the rewards of quality. For example, branding activities can create a premium position and retailers can even raise the profile of an entire category."



Pink

And there is more news from Rijk Zwaan in Leamington. "This year we started with the first external trials with our new pink variety Haiku in North America," said van der Torre. “Did you know that in Eastern Europe and Asia the main tomatoes are pink? In those regions, pink tomatoes are regarded as a premium smoother and tastier version of their red counterparts. In Haiku we have combined the best of two worlds; the well-known taste characteristics from our Western European varieties like Lyterno RZ and Roterno RZ with the unique flavour and complexity of Japanese pink tomatoes. Haiku gets its distinctive colour from the pink, juicy flesh which is visible through its translucent, shiny skin. It is a small TOV with an average fruit weight of 100 grams and has nice, flat trusses.”


Rijk Zwaan's crop advisor Marleen van der Torre.


In Leamington, Rijk Zwaan's Tomato Demonstration House is similar to Rijk Zwaan's demo centre in the Netherlands. Here, growers, traders and retailers can see the latest developments and provide feedback to the breeders.

If you would like to visit Rijk Zwaan's Tomato Demonstration House in Leamington, please contact Marleen van der Torre:

Rijk Zwaan Canada
Marleen van der Torre (e-mail)
932 Mersea Road 7 RR. #5
Leamington, ON
N8H 3V8 | Canada
export@rijkzwaan.nl
www.rijkzwaan.com

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