For breeders, looking for the right balance between characteristics always poses something of a challenge. "There are varieties that perform well in terms of volume, but varieties that surpass others in flavor intensity are also popular,” says Maarten van der Leenden of Rijk Zwaan. On its recent Tomato open day, the company was able to show how the breeder responds to different needs.

Maarten van der Leenden is account manager at Rijk Zwaan.

The Trial Center Tomato featured both new and familiar varieties, helping visitors to compare trial varieties with those already in production. There was also an opportunity to meet with experts and exchange ideas with colleagues.

Internal Red
An interesting development is that of the Internal Red tomato. These tomatoes have a deep red color on the inside as well, which gives the tomato a fresh and healthy look. It also contains a large amount of lycopene. Currently there are two varieties in commercial production (Z 72-245 and 72-720 RZ)

Silky Pink
Another type of tomato, very popular on the Asian market, is the Silky Pink. "These tomatoes are more pink in color and have a different flavor profile. In the Netherlands, consumers often prefer the somewhat brighter combination of sweet and sour, and so there is the constant search for diversification in flavor profiles," according to Maarten.

Yellow Pear Tomato
Also new is a yellow cocktail tomato (pictured above), still in the experimental phase. Especially in terms of color (yellow) and shape (pear) the tomato is extraordinary.

As a breeder Rijk Zwaan is always looking for the perfect tomato, but that doesn’t exist. Not only do opinions differ, there are also cultural differences that make the perception of shape, color, size or flavor diverse in various places. "Therefore, the focus is always twofold. We want varieties with both high yields per individual plant and distinctive varieties in the special segment."

More information:
Rijk Zwaan
Burgemeester Crezéelaan 40
PO Box 40
2678 ZG De Lier.

Maarten van der Leeden