Spain debuts new ag product: the Zucchiolo

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Spain debuts new ag product: the Zucchiolo

Spain’s IFAPA’s Breeding and Biotechnology Department and Beyond Seeds Group have developed a new agricultural product, the Zucchiolo, which drives from a South Ameircan product that is a cross between a zucchini and a cucumber.

The Almería-based joint research lasted over five years, with head of Marketing and Product Development of Beyond Seeds, Alfredo Sanchez-Gimeno calling the development "a novelty and a world exclusive to surprise everyone".

The Zucchiolo stands out for its versatility, since it can be consumed fresh as a salad as if it were a cucumber, and can also be cooked, like a zucchini.

It belongs to a new species of the cucurbitaceae family and has a very shiny, smooth and firm skin and a crunchy and very light pulp. 

Another of its special features is its long post-harvest life, which makes it ideal for exports. However, as of its launch, the product is only being sold in Europe.

Sánchez-Gimeno explained that it is currently being marketed in three registered varieties: Zucchiolo White, Zucchiolo Green and Zucchiolo Yellow.

"This translates into a richness of color where the yellow shade is the sweetest and most distinctive," the executive added.

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Zucchiolo crops in Almería, Spain.

Zucchiolo crops in Almería, Spain.

The variety is native to South America and is grown mainly in the open air. Thanks to research, the crop has been able to adapt to greenhouse cultivation.

"About 8,500 Zucchiolo plants can be grown in one hectare and it can go into production within two months, with a high productivity that can reach between 9 and 11 kilos per square meter (19 to 24 pounds per 10 square feet)," said María del Carmen Tamayo, technical manager of the project at Beyond Seeds.

It is harvested very immature and has a post-harvest life that can perfectly go from three to four weeks under normal temperature conditions.

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