Health and Flavor

It is no secret that vegetables are healthy by nature. They are low in calories and packed with minerals, vitamins, protective plant compounds and fiber. An understanding of the health-promoting compounds of vegetables can lay the foundation to develop even healthier varieties. However, this is not the most prominent concern in the eyes of the consumer. Vegetables need to have flavor – that is: the right balance of taste, aroma and texture. It is the pleasure of great flavor that makes us want more of those healthy vegetables.

Flavor is a challenging task though. There are about one hundred genes involved in the perception of flavor, working in a complex and interactive way. We have embarked on the challenging endeavor to identify and manage the host of plant compounds that influence flavor and nutrition.

One recent result of this effort is Magenta, a melon line that offers a great flavor, and boasts deep orange, crispy, sugar packed fruit, and uniform sweetness from the rind to its heart.

Another example was recently launched in India: two hot pepper hybrids with enhanced flavor became an immediate success in a country where peppers are an important component of everyday meals.
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