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Consumer trends driving specialty crop traits

A vegetable researcher says innovations in specialty crop breeding must provide farmers with agronomic benefits, while meeting consumer demands for consistent and quality products.

John Purcell, Global R&D Lead for Monsanto Vegetables, tells Brownfield plant breeders use consumer taste panels and analytical data to develop traits consumers want which continues to include access to quality fruits and vegetables throughout the year in a convenient form.

“People want something that is convenient for them to use, but also there’s a lot more emphasis on food waste and how do we make sure we’re providing a product that is in size and portions, and even the fruit size that will allow you to consume it without having to worry about storing it and then throwing it away at some point.”

Purcell says smaller, snack size tomatoes and peppers are just one example of how plant breeding has evolved with consumer preferences in recent years.

AUDIO: Interview with John Purcell

 

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