Colored Cauliflower : Carotena and Valentena Success Story
Kalpesh Bhai Patel, a grower in Prantij, a town roughly 60 km from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, grows unique vegetables for the Indian market. He was thrilled with the first harvest from his 2 acres field in 2020. His farm helped increase his income, and he received a better price from the produce. His 2-acre farm presents colors of violet, orange, and green.
Kalpesh grows Syngenta varieties of cauliflower, Carotena, and Valentena. These are not regular cauliflowers but vibrant colored violet and orange cauliflowers. These cauliflowers are beneficial for the eyes and heart as they offer rich nutritional value and attractive coloration. Carotena is rich in beta-carotene (Vit A). Valentena is rich in antioxidants called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin gives purple color, prevents heart disease, and reduces inflammation.
Kalpesh Bhai Patel, Prantij –Planted 2 ac in 2020
In 2019, Syngenta launched two varieties of colored cauliflowers, Carotena and Valentena, across India, in a small way. These varieties are mild, sweet, and nutty in taste compared to the more popular white cauliflower varieties.
The white curd cauliflowers are common in the consumer market, Syngenta wanted to introduce unique cauliflower varieties to open the palates to new experiences of taste and flavor, and provide high nutritional value.
Sanjay Singh, South Asia Head Vegetable Seeds
Some interesting features of the colored cauliflower varieties are:
- Carotena is orange in color, and Valentena is purple
- It is dome-shaped with dense curd
- Suitable for the winter season, mostly October - November and in some parts of India in early December
- It has a 70-75 day maturity period
- Weighs around 1-2 Kg
In 2018, to understand the acceptability of these varieties, the team conducted many trials and demos. The hybrids recorded an impressive performance in the growers' field, and the unique colors, built curiosity amongst growers and consumers. These varieties were developed by plant breeders naturally, not through genetic modification.
The colored cauliflower is well-accepted in the market, and more growers are interested in coloring their farm with these cauliflower varieties. Growers are earning well from the harvest. Consumers want to see new things regularly in the vegetable sections of the supermarkets. With such attractive colors, consumers are willing to add them to their lifestyle. The colored cauliflowers are a great addition to Pulao and Fried Rice, prepared in most Indian households. Cauliflowers are now colorful, tastier, and more nutritional.