Glasshouse-grown vanilla among new flavours tested by Dutch public

Dutch consumers will this week be able taste vanilla from home-grown pods as well as other novel horticultural crops, as breeders and growers seek to develop viable new lines to gain a competitive edge.

Image: Sunil Elias (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Image: Sunil Elias (CC BY-SA 3.0)

"It was previously said that vanilla cultivation was only possible in the tropics, but it seems quite possible to do this in Dutch glasshouses too," said Wouter Verkerke, head of flavour at Wageningen University & Research (WUR) Greenhouse Horticulture.

"A well-developed infrastructure, stable government, high level of knowledge and close contact between growers and buyers make it possible to investigate the cultivation of such ingredients as black pepper, saffron, wasabi and vanilla."

For a week starting today (9 October), international visitors to Rotterdam's Markthal (Market Hall) can participate in taste research on a wide range of developmental fruit and vegetable varieties, while on 15 October they can visit WUR's trial vanilla glasshouse in Bleiswijk, which is heated by geothermal energy.

Verkerke added: "Dutch urbanisation has led to early specialisation in agriculture and horticulture. The Netherlands is still the forerunner in horticulture. The whole world is watching when it comes to our knowledge, materials and craftsmanship.

"However, we are quickly picked up by countries with low wages who copy this knowledge. Therefore, it is important to develop new earnings models for growers, such as the cultivation of ingredients for food, such as vanilla."

According to WUR researcher Tycho Vermeulen: "We manage to grow a very uniform product. We can be a reliable partner as we have a better expectation of what we produce in terms of volumes and quality."

Currently over 80% of the world's vanilla comes from Madagascar, a concentration of production that has caused prices to fluctuate considerably in recent years.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

Can UK fresh produce come out of Brexit ahead?

UK production horticulture can become more profitable under one possible Brexit scenario, while other more drastic scenarios will lead to only minor losses in profitability, in contrast to other farming sectors, according to a new report by levy body AHDB with Agra CEAS Consulting.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

How should agri-tech research for fresh produce function in a post-Brexit UK?

How should agri-tech research for fresh produce function in a post-Brexit UK?

One area affected by the uncertainty around Brexit will be the ongoing development of agricultural technology, seen by many as essential to retain Britain's productivity and competitiveness in fresh produce along with other farming sectors.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production
 

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon