May/June 2020

Syngenta’s purple tomato wins coveted innovation award

Each year, the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award (FLIA) is presented to outstanding innovations in the fruit and vegetables supply chain. This year, the judges received more than 90 submissions, ranging from new marketing ideas and technological innovations to novel packaging concepts, convenience products and new fresh fruit and vegetable varieties.

A jury of experts from retail, wholesale distribution and technical service sectors narrowed the list down to the top ten, which were voted on by more than 78,000 visitors.

Developed by Syngenta Seeds, Yoom tomato won Innovation of the Year for 2020.

Syngenta Seeds wins Innovation of the Year

Earning about 30% of total votes, Yoom tomato was the clear Innovation of the Year award winner at Fruit Logistica 2020. One of the clear attractions to Yoom is its purple color. Tomato enthusiasts will especially love its balance of sweet and sour, and its umami-like finish.

“These tomatoes are exactly what consumers are looking for in the grocery store,” said Erik Fyrwald, chief executive officer at Syngenta. “They are tasty, healthy and convenient.

“This is a fantastic achievement. It’s a win for consumers, Syngenta and the environment.”

Yoom has also been recognized for its packaging, which is sourced from sustainably managed forests. Yoom tomatoes are currently available in several European countries, and will soon be available in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Apofruit Italia’s Violi is a soft and tender artichoke that is available nine months of the year. Photo: Melanie Epp

Syngenta Seeds also won the FLIA in 2012 for its Angello sweet and seedless pepper.

Yoom wasn’t the only vegetable to be nominated for an Innovation Award. Two others received nominations: Tenderstem Royale and Violi. The first is a natural cross between Chinese green cabbage and broccoli. Like Yoom, one of its main attractions is its purple stem. Just as its name indicates, Tenderstem has a tender stalk. The entire vegetable from stalk to head is completely edible. It is low in fat, sodium and sugar, and rich in protein and fiber. Tenderstem Royale is a product of Sakata Vegetables Europe, based in France.

The third vegetable to receive an Innovation Award nomination is Violi from Apofruit Italia. Violi (pictured above right) is a soft and tender artichoke that is available nine months of the year. It, too, is purple in color.

The silver Fruit Logistica Innovation Award for 2020 went to Polish company Silbo for its certified fruit and vegetable packaging made with water-based dyes and adhesives. The packaging is completely compostable, making it a great fit for this year’s focus on sustainability.

The bronze award went to another sustainable packaging solution, SoFruMiniPak Eco View, designed by SoFruPak Witold Gai in Poland. The packaging seals quickly and is made from renewable resources. It is well ventilated and optimized especially for cooling. It is 100% biodegradable.

Two other innovations caught our eye at this year’s exhibition. The first is a high-performance, food-safe and fully compostable label for fresh produce. Sinclair EcoLabel, designed by Sinclair in the United Kingdom, disintegrates within just 12 weeks and biodegrades in 180 days.

Sinclair EcoLabel, designed by Sinclair in the United Kingdom, disintegrates within just 12 weeks and biodegrades in 180 days. Photo: Melanie Epp

The second innovation that caught our eye is the Coconut automatic opening machine K30 designed by Shanghai FruitPro Information Technology in China. The K30 is a microcomputer-controlled machine that opens coconuts safely and hygienically using patented blades. The machine uses an algorithm that automatically adjusts the depth of the opening and timing of opening to suit each individual coconut.

Both Sinclair EcoLabel and the Coconut automatic opening machine K30 were nominated for Fruit Logistica Innovation Awards.  

Fruit Logistica is one of the world’s largest exhibitions for the fruit and vegetable industry. The exhibition takes place every year in February in Berlin.

Fruit Logistica Innovation Award (FLIA) Past Winners

  • 2019 — Red Kiwifruit, Jingold
  • 2018 — Pook Coconut Chips, PookSpaFoods
  • 2017 — Knox Delayed Pinking Fresh Cut Lettuce, Rijk Zwaan
  • 2016 — Genuine Coconut, World’s Coconut Trading
  • 2015 — Aurora Seedless Papaya, Aviv Flowers
  • 2014 — BBQ Grill (Salad) Mix, eisberg Group
  • 2013 — City Farming Greenhouse Concept, Staay Food Group
  • 2012 — Angello Sweet & Seedless Pepper, Syngenta Seeds
  • 2011 — Limeburst Fingerlimes, Limeburst Fingerlimes

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