Flavour and climate change: PSB’s challenges

PSB Producción Vegetal is a plant breeder, established in Murcia, specialising in variety innovation and stone fruit production.
PSB equipo - PSB team

24 years ago, PSB, a family-run company dedicated to research, started its hybridisation work for different stone fruit species (apricots, nectarines, peaches, flat peaches, plums and cherries). Currently, it continues extending its variety calendar with very strict selection criteria: colour and shape, tolerance to diseases such as Sharka, ECA, Xanthomonas, Bacteria, Monilia, etc., productivity, ease of handling of the fruit in the warehouse, geographical adaptation and study of the cold requirements.
Without any doubt the criteria with the greatest importance for the company is taste. The research by the Buffat family concentrates on the flavour, working to increase fruit consumption in the summer. “For the past 5 years, we have been introducing new, sweeter varieties of early and extra early nectarines, which are going to allow us to increase consumption in a relatively complicated period in some areas of Europe. From the 20th of April to the 20th of May, we have acid, balanced tasting nectarines on the market, but now with Copacabana, Altamira, Diamentina, Caracas, Ipanema and Boreal, we have a sub-acid range, with an organoleptic requirement that is very good for the time of year,” Stéphane Buffat, a director of PSB Producción Vegetal indicates.
Thanks to the fact that the company also produces stone fruit and takes charge of its marketing, PSB knows the market and its demands, therefore, its goal is to be a benchmark for “satisfaction” in the purchase with its varieties and to present flavourful, unique and exceptional fruit, always linked to attractive presentation.

Furthermore, PSB Producción Vegetal is developing a range of flat nectarines, in which the varieties Luisella, CN64-1 (medium-low chilling), Tintosa, Canoppe, Cookie and CN592-15 (for cold areas) stand out. They also have great expectations for Canoppe and Tintosa as they predict an important development of these varieties. “This new range has a more intense flavour, with many aromas and it has the great advantage of being very easy to eat due to its flat shape and ideal size. Additionally, some of our flat nectarine varieties have tolerance to diseases such as Monilia or Xanthomonas, allowing excessive fumigating to be avoided and, therefore, obtaining healthier fruit,” Buffat comments.

One of the company’s new challenges is the reduction of the use of plant protection products. “This factor forms a general raising of awareness and a worldwide challenge. Philippe Buffat and I, founders of PSB, are pioneers in this consideration and of the origin of the concept of tolerance to certain diseases. Through this work, PSB is going to guarantee healthier fruit.”
PSB also aims its research at the adaptation of its varieties to climate change, “the experts are telling us about a change of 1 to 2 degrees and we, as farmers and scientists, are realising that a more abrupt, more radical change is occurring right now. All the varieties that are under study must be adapted to the climate that we are going to have in Murcia in 10 years’ time,” the executive affirms.

Over the year, the company organises fruit exhibitions and tastings for all areas of the sector: producers, technicians, nurseries, buyers and consumers. This allows it to always keep up-to-date with the market demands.

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