03 Feb 2020

Salanova® Teenleaf: Rijk Zwaan’s efficient fresh cut salad solution for soil and hydroponic cultivation

Salanova® Teenleaf is an innovative salad concept. In terms of size, this ‘teenager’ is halfway between a babyleaf and a fully mature head of lettuce and it combines the best of both worlds. These lettuce varieties are already successfully grown on high density in soil, harvested mechanically and used in all kinds of fresh-cut salad blends in the USA and Australia. At Fruit Logistica 2020, vegetable breeding company Rijk Zwaan is introducing a choice of new Teenleaf varieties for high density hydroponic production.

The Teenleaf salad concept is a spin-off from Salanova – the company’s ‘one cut, ready’ lettuce range, explains Bauke van Lenteren, Specialist Fresh Cut: “Salanova Teenleaf is a more efficient method for the production and processing of fresh-cut salad blends. Teenleaf varieties are suitable for high-density growing, both indoors and outdoors, machine harvesting – and because they are harvested slightly later than babyleaf, they generate a higher yield. Thanks to the ‘one cut, ready’ principle they immediately separate into individual leaves. This enables fresh-cut companies to use them in appealing ready to eat salad blends with higher net usability and less waste than fully mature lettuce. The leaves are a little more robust than babyleaf, but still ‘forkable’ for consumers.”

From the USA and Australia to Europe

Salanova Teenleaf has already proven its worth in the USA and Australia, two countries where fresh-cut salad blends have a high market share. Convenience companies process the machine-harvested lettuce leaves into salad blends on the spot. “Besides the efficiency gains, consumer feedback has been positive too. Thanks to their robustness, the leaves create a very attractive and voluminous salad on the plate. This makes Teenleaf very popular in the foodservice sector.” According to Van Lenteren, a rising number of European partners are also implementing this more efficient production and processing method. “Various Spanish lettuce growers are supplying machine-harvested Teenleaf to fresh-cut companies in the UK, helped by the Knox™ trait which delays pinking on the cut edge.”

Salanova Teenleaf machine harvesting

New: Teenleaf varieties for hydroponics

Rijk Zwaan is now launching a range of Salanova Teenleaf varieties for hydroponics, a production method that is rapidly gaining ground worldwide. Peter Sonneveld, Specialist Hydroponics: “We’ve noticed that fresh-cut companies are looking for a clean, residue-free product that can be grown locally all year round. Hydroponics ticks all the boxes. Growers can produce Salanova Teenleaf varieties in a range of hydroponic systems. Teenleaf is ideal for machine harvesting and produces a high annual yield in terms of kilos per square metre.” Salanova Teenleaf varieties are available in a wide choice of colours, textures and leaf shapes, so a salad blend can be mixed to suit every consumer preference: sweet and crunchy, mild and colourful or premium and delicate.

Salanova Teenleaf Hydroponics

Teenleaf lettuce wall and salad blends at Fruit Logistica

Anyone who is interested in Salanova Teenleaf is encouraged to visit the Rijk Zwaan stand at Fruit Logistica. Besides a presentation wall of Salanova Teenleaf lettuces, visitors will be able to take a closer look at the three different Salanova Teenleaf salad blends. Van Lenteren and Sonneveld both expect this concept to add value for the global fresh-cut salad market. “This efficient salad concept offers benefits for all chain partners, so we can continue to inspire consumers to make healthy choices in line with our motto: “Stronger together for a healthy future.”

Keen to know more about Salanova Teenleaf? Visit the stand at Fruit Logistica in Berlin (Hall 1.2, stand D-04) or the Open Field Days in Murcia from 10-14 February. 

Discover more about Salanova Teenleaf: https://www.rijkzwaan.com/salanova-teenleaf