The Dwarf Cavendish is the most widely grown commercial banana variety in the Canary Islands, but it is not the only variety grown there. The archipelago also produces other varieties, such as the red banana, apple banana, macho banana, etc., which enrich the varietal range of the largest banana-producing region in Europe.
Now, thanks to Cultesa, the island's producers might have a new cultivar that has a surprising blue hue and is showing a very positive adaptation to the islands' edaphoclimatic conditions. This variety is still being evaluated but it could be an interesting complement for the sector.
“This project began two years ago after we were contacted by the Fast to multiply and evaluate the behavior of the Blue Java variety, which is known as the blue banana,” stated Leonardo Amador, a doctor in biology and head of R&D at Cultesa, a company specialized in obtaining plants through in vitro propagation techniques which, in its 35 years of service to the sector, has already produced more than 24 million banana plants in its registered cultivars. “We started with material provided by Vivero La Cosma, specialized in tropical plants, and we worked on optimizing the different stages of the micropropagation plant production protocol until we arrived at the field trials; the stage we're at now."
After checking that the starting material was virus-free and working on the establishment, multiplication, and rooting stages in Cultesa's biotechnology laboratories, a batch of plants was moved to the south of Tenerife to evaluate their behavior in the field.
"We've been evaluating the plants' growth, development, phenology, and characterizing different parameters since they were transported to the field from our greenhouses in October 2022. We still don't have production parameters because they still haven't been harvested, but according to the preliminary results we've recorded the plants produce an average of 11 hands per bunch. In addition, the size of the plant is bigger than the Cavendish Dwarf, reaching a height in its first growth cycle of approximately 3.40 m."
The name of the hybrid variety derived from Musa balbisiana and Musa acuminata, Blue Java, refers to its most distinctive trait: the blue color of the fruit. “The Blue Java banana is an ABB type triploid and its genotype brings out this color of the fruit." Unlike other varieties, such as red bananas, the fruit turns yellow when it ripens."
The Blue Java is an interesting banana variety, and not only because of its color. Its adaptation and behavior are optimal and, according to the literature, the fruit presents different nuances of taste which have caused the variety to be known as the ice cream banana in Hawaii.
"This type of characterization and varietal study is very important for Cultesa. Our goal, as a strategic company for the Canarian agricultural sector, is to transfer all this knowledge and in vitro cultivation technology to farmers in order to offer them new possibilities, either as alternatives or as complements to their production, so that they can improve their income by using certified and quality plant material,” Leonardo stated. "The new variety is not being marketed for the moment, but in the medium term, depending on the results obtained, it will be available to producers in the archipelago."
Cultesa will be present at Fruit Attraction from October 3 to 5 at the Cabildo de Tenerife stand, Hall 5, stand 5E04.
For more information: