Rijk Zwaan has introduced a trait, which they have named KNOX, into their lettuce varieties to help ensure the leaves discolour less rapidly after cutting.
KNOX is claimed to extend shelf-life by about two days. According to Convenience Manager Bauke van Lenteren, KNOX means you do not necessarily need to use low-oxygen packaging for lettuce, which allows for lower costs and more options when blending.
“The consumer can enjoy the bag of pre-packaged salad for a longer time,” says Van Lenteren. “We expect KNOX to lead to higher purchasing frequency, and therefore increased consumption of lettuce.”
Rijk Zwaan worked on the development of KNOX for a total of 10 years. The company developed an assessment test in house in order to determine the presence of the trait, and then found it in a breeding greenhouse. The unique effect was confirmed in various laboratory tests and large scale factory trials. The trait was subsequently crossed into various lettuce types.