Kid-Approved Bell Pepper from Syngenta

Kelly MarshallAgribusiness, Syngenta, Vegetables

ovg-pepper Syngenta may have just made parents around the globe happy. Their new pepper has a taste that will have kids everywhere eating their vegetables– with a nutrition content that will please parents. The resulting veggie came after two decades of research, but the Overgreen pepper is market-changing.

“My vision for Overgreen peppers is to change the green pepper market – from what people think green peppers should look like right down to how they eat them,” said Rachel Broadbent, product lead for peppers and tomatoes at Syngenta, North America.

Overgreen peppers are the product of a breeding program using traditional techniques. This tedious process has involved selecting peppers with desired traits, breeding them, selecting offspring with the desired traits and repeating these steps until a stable plant emerges. Grower cooperators are essential to this process. J&J Family of Farms has fostered this process alongside Syngenta and is currently expanding the retail market of Overgreen peppers.

Growers can expect several advantages with Overgreen peppers. Once established in the field, the plants produce heavy foliage cover, which protects the fruit from sunburn. Overgreen peppers also stay greener longer, meaning growers have a longer window for harvesting the crop.

“The reason Overgreen peppers stay greener longer than others is that every cell in them has twice the chlorophyll as a normal pepper, and the chlorophyll molecules are twice as big,” said Kevin Cook, global lead of open-field pepper research and development for Syngenta.

Besides pleasing parents and kids, Overgreens also appeal to the health-conscious. The pepper is nutrient-dense, but without the sour aftertaste of a typical bell pepper. Overgreens also contain almost twice the amount of lutein and vitamin A of other bell peppers.

“I’ve been a little insistent in telling people who say they don’t like raw green peppers to try Overgreens,” said Broadbent. “But nine out of 10 times, they end up really enjoying them. That’s how I got my six-year-old daughter to try the peppers, and now she loves them.”