After 20 years of research, a team from a Vegetable Research Station in Buzau managed to improve and develop the technology for the first local Jerusalem artichoke, considered the “plant of the future” by specialists worldwide, capital.ro informs.
The new plant in the patent phase, has a height of over three meters, gives annual production of over 100 tonnes of tubers per hectare, the flowers are used in herbal medicine and the strains offer a timber of several hundred cubic meters per hectare.
“The Romanian sort of Jerusalem artichoke sent for approval and patenting comes from improved specimens collected from two locations, Calarasi area and several localities in Buzau Mountains. This is a cheap natural resource, non-GM that can be successfully cultivated all over the country without synthetic chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides or insecticides, the productions per unit area are large, getting to even 120 tonnes per hectare, and food and medicinal benefits are undeniable,” Costel Vanatoru, researcher and member of the Academy of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences stated.
According to him, as vegetable plant, the Jerusalem artichoke is cultivated for its sweet that can be consumed fresh or in various dishes.
Vanatoru explained that the chemical composition of Jerusalem artichoke’s tubers clearly shows their food value: high dry substances content, over 22 percent, 1.6 percent protein, 0.2 percent fat, 1.1 percent cellulose, 0.95 percent mineral salts, non- nitrogen extractive substances as inulin, sucrose, levulinic and starch 18.43 percent, making it a fierce rival of the sugar beet.