With the increase in our living standards, the demand for corn as a nutritious kind of food with less processing time is increasing. The selection of hybrid fruit species is a new direction that satisfies the needs of consumers for nutritious fresh corn, which not only helps to improve the immune system during the complicated outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic worldwide but also brings about great benefits for farmers. Fruit corn is a new concept that refers to corn that can be eaten fresh at the ripening stage without any processing. The criteria to be a fruit corn are: natural high sweetness, thin skin, easy digestion, small core diameter, uniform grain, fresh taste and rich in nutrition. nursing. With the aim of selecting a new fruit corn species meeting the above requirements, goal, developing corns from purple sweet corn (Zea mays saccharata L.) is a right direction because this type of corn contains high content of sugar and anthocyanin antioxidants.
Fruit corn is a relatively new concept in Vietnam. Most of the corn that serves the current demand for fresh corn is glutinous corn and sweet corn that must be processed through boiling, grilling or frying. Currently, there are few studies on fruit corn, but the research related to improving the quality of corns in terms of skin thinness, sweetness, smell, taste along with the characteristics of corn structure are implemented by many scientists in the world such as Ito & Backer (1981), Letrat & Pulam (2007), Acquaah (2007), Choe (2010, 2012), and in Vietnam such as Vu Van Liet et al. (2009), Tran Thi Thanh Ha et al. (2013, 2017), Pham Quang Tuan et al. (2016, 2018), Nguyen Trung Duc et al. (2020). These studies are a solid scientific basis to approach the selection of a new corn species for fresh corn production.
From 2012 up to now, with the strategic vision "Happiness in research is making saleable products" from Prof. Dr. Vu Van Liet, Director of the Institute of Crop Research and Development - Vietnam National University of Agriculture, to select and create a high-quality, adaptable and self-sufficient corn species for Vietnam, a team of scientists from the Institute has collected and developed the corn genetic resources from local genes and hybrid combinations from the US, Thailand, China, Korea, and Japan. Through the work of creating new materials, the purple sweet corn species that are adapted to ecological conditions in the tropical areas has been selected. This is an important initial towards the breeding, evaluation and selection of new fruit corn hybrids.
In the Spring of 2021, the initial results of evaluating fruit corn hybrids under a potential study at the level of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development: "Research and development of materials for breeding and selecting fruit corn rich in anthocyanin antioxidants" by Dr. Pham Quang Tuan as the project manager proved to be fruitful. The promising hybrid fruit corn VNUA181 has the harvest period of fresh corn being 65 days, good résistance level, oBrix sweetness index ≥16, the cylinder corn being 22-25cm long, and potential fresh corn yield can reach 14-15 tons/ha, which makes a breakthrough in the selection of new fruit corn species in Vietnam. The promising fruit corn species hybrid by the Institute were immediately welcomed by seed companies such as ADI Agricultural Development and Trade Investment Joint Stock Company, and Vietnam Seed Group Joint Stock Company Vinaseed.
In the near future, the Institute of Crop Research and Development and Vietnam National University of Agriculture will continue to evaluate and enhance the technological process to recognize and produce a new fruit corn species
Institute of Crop research and development