The territory of the Hungarian state is largely suitable for the purpose of growing fruits of the temperate zone species. During the next decennia, the annual volume of Hungarian fruit production is expected to be around 1.1-1.3 million tons, from which some 15% is considered to be a produce of Hungary or "Hungaricum" (90 thousand tons of sour...cherry, 50 thousand tons of apricot, 20 thousand tons of raspberry, 10 thousand tons of walnut). These fruits symbolise the country's special quality, which are worth to catch the interest the foreign consumers.
The category of Hungaricum involves almost exclusively varieties of Hungarian origin as sour cherries, apricots, raspberries and walnuts, and they are representing outstanding qualities on the international markets.
As for the fruit products the fruit brandies are eligible to be "Hungaricum" and are called exclusively "Pálinka". The Pálinka, provided to be distinguished with a geographic mark and will be competitive on the world market. Smaller quantities, though significant produce is represented by the deep frozen raspberry.
Recently, projects aiming to enhance the consumption of fruits and vegetables are intensified. Experts agree in the principle of fresh vegetable foods being a valid panacea in averting risks of ailments as well as curing immune-insufficiency, inflammations, moreover, certain cancerous processes. It is generally accepted that among substances of... biological activity the anti-oxidant compounds such as vitamins C, E and carotenoids, etc. have the major role in this process. Hungarian agriculture has outstanding chances in utilising its natural as well as cultivated plant resources and favourable climatic conditions. It would be, however, necessary to build up a databank of antioxidant substances found in fruits and vegetables and including the modifying effects of technology, growing site, variety, etc. The concept of promoting the trade of Hungarian food-specialities as "Hungaricum" needs, urgently, the aid of a databank of that kind. Some of those excellent products are for instance the sour cherry, pepper and onion. They enjoy high priority as "Hungaricum" in the EU and it should be enhanced by intense and consequent research work, which may prove their role as functional foods. The USA is the leading country in research on the anti-oxidant substances of sour cherries, and up to now more than 17 compounds have been found in Hungarian varieties among others. In pepper fruits used as vegetable and source of vitamin C, the analyses are still lacking because research of the past concentrated on the products of milled spice pepper. Onion and garlic are entirely unexplored in this respect. It should be noted that availability of these fresh products in the moderate climate is restricted to a relatively short season. For that reason, some processing and preservation methods are needed in order to use those fruits and vegetables as functional foods all around the year. The scientifically founded endeavour as a solution of the questions mentioned is stimulated by vigorous commercial interests as well as by the urgent needs of the consumers to improve their health.
Sour cherry is a hungaricum. Hungary has several excellent and self fertile sour cherry cultivars. Hungarian sour cherries have a name for fruit quality and they are suitable for fresh consumption. Today breeding is focused not only on fruit quality, but also on disease resistance. The new, investigated cultivars have these characteristics too.... But growth characteristics are also very important because they contribute to successful production. The vegetative and generative properties of the cultivars are different. If a cultivar is very productive, the ignorance of cultivar-specific pruning may result in the decrease in tree condition and fruit quality. The properties of producing fruiting wood greatly determine the renewal capabilities of cultivars. Knowing these properties is essential in case of sour cherries, the fruit species that requires a lot of sunlight and tends to produce bare wood. The research of candidate cultivars until now focused on fruit quality. Our aim was to investigate the vegetative characteristics of the resistant ‘bosnyák’ cultivar group in detail, defining the growth characteristics of these cultivars.
Experiments are going on all over the world assisting the joint effort of researchers and practicing specialists to identify the methods which can help either in the reduction of production costs or in the increase of yields.
The task of the growers is to make profitable use of the forcing facilities and to satisfy market demands at an...acceptable price by means of improving production technology and applying new scientific, technological and technical information.
For the last few years, rockwool based forcing has been gaining in importance. The subject of our scientific work was the analysis of an important question of this technological variant, the selection of the variety. Besides, we also tried to identify the most suitable pruning technology for the varieties studied.
In Hungary, the highest demand is commonly known to be for the light yellow fleshed varieties which are suitable for stuffed dishes. In the future, due to their special quality and appearance, as well as to the Hungaricum character, they could become important export goods on the European Union market. It was within this variety type that comparison between varieties already common in production (HO F1, HRF F1, Danubia F1) was carried out, trying to get an answer to the question which of the three varieties could be produced with the greatest success. Considering the quantitative and qualitative indicators, it was H6 F1 that proved the best out of the three varieties tested under unheated forcing on rockwool. It excelled the other two varieties both in quality and in average fruit weight, preserving this advantage until the end of the growing period.
Hungarian spice pepper powder is a unique product, a real hungaricum with its flavour and aroma compounds and seasoning effect. Its competitiveness with foreign spice peppers is ensured by its high biological value deriving from the specially Hungarian production and processing technology. Besides the traditional and highly manual labo...ur intensive processing technology, there are some modern industrial technologies as well, where high quality can be guaranteed only by producing excellent base material (raw pepper pods). This is the reason which necessitates the rational development of the elements of the production technology, such as nutrient supply. Our objective was to offer a contribution to this aim by our trials in plant nutrition.
Experiments on the nutrient supply of spice pepper were set up in the 2003 growing season in order to decide whether yields and fruit composition parameters of pepper could be increased by means of increased K fertiliser doses with lower N:K ratios. Several forms of potassium were used, as well as applying microelement top dressings in the single treatments. It was found that the increase of N:K ratio from I:1 to 1:6 did not increase yields, but resulted in higher pigment and dry matter content. Microelement top dressing had a yield increasing effect at each N:K ratio. Higher potassium doses did not accelerate ripening.
During the last century the medicinal and aromatic plant sector has became a successful part of the Hungarian Agriculture. Some of the national products have been accepted as a special Hungarian ones ("Hungaricum"), evaluated on the world market, respectfully. By the estimates the cultivation area of medicinal and aromatic plants increased up t...o 37,000-42,000 hectares and considerable amount — about 10, 000-15, 000 tonnes of dry biomass — are produced by utilisation of Hungarian indigenous flora, year by year.
In the present work ecological requirements of 97 collected and 55 cultivated medicinal and aromatic plants are characterised. Based on the analysis of -Ts (temperature regime values) about 63 per cent of cultivated species came from Submediterranean and Mediterranean type of habitat, originally, while the majority of collected plants (61.8 per cent of them) prefer the deciduous forest conditions. The differences between collected and cultivated species are appreciable too, if the distributions of their characteristic water regime ('W' values) are compared. The majority of cultivated species require dry (moderate dry) and fresh (moderate fresh) habitats, while the amplitude of water requirement of collected species is much more wide-ranging.
The regional specialisation of Hungary according to production of medicinal and aromatic plants is known from the beginnings of the 20th century. As a result of spontaneous process seven well-defined production areas were developed. The relationship between regions, their climatic conditions and spectrum of species produced there are analysed.
The richness of Hungarian sour cherry cultivars in the world is unique; they can be consumed in many ways. Sour cherry is a Hungaricum and has excellent fruit quality and nutritional value. Nowadays the demand for chemical-free fruits is increasing. Reducing the number of chemical applications can be achieved most effectively by the use of resi...stant varieties, technological developments and cultivar innovation. The domestic and international sour cherry breeding programs use almost exclusively the resistant ‘Csengôdi’ clones as a basis. They are mainly Monilinia and Blumeriella resistant and have higher dry matter and antioxidant content. These pathogens influence not only the qualitative and quantitative parameters of the fruits, but may play an indirect role in the deterioration of the overall condition of the trees as well. The cultivation of resistant varieties can greatly reduce the pesticide load of the environment, so we can produce fruit with excellent nutritional value with fewer chemicals. Our aim is the expansion of the sour cherry assortment by introducing new resistant cultivars. With this we can contribute to the spreading of environmentally sound production technologies and supply “super fruits” to the consumers.
The utilisation of medicinal and aromatic plants is growing continuously, which is motivated by both psychological and rational factors. Species belonging to this special group of plants were produced in the territory of Hungary many centuries back. However, the intensification of the production started in the first years of 20 th century, only..., and in spite of many political and economical contradictions the medicinal and aromatic plant sector became a successful part of Hungarian Agriculture. Some of the national products had been accepted as a special Hungarian product ("Hungaricum") evaluated as most respectful in the world market. To stabilise, even to develop the production of medicinal and aromatic plants in Hungary the understanding of the actual world situation, especially the forthcoming EU conditions, became essential. Based on the analysis of the situation market and economy of medicinal plant production, a new strategy had to be developed. The medicinal and aromatic plant sector requires a special development program, which should be supported by Hungarian authorities, focusing on the subjects, which are as follows:
- development of "quasi" EU compatible Hungarian regions specialised for medicinal plant production,
- development of biological background, technology as well as the quality assurance system of the production,
- EU compatible regulation and subvention system of the sector, including processing, production and marketing of raw and phytomed ici nes,
- development of new marketing strategy in both national and international relations.