Rugao vegetable ready for Arctic expedition
Heitacai, a unique species of Chinese cabbage, has been grown in Rugao, Nantong for more than 1,000 years. It is rich in vitamin C, selenium, and dietary fiber. [Photo/WeChat account: rugaofabu]
Heitacai, a unique species of Chinese cabbage grown in Rugao, Nantong, will begin its first expedition to the Arctic region on Xuelong 2, China's first domestically built polar icebreaker, early this July.
Zhonggao Agricultural Products Co, a Rugao-based agricultural company, announced on May 29 that it will donate five tons of frozen heitacai and 10 boxes of pickled radish to feed scientific staff during the expedition.
"Rugao has invented new processing techniques to ensure that people have access to fresh vegetables during non-harvest seasons," said Ding Xinghua, deputy Party secretary of Rugao.
After being cleaned and sterilized at high temperatures, heitacai can be stored at 40 degrees below zero for up to 24 months.
"Heitacai tastes as good frozen as it does fresh. It's a great choice for scientific staff short of fresh vegetables during long-distance voyages," said Zhang Beichen, deputy director of the Polar Research Institute of China.
According to an agreement signed between Zhonggao Agricultural Products Co and the aforementioned research institute, more agricultural products from Rugao will be provided to support future sea trials and scientific research in polar regions.