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Geographical indication protection of “Vĩnh châu” for purple onion

On 28 September 2019, the National Office of Intellectual Property has issued Decision No.2665/QĐ-SHTT granting Geographical Indication registration certificate No.00075 for “Vĩnh Châu” purple onion...

On 28 September 2019, the National Office of Intellectual Property has issued Decision No.2665/QĐ-SHTT granting Geographical Indication registration certificate No.00075 for “Vĩnh Châu” purple onion. The Department of Science and Technology of Sóc Trăng Province is the organization in charge of management of this GI.


In Việt Nam, purple onion is cultivated in various places, particularly in high quantity in Vĩnh Châu town (Sóc Trăng province), Lý Sơn island district (Quảng Ngãi province), Ninh Hải district (Ninh Thuận province), Gò Công district (Tiền Giang province), etc. In the Mekong Delta, Sóc Trăng province possesses the largest purple onion cultivation area, most of which is in Vĩnh Châu town.


In Vĩnh Châu, purple onion has been cultivated by the locals since early days and was often called “Chinese onion”. In 1966, cultivation of purple onion, under the name “red onion”, was encouraged in Vĩnh Châu. 
Vĩnh Châu purple onion is highly valued by domestic and international consumers thanks to its beautiful colour (purple or faint red), big size and weight while the number of bulbs is low, and thus the bulbs are large and more convenient for cooking. The onion diameter is 4.40 ± 0.38 (cm), bulb diameter is 2.73 ± 0.22 (cm), each onion has 3.03 ± 0.35 bulbs.         
Vĩnh Châu purple onine has smooth skin, highly crunchy texture, pleasant pungent odor. This product can be stored for a long time without any preservatives needed while its quality is still maintained. This is thanks to high moisture inside the purple onion (which is 73.8 ± 2.08 (%), and the content of total sulphur not lower than 723.1 mg per 100g.
 Another distinctive trait of Vĩnh Châu purple onion is its sweetness. The total sugar content in Vĩnh Châu purple onion is 7.5 ± 0.3 (%), and the Brix is 11.4 ± 0.66 (%).


  Comparing to purple onions of Lý Sơn and Ninh Hải, Vĩnh Châu purple onion is easier to be broken when force is applied due to the lower density of Vĩnh Châu purple onion comparing to purple onions of Lý Sơn and Ninh Hải. The density of Vĩnh Châu purple onion is 1.85 ± 0.11 (N).
 The peculiarities of Vĩnh Châu purple onion exist thanks to the natural conditions of the geographical area compatible with the development of purple onion and the accumulated experience in purple onion cultivation and processing of the locals.
The geographical area consists of a coastal town of Sóc Trăng province, extending along the coast and the area of Hậu river mouth. Deposit materials of the geographical area are mainly clay, sand, fine particles, vegetable remains, shell pieces, etc. which helps formulate sandy clay soil with rich clay content. 
High rainfall (annual average of 1,846mm), low temperature variation (2.8oC ) and tsandy clay soil with rich clay content allow a good level of water retention in the soil of Vĩnh Châu town, which is favourable for the growth of onion. High moisture in the soil along with long cultivation season, the selection of indigenous onion species with deep purple colour, large size and less bulbs, the technique of watering close to the harvest, and all the peculiarities in natural and human factors help prolong the period of water and nutrition cumulation (especially sulphur cumulation). As a result, Vĩnh Châu purple onion has a higher weigh, bulb diameter, moisture and total sulphur content than purple onions of Lý Sơn and Ninh Hải while being less smelly. The relationship between the characteristics of the product and the geographical condition can also be proven from the fact that Vĩnh Châu purple onion cultivated in the main crop (longer time of cultivation) has bigger size and higher weigh when harvested comparing to onion of the early crop. 
The geographical area covers the wards 1, 2 and Vĩnh Phước, and communes of Vĩnh Hải, Vĩnh Tân, Lạc Hòa, and Lai Hòa of Vĩnh Châu town, Sóc Trăng province.

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