La Deliziosa PO introduces Sicilio prickly pears

The new "Sicilio" brand was developed within La Deliziosa PO, a leading cooperative in the processing of citrus fruit and prickly pears.

The new brand, which will be used for the best fruit from Etna DOP, will be launched during Macfrut 2016 in Hall D5 - Stand 007. The image combines the colours of the prickly pear varieties cultivated and carefully selected at the foothills of the volcano.

Currently, the PO counts 112 members, covering a total area of 1,340 hectares, 400 of which are dedicated to prickly pears. Then there are 800 hectares of citrus groves, 50 hectares of orchards and 90 hectares of vegetables.

The prickly pear season lasts 4 months between August and early November. The cooperative's experience in the production, processing and commercialisation of produce and its high quality standard make it the leading trader in the area. The entire chain is checked constantly and guaranteed by the GlobalGAP certification.

"Sicilio" is perfect for the processing and the fresh-cut industries as well. Its characteristics are unique and there are three different cultivars - yellow, red and white.

Depending on the ripening period, fruits are called "agostani", "latini" (first blossoming) or "bastardoni" (second blossoming).

The varieties:
- Yellow or sulfarina: the fruit has a yellow-orange colour and is very sweet with a soft and juicy flesh.

- Red or Sanguigna: once ripe, fruits are ruby red. The flavour is sweet and the flesh is crumbly with less seeds than the other cultivars. 

- White or Muscaredda: fruits have a whitish colour, so sometimes people mistake them for not being ripe. lt is the most prestigious cultivar thanks to its crunchy flesh and excellent organoleptic qualities.

PO sales director Salvatore Bua (in the photo above) explains that "the new brand conveys the value and quality of a niche product. We believe in a healthy relationship with good food, we promote the food culture and aim at conquering new consumers with an excellent product. We cultivate the fruit in compliance with strict production standards, focusing on traceability and quality and employing integrated control techniques." 

2015 was an excellent year also thanks to the good weather and mild temperatures. Over the past few years, consumption has been increasing - this year, the PO recorded a +15% increase in consumption in the month of August alone.

"Sicilio" is processed inside an efficient facility with cold storage and sorting units. Packaging will be carried out both by traditional and automated lines. In addition, the company has Flow-packs, Girsaks, Vertbags, CBR nets, 1-4 kg thermosealed bags and crates. 

Particular attention is dedicated to quality - a staff of agronomists follows the produce from the start to guarantee the maximum hygiene of the production processes and therefore of the packaged fruit.

In addition to domestic retailers, 20% of the fruit is also shipped to Germany, France, Belgium, Holland and other European countries.

O.P. La Deliziosa Soc.Coop.Agr
Mag. C.da Scirfi sn
95033 - Biancavilla (CT)
Tel.: (+39) 095 686762

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