Agrumi-Gel starts the pomegranate processing campaign

Antonino Imbesi, owner and marketing manager of Agrumi-Gel, told  FreshPlaza, “We've installed two shucking machines that allow us to separate the arils from the white part of the pomegranates. In this way, we obtain a juice with excellent organoleptic characteristics. We use a highly specialised Israeli technology – in partnership with Juran Metal Works, a machinery manufacturer very well-known by the experts. By automating some crucial operations for the processing of the pomegranates - as a fourth-range product or juice - we are able to get excellent results from the extracting phase”.

Antonio explained, “We are extremely happy about this new venture. This represents another step forward for our processing supply chain. My father started this project a few years ago, and now we are carrying it on by expanding its scope - like involving the pomegranate, for instance”.

“We are processing the Wonderful variety, coming from the Sicilian supply chain. This variety is the most demanded by the market. In any case, we also process the Akko, Smith and Dente di Cavallo varieties. We process both organic and conventional fruits, coming from different areas: Agrigento, Trapani, Marsala, Canicattì, but especially the area surrounding Enta region”.

'Wonderful' variety from the Trapani area

The demand for pomegranate keeps increasing year after year, due especially to the freshly-squeezed juices trend. Within European countries, this trend is growing together with the consumption of exotic fruits, which are increasingly becoming part of European eating habits.

As for every fruit, each country has its own traditional cultivars. These biotypes are selected in their production locations and therefore they are characterized by good adaptability to local conditions.

Imbesi highlighted, “Until a few years ago, they usually sold local pomegranate varieties only, in this area, such as the Dente di Cavallo or the Mollar – much appreciated because of its soft seeds. Recently, the sector is growing a lot thanks to the Wonderful variety. Sicilian farmers farm it with the Israeli know-how (the transversal ‘Y’ farming system). This variety is excellent in terms of productivity, size and colour, and preservability.

Wonderful is bright red-coloured both externally and internally and the arils are semi-soft. In general, the pomegranate plant is very tough and the production is constant. Yet, it is much sensitive to water management. As of now, we had some cracking cases caused by temperatures and rains occurred during the flowering phase.

The entrepreneurs concluded, “Among the project, we want to utilise the latest HPP technology (High-Pressure Processing) for the conservation and packaging of the juice. This technology uses presses and actualises the processing within a nitrogen-protected atmosphere”.

Juices are obtained through an advanced cold-squeezing technique which delicately extracts the juice from the arils. In this way, both the organoleptic properties and the nutrients are untouched. Differently from traditional squeezing techniques, the one we perform does not increment the temperatures and thus blocking the oxidation process of the juice itself.

Visit the new website

Agrumi-Gel S.r.l.
C.da Girotta
98051 - Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto (ME) Italy
Tel.: (+39) 090 9707329
Fax: (+39) 090 9797967
Cell.: (+39) 347 3830904

The story
The Barcellona Pozzo di Gozzo company, owned by the Imbesi family, is specialised in the processing of citrus fruit and citrus fruit derivatives. Additionally, it is specialised in essential oils, using traditional techniques. In 1988, the family business passed to Salvatore Imbesi who started an optimization process regarding the citrus processing processes through the implementation of modern technologies. In this way, he integrated organisational techniques aimed at the excellency of the workflow. The main stages of this process involved the creation of a modern juice extraction plant, the setting up of pasteurization and exsiccation plants for orange and lemon peels and their candying, the expansion of extraction lines and of the cold storage capacity.

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