The Italian lime harvest season in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas has already started and producers expect to harvest 100,000 tons, surpassing the record 97,419 tons achieved in 2019.
Ariel Longoria Garcia, the Secretary of Rural Development, stated that Tamaulipas was the leading producer of Italian lime with 4,500 hectares dedicated to this crop. "This season the export sector is expected to make 30 million dollars thanks to Taumalipas' Italian lime harvest, as more than 20 packing companies there will export 40,000 tons of that citrus to the United States."
Two types of limes are popular in Mexico, the Mexican Creole or Colima lime, which is small, green, and has seeds, and the Persian lime, which is large and doesn't have seeds. “They are actually sour limes, as real lemons are larger than these fruits and are yellow in color. They are very popular in other countries but almost unknown in Mexican territory, except for Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, and Yucatan, where they are produced and have been given the name of Italian lime,” the official explained.
The commercial cultivation of Italian lime in Mexico began in the 1980s in Tamaulipas, under a contract between citrus producers and the Coca Cola soft drink company. "They wanted to obtain the essential oil that is used in the production of soft drinks from the Italian lime peels, as they expected the demand in new markets, such as China and India, to increase."