The Italian lemon campaign has just started and demand on a domestic level is good thanks to the nutritional value of citrus fruit, which has become even more important in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Il Limone del Barone grows citrus fruit, seedless Femminello lemons in particular, on 70 hectares located in the Syracuse province. The company holds the GlobalGAP and Grasp certifications and has started the 2020/21 campaign with the fruit from its new groves.
In the photo: Giovanni and Andrea Pezzino di Geronimo, owners of Il Limone del Barone.
"Thanks to our agronomic techniques, we have started the season with medium grades, above the local standard. In other Sicilian areas, fruits are rather small due to the summer drought. In addition, by introducing new integrated pest management systems, we managed to obtain zero-residue produce and are very pleased with what we have achieved," explained Andrea and Giovanni Pezzino di Geronimo, owners of Il Limone del Barone.
"Our public is demanding and looking for natural products with a high value. There is a lot of talk about the nutritional function of food, and lemons are very good as they have a high vitamin C, flavonoid, citric acid and limonene content."
Limone del Barone lemons are constantly monitored and tested also when it comes to juice yields.
"We performed a test to compare the organoleptic qualities of our lemons with those of foreign lemons grown using different agronomic methods in areas with different soil and weather characteristics. Dr. Formica Pietro Tindaro tested the limonene content in the samples. Limonene is a terpene (an aromatic compound found in food and may vegetable species) also known as ᴅ-limonene or ʟ-limonene. In particular, ᴅ-limonene has considerable applications,"
"The results confirmed that good agronomic practices, the soil and weather conditions and the clone of this particular lemon have an effect on limonene level in the fruit. Compared with varieties grown in other areas or with other techniques, Il Limone del Barone lemons showed a very high limonene content," reported Formica Pietro Tindaro.
"We believe consumers need scientific sources and targeted communication to understand how important it is to purchase traceable and safe products. This surprising result unveiled the secret of our aromatic lemons: in addition to their exceptional juice yield and ascorbic acid content (57 mg x 100 gr), our lemons stand out also thanks to the abundance of this terpene, which conveys an unmistakable fresh fragrance."