In the case of kiwis, those of a suitable size are destined for the fresh market, while those that do not meet the standards required by the market can be used for processing. This is an example of circular economy applied to the primary sector, which proves that nothing is wasted from fruit.
We interviewed Federica Ferrari and her brother Enrico, founders of the start-up company L'Agro del Kiwi, that produces vinegar, as well as vinegar glaze and jams, based on green pulp kiwi fruit.
In the photo, Enrico and Federica Ferrari.
L'Agro del Kiwi is the company that processes the fruits grown on the lands of Oltre il Kiwi, a company run by the Ferrari family in the province of Latina in Italy, which has been growing Hayward kiwi fruit for about 40 years and produces it organically. With the generational turnover, the company's activity has focused on enhancing the value of less valuable fruits through the recovery of small sizes. The two two fundamental pillars are sustainability and innovation, with an emphasis on traditions and local culture.
Thanks to careful production choices and an accurate processing of raw materials in the fields, L'Agro del Kiwi is able to offer a wide range of processed products obtained from an arduous process of fermentation of the fruit. The result is a product with a sweet and sour aftertaste, intensely fruity, of an amber yellow color, whose quality is dictated by the timing of natural fermentation.
The entire product line includes 100% kiwi vinegars available in the following formats:
Kiwi vinegar n° 5, available in 100 ml and 500 ml formats for the Ho.Re.Ca. channel.
Kiwi vinegar n° 2, available in sizes from 250 ml up to 750 ml for the Ho.Re.Ca. channel.
The product assortment is completed by a jam with a persistent taste, made with the whole fruit including the seeds and the vinegar glaze.
These jams are suitable for the consumer who chooses gourmet and high-end chef's dishes. Both the vinegar and the glaze are among the most sought after and valuable products have registered a patent in 2014 for the innovative production process of 100% kiwi vinegar. A patent that allowed the company to be listed as an innovative start-up in June 2017.
"Our processed products are made in the company's own laboratory and we have partnered with the University of Florence, to study health properties and active ingredients of both the fruit and the finished product (100% kiwi vinegar). Our next goal is the creation of a line of functional food called NutraKiwi 2FR, with the collaboration of the universities of Tor Vergata, Tuscia, Florence and the Itzs (Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute) of Lazio and Tuscany,” said Federica Ferrari.
The creation of innovative products, such as young and aged kiwi vinegars, takes place through a process of fermentation that, on average, lasts from two to five years. The brand, in 2020, won the Oscar Green in recognition of its innovation and 100% kiwi-based naturally functional foods, as well as its commitment to the well-being, health and protection of the Agro Pontino area.
The 100% kiwi vinegar glazes and jams are also highly nutritional products with bioactive ingredients. The newest addition to the catalog is a chocolate made of 70% dark cocoa and 100% kiwi vinegar gelée n° 5.
"On the agricultural front, we have limited production, and therefore the available product will be gone before the end of the campaign. Our volumes have been affected by the frost of 2017, which has become a constant phenomenon, aggravated by climate change and the well-known kiwi dieback, which causes the degradation of the plant, a wilting of the leaves and the fruit, as a consequence of the damaged root apparatus," concluded Enrico Ferrari.
L'Agro del Kiwi branded products are distributed in Italy and abroad in specialized and Ho.Re.Ca channels. In Italy it is also possible to purchase them online and in the large-scale retail trade, as well as food shops specialized in local products.