“Based on acidity tests conducted on the 2021 harvest, the quality of the Corsican clementine complies with the PGI specifications”

Anticipating climate change, is a collaborative work of INRAE Corsica, APRODEC and PDO Fruit of Corsica, today for the future.

Thanks to the work jointly undertaken for many years with the Corsican citrus industry, INRAE confirms that, based on acidity tests conducted on the 2021 harvest, the quality of the Corsican clementine complies with the PGI specifications.

Since 2007, the “Corsican clementine” has a Protected Geographical Indication. In order to benefit from the PGI label, the fruit must be harvested at optimum maturity on the tree and meet several criteria including:

- caliber: average to small, with a maximal diameter between 46 and 68 mm

- color of the peel: orange-red, with up to 1/Se of green epidermis

- juice content: at least 42%

The percentage of fruit with leaves
The Corsican clementine must be sold with one or two leaves attached to its stalk. Compliance to these specifications guarantees a level of quality and freshness of the fruit, from the original fruit block to the shelves, thanks to a particularly demanding traceability system. It is APRODEC (Association for the Promotion and Defense of the Corsican Clementine) which guarantees that these rules are respected. 

Like many agricultural productions, the Corsican clementine must prepare itself for the challenges of climate change and the agroecological transition. The analysis of data on the quality of the clementines, accumulated since the 1960s, shows that the maturity of the clementine has been occurring earlier, by 13 days on average, over the past 5 years, compared to the average from 1960 to 2015 (natural phenomenon in citrus fruit).

Aware of the importance of these developments, the professionals of the sector have been working for several years in collaboration with researchers of INRAE in order to find solutions to preserve the PGI Corsican clementine. Their goal is to identify levers that would help manage the harvests and spread the harvest period of the clementines on the tree.

The scientists are developing, with the professionals of the sector, a decision-making tool called “Clemature” to predict the quality of the fruits and therefore anticipate the optimal period to harvest according to the quality criteria of the PGI.

We also observe that practices such as the grassing of the orchards, organic fertilization and water stress management (reduction of irrigation water inputs) help delay the ripening of the fruit and therefore harvest later in the season.

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