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Sicilian oranges increasingly popular

In the south of Italy a small growers cooperation is holding out against the identity of the citrus sector. Around the Sicilian town of Ribera around 35 growers grow 10 pallets of oranges per week on 40 to 50 hectares. The sweet, seedless orange with a unique vanilla flavour has one of the thinnest fruit membranes in the world and with it a high juice content. Increasingly large volumes are trying to reach Dutch Christmas dinners from South Italy.


"It is likely the Genovese sailors of around 1400 are the ones who brought this variation in this vanilla from China and/or India," explains Gaetano Mangione of the Italian Linea Sud. "This variation came about due to spontaneous cross breeding in the area around Ribera : a magnificent fruit that is appreciated by everyone, especially children and the elderly, due to its special flavour and seedlessness."

The vanilla oranges are grown organically or treated with an integrated crop protection agent. Besides this, the Italian trader is very happy with the characteristics: "With the very low acid content of only (min 0.06 and max 0.15%) and a Brix value of +/- 14% (when the fruit is perfectly ripe) the fruit is recommended to people with arthritis/ intestinal problems and to diabetes sufferers," according to Gaetona. "The vanilla oranges also have acid and vitamin C like other citrus fruits, but also vitamins B1, B2, PP and mineral salts."

Blood orange

The red Tarocco, better known as the blood orange, also grows around the Etna. "Due to the unique rises and falls in the temperatures in this area, the citrus fruits accumulate a considerable amount of sugar and anthocyanine pigments. This gives the oranges their typical sweet flavour, the lovely colour of flesh and the intense colour of the peel."

The red oranges were previously discussed by prominent scientists such as professor Umberto Veronesi, director of the European Institute for Oncology in Milan. He reports that these oranges are "a valuable help in preventing tumours. This is due to the strong anti oxidants that act on the free radicals, the characteristics that play a role in the creation of tumours."

The Sicilian oranges are available from mid December to April.

More information:
Gaetano Mangione
T: 0031-(0)13-7505336
M: 0031(0)6-30556434

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