It’s time for pigmentation, and the long-awaited blood oranges - unique in the world due to their nutritional value, their red colour and their vibrant flavour - their perfume and flavour will be excellent this year, thanks to what has so far been a favourable climate. The countdown begins for distribution in Italy and abroad, and in Madrid from 18 to 20 October, Oranfrizer wants to show the difference it can make.
Nello Alba: “What will start in December promises to be the best year for the citrus harvest in the last ten years. There are not significant amounts of large-sized fruits. They diminish also for the Tristeza Virus consequences. But we will have medium-sized blood oranges available until May.”
With temperatures dropping, and the peak of Mount Etna seeing its first dusting of snow, the citrus harvest season in Sicily is fast approaching. Surely the most hotly-anticipated are the Tarocco, Moro and Sanguinello blood oranges. “What will start in December promises to be the best year for the citrus harvest in the last ten years from the point of view of quality,” announces Nello Alba, the sole director of Oranfrizer. “Up to now, temperatures have been excellent, and we are monitoring the citrus groves. The rains are doing a great deal to nourish the plants and their fruits, and we are awaiting the final stage of ripening during which they will take on their characteristic pigmentation, the oranges will turn the typical shade of red that so delights consumers, and both the acidity and sugar levels are signalling that we will be harvesting truly excellent fruits. There are not significant amounts of large-sized fruits. They diminish also for the Tristeza Virus consequences. But we will have medium-sized blood oranges available until May.”
Sicilian company Oranfrizer, which has dealt in blood oranges as its core business for over fifty years, distributed over 20 thousand tonnes of citrus fruits around Italy and abroad last season.
The blood orange, aside from being able to boast the Protected Geographical Indication awarded by Europe, is prized for its unique flavour and its high anthocyanin content.
The anthocyanins contained in its flesh are natural antioxidants that have very important health benefits, helping to fight the action of free radicals, as well as giving the fruit its intense red colouring. This, combined with its high vitamin C content, makes the blood orange the quintessential winter fruit, a true lifesaver. A fresh, medium-sized blood orange of around 100g on average is capable of providing an incredible 40mg of anthocyanins and 60mg of Vitamin C; one need only peel and eat a single orange per day to consume 75% of one’s recommended daily intake of Vitamin C.
Appreciation for these citrus fruits is increasing in Italy, as well as in Northern Europe, where Oranfrizer mainly exports its blood oranges.
“There is a growing demand for blood oranges in Norway and the UK,” explains Sara Grasso, export manager, “and they are conquering new ground in the shops of the most demanding retailers in Northern Europe, with more consumers buying them, as they enjoy their high nutritional value, Italian origin, and zingy flavour on the palate. Oranfrizer’s blood oranges are becoming increasingly ubiquitous in these countries, as demonstrated by new buying and consumption habits, as now, even abroad, they are used to make tasty, fresh salads. The next citrus campaign will involve exporting not only the blood oranges of the Catania plains, but also our Syracuse lemons, Washington Navel oranges, and Sicilian soft citrus cultivars such as Tacle, Mandared and Mandalate. The success of our citrus fruits abroad is the result of continuous improvement of the work done by the Oranfrizer team here in Sicily, aimed at keeping the standards of our supply high.”
Oranfrizer will be exhibiting at Fruit Attraction 2017 (stand 7E07B), in Madrid, Spain, from 18 to 20 October. At this European event dedicated to the fresh fruit sector, Oranfrizer wants to show the difference it can make.
“The red-fleshed Sicilian orange that we export is naturally different from the orange ones commonly sold by other Mediterranean countries,” explained Salvo Laudani, marketing manager. “Abroad, the buyers who choose us recognise how unique they are given their origin. They have many strengths indeed: an exclusive flavour, a colour that makes them quite distinctive, and an extraordinary level of wholesomeness. And all this, of course, paired with the professionalism of the Oranfrizer production chain”.
Oranfrizer carefully monitors all the stages of the development chain of the blood orange, working to innovate in the field whilst constantly monitoring progress, with careful selection deftly blended with excellent logistics skills, and collaboration with the retail sector even extending to co-marketing activities designed with the aim of adding value to the fruit in shops and supermarkets, in the knowledge that both in Italy and abroad, word must be spread about this 100% Sicilian speciality by ensuring that all of its unique characteristics can be seen and appreciated by all.
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