Grapefruit oil is processed from the peel of the fruit and can come in a number of types determined by its colour. Red, white and pink varieties are available which are usually grouped as ‘white’ or ‘coloured’.
Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and other nutrients and phytochemicals and is often associated with healthy living and diets.
As a flavour it is highly acidic and contains grapefruit mercaptan (a sulphur terpene) giving both a sweet, tarty and sometime bitter taste, somewhat different to most other citrus fruits.
The citrus industry in Florida has been struggling with the serious disease Huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening. This bacterial disease causes green, misshapen and bitter-tasting fruit, and eventually kills the citrus tree.
Citrus greening disease (or Huanglongbing, abbreviated as HLB) is a disease common to citrus plants transmitted by insects. Historically it is more commonly found in China and Africa but was first discovered in Florida in 1998 in orange. It is a bacterium that can grow quicker in hot temperatures and will ultimately kill the plant/tree where the fruit is growing. In the mean time the plant/tree will bear multiple seasons of small fruits, many unsuitable for processing. There is no cure for greening so the disease is hard to control once a region is infected.
The table shows how HLB has damaged fruit output, which has in turn restricted the volumes available for processing, increasing prices in its path.
|Type / Season||2011/12||2012/13||2013/14||2014/15*|
|Coloured (1,000 boxes)||13,500||13,100||11,500||11,000|
|White (1,000 boxes)||5,350||5,250||4,150||4,000|
*2014/15 Forecasts as at April 2015
The USDA forecasts 6.40 million boxes for Florida grapefruit. This figure is 65% more than last season’s hurricane affected 3.88 million boxes; and down 4% from the 2016-2017 season. Putting aside last season’s hurricane-reduced crop, this is the lowest since the 6.7 million boxes in 1921–22. The total is comprised of 5.3 million boxes of red grapefruit and 1.1 million boxes of white grapefruit. Representing a 73% and 71% rise respectively. However, in both cases, fruit size is below average and the downward trend in fruit-bearing trees continues.
With increased applications of grapefruit oil and consequently rising demand, the market will remain under pressure till we recover from the substantial loss in 2017-18.
Market prices USD 90.00 /kilo (white)
Market prices USD 70.00 /kilo (Pink)
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