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
According to the final USDA forecast, USA grapefruit production ended at 13.05 million boxes, which represents a more than 10% decrease from last year’s crop which was at 14.71 million boxes, mainly due to unfavourable weather conditions. With Florida’s total production slightly higher than the last crop, totalling 4.85 million boxes (4.06 million boxes of red/pink grapefruit and 790,000 boxes of white grapefruit varieties), both California and Texas production has decreased to 3.80 and 4.40 million boxes respectively. The reduction in California production is mainly due to general crop cycles.
Regarding grapefruit oil, the excess supply in the market of red/pink grapefruit oil is decreasing and there are indications that the price is starting to stabilise. Meanwhile, the white grapefruit oil price is stable though volume continues to be limited and this trend may continue in the future.
USA ESTIMATED GRAPEFRUIT PRODUCTION 2017/18 to 2019/20 (‘000 boxes )
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