Lemon oil from all corners of the world is one of Ultra’s core products.
Lemon has a place in many culinary uses from soft drinks and cocktails to marmalade. However, it can also be used and found in household cleaning products since it can disinfect, deodorise, remove grease and dissolve wax and grime to name but a few uses.
Lemon is also used in aromatherapy to enhance moods and can be used for its anti-bacterial properties in other medicinal applications. In fragrances it gives a fresh uplifting and zesty note to any perfume, as it is highly volatile.
Interestingly the three top producers of fresh lemons in the world are not the countries we would associate with oil production; the top 3 being China, India and Mexico, which account for over 40% of the world production. The Spanish are the largest within Europe producing around 900,000 MT - 1,000,000 MT of fresh lemons in any given good year.
There are two seasons in Spain giving them around 9 months of harvesting during the year. The 'Fino' and 'Primafiori' type runs from November to March and the 'Verna' type from April to July. Depending on the year 20-25% of all lemons are further processed.
Today we associate lemon oil production with Italy and Spain (Europe), Argentina, Bolivia and USA (Americas) and even South Africa who are small producers on the global scale.
Spain is Europe's largest producer of fresh lemons and the largest producer of oil.
Lemon oil is obtained by cold expression or steam distillation of lemon's peel.
The AILIMPO lemon crop estimate for the 2020-2021 season forecasts a total production of 1.29 million MT, broken down into 947,000 tonnes of Fino lemons and 343,000 tonnes of Verna lemons.
The commercial supply of Fino lemons for the fresh market will be lower in the second part of the season, which could put pressure on the sales market, while the harvest of Verna lemons guarantees supply throughout the summer of 2021.
Spain will continue to consolidate its commercial position in Europe with its quality and phytosanitary guarantees. Following Argentina, Spain is the second largest lemon producer in the world but the first global exporter of lemons for fresh consumption. Spanish lemon production is concentrated in the regions of Murcia and Valencia, and the provinces of Malaga and Almeria in Andalucía. In recent years Spain increased its total planted area for lemons standing at around 46,000 ha in 2019.
In relation to processing, it is estimated that approximately 25% of the harvest is destined for processing, producing a wide range of juices, essential oils and dehydrated peel. Lemons for processing are expected to increase because of higher production and because there is less demand for fresh fruits because hotels and the tourism industry are operating at well below capacity.
Spain’s organic lemon acreage has almost quadrupled in the past decade, reaching 8,300 ha last year. It now accounts for 17% of total planted area, producing 172,642 tonnes in 2020. The GlobalG.A.P. and GRASP certifications are key elements this season as part of the strategy to differentiate Spanish lemons and to promote sustainable production with a triple focus on economic, environmental, and social impact. AILIMPO predicts that, in the short term, organic lemons will make up a quarter of total acreage.
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