Italy has an interesting type of citrus sinensis called ‘Blood Orange’. Blood orange is red in colour due to the anthocyanin pigment present (this is also a good anti-oxidant). The oil is unique because of the high carotenoid content and its sweet taste.
The three most common types of blood oranges are the Tarocco (native to Italy), the Sanguinello (native to Spain), and the Moro, the newest variety of the three.
The main use for the oil is in beverage markets for its naturally fresh and sweet taste and it has a natural colouring agent to add a redness to any drink. The Italian harvest season runs from February to early May. The typical oil yields are relatively small at around 2.5gm per kilo of fruit.
This season is one of the better ones in recent years. The crop is available in good quantity and at reasonable prices. Though the orange fruit is small, the quality of the juice and the oil is reported to be fine. The long drought period during last summer has affected the crop, and a lack of rain is still reported, leading to slower than expected production.
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