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.
News from this crop is rather upsetting. Farmers were already struggling with a meagre crop due to erratic weather conditions, clocking a production of below minus 80% of usual output. With the coronavirus spreading fast, there is a dearth of workers for harvesting. Though everyone was waiting for the lockdown to re-open, it is next to impossible to revive the blood orange crop.
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