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.
The outlook for blond and blood oranges is hopeful with expectations of the situation normalizing, following last year’s 30% crop reduction. The price of fruit for processing is around Euro 0.11/kg.
Blond oranges are likely to hit the market in February. However, uncertainty hovers over the blood orange market. The summer heat has affected fruit size leading to two possible varied repercussions. If the fresh fruit market does not accept smaller fruit, past trends show that volumes will be nudged into processing. On the contrary, if the fresh fruit market does well, there might be a shortage for processing. Sellers are now promoting the fruit under the moniker of “baby” to encourage buying.
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