News

  • 12 Jan
    US – Hesperidin to be tested against COVID-19

    US – Hesperidin to be tested against COVID-19

    The National Institutes of Health’s National Centre of Biotechnology Information (NCBI) recently announced plans to evaluate the clinical efficacy of hesperidin against COVID-19. Orange juice and sweet oranges contain hesperidin. NCBI referred to hesperidin as “an old herbal medicine … used to treat vascular diseases in Europe and Australia and distributed with vitamin C as a dietary supplement in the USA.

    “Hesperidin is a promising drug candidate for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19,” NCBI continued. “Hesperidin interferes with viral entry through ACE2 receptors, improves the host cellular immunity, minimizes the release of inflammatory mediators and its mixture protects against venous thromboembolism.”

    NCBI stated that “Hesperidin is a common flavone glycoside found in citrus fruit such as lemons and sweet oranges. Hesperidin has several pharmacological activities such as anti-atherogenic, antihyperlipidemic, antidiabetic, venotonic, cardioprotective, anti-inflammatory and antihypertensive actions. The anti-inflammatory activity of hesperidin was mainly attributed to its antioxidant defence mechanism and suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokine production.”

    Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) Executive Director Shannon Shepp reacted to the planned study: “We are aware of the recent study related to hesperidin and COVID-19. The Florida Department of Citrus is not currently involved in or planning any research related to COVID-19 but continues to monitor developments on the topic. Current research shows that 100 percent orange juice provides a variety of nutrients and beneficial plant compounds, including hesperidin, that when consumed daily can help support a healthy immune system.

    “Recent clinical studies supported by FDOC continue to reinforce the broad potential benefits of plant compounds with antioxidant-like properties, like hesperidin and carotenoids, found in 100% orange juice. Further studies on hesperidin, which is highly concentrated in citrus and rarely found in other foods, are necessary to learn more about its role in the diet.” CitrusIndustry

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 12 Jan
    EU – Lemon market feels the squeeze

    EU – Lemon market feels the squeeze

    Spanish lemon suppliers are facing a challenging market as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic tightens its grip on Europe. With much of the hospitality industry closed or operating under restrictions, sales through the wholesale channel continue to be severely disrupted.

    However, retail sales are holding up relatively well, albeit under considerable pressure on prices. José Antonio García of Ailimpo said supermarkets were being ‘excessively aggressive’ with regard to price. Markets are well supplied this season thanks to a 14 per cent increase in Spanish Fino production and good availability of competitively priced Turkish lemons due to the devalued Turkish lira. Producers remain hopeful, however, that demand will pick up in the coming weeks so that markets don’t become oversupplied.

    “The market is still profitable, just less profitable than in previous years,” García commented, “Growers without GlobalGAP and GRASP certification who have failed to adapt to this new landscape will have fewer and fewer options to sell their crop and eventually be forced out of the market.” His comments came as agricultural union Asaja-Murcia called for the government to intervene to help struggling producers. Secretary general Alfonso Gálvez Caravaca warned that many small producers and family businesses could disappear unless they received urgent financial assistance. FruitNet

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 12 Jan
    Mexico – Edges out Brazil as chief supplier of orange juice to US

    Mexico – Edges out Brazil as chief supplier of orange juice to US

    Mexico has once again surpassed Brazil as the major supplier of orange juice to the United States.

    Although the dollar amount of orange juice shipped to the US between January and June is half as much as it was last year, Mexico exported USD142 million of juice in the first six months of 2020, considerably more than Brazil’s USD91 million.  Mexico exported USD333 million worth of juice last year, beating Brazil by USD3 million. A recent study by CitrusBR, an organization representing the three largest Brazilian exporters of orange juice, showed that sales from Mexico to the United States have skyrocketed since 2008, when US customs eliminated tariffs on imports of concentrated and frozen orange juice from Mexico as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

    In contrast, US imports of orange juice from Brazil pay a tariff of USD 415.86 per tonne.

    In 1993, when the US tax on juice from all sources was still USD490.02, Brazil exported 144,500 tonnes of concentrated and frozen orange juice to the United States. That volume has dropped to just 71,100 tonnes in 2019. According to CitrusBR, Mexico’s exports of concentrated and frozen orange juice went from 9,800 to 74,700 tonnes in the same period.

    “With a good quality product, similar to that produced in Florida, and land freight around 50% cheaper than Brazilian maritime logistics, the Mexican product continues to gain [ground],” Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico reported in reference to the CitrusBR study.

    The United States Department of Agriculture forecasts that Mexico’s exports for the 2019-2020 season will total 104,850 tonnes, as drought has decimated the orange production affecting the supplies available for processing. The vast majority of concentrated and frozen orange juice production in Mexico is destined for export to the United States. There is some small trade with Europe, depending on prices. Likewise, Mexico imports a small amount of orange juice for supermarkets or small processors that have their own juice brands. Mexico has 342,885 hectares of orange orchards, 55% of which are located in Veracruz. Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Hidalgo and Sonora also produce oranges. This year the heat and drought are expected to drop Mexico’s orange production per hectare by 34%. Most of Mexico’s orange trees are older, and therefore harder hit by the drought than other fruits. El Economista 

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 12 Jan
    Australia – Juice industry in damage control after health star rating changed to rank lower than diet cola

    Australia – Juice industry in damage control after health star rating changed to rank lower than diet cola

    Fruit growers and processors say they are crushed by a decision to cut the health star rating (HSR) for 100% no-added-sugar juices from five stars to as low as two stars. The Australian and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation, a group made up of state and territory ministers, met to consider its response to recommendations as part of the five-year HSR review.

    A communique from the forum released days after the event, indicated that a decision would be made on ratings for 100% and vegetable juices in February 2021. The Federal Government’s aim in developing the ratings is to give shoppers an easy way to identify better choices of packaged and processed foods, something Agriculture Minister David Littleproud asserts is undermined by the recommendation.

    “What I don’t accept is the insanity of this decision, which really has no basis on nutritional value — it really just is mind-numbingly dumb,” he said.

    Last chance to improve the HSR

    Food is rated from half-a-star to five stars depending on how its healthy and risk nutrients compare but the system has come in for criticism. The forum’s July 2020 communique revealed Mr Littleproud’s initial push — to see 100% fresh fruit and vegetable juice with no added sugar receive an automatic HSR score of five stars — was not supported and the review recommendations were maintained. Citrus Australia chief executive Nathan Hancock said he was disappointed with the decision.”It sends a really poor message to our consumers, who, let’s face it, need to have more fruit and vegetables,” he said. “Being told that diet soda is better for them than a juice product, we think, is confusing. Because diet soft drinks have artificial sugars, it elevates them above juices which have natural sugars.” ABC.net.au

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 12 Jan
    US – Florida  citrus production down, but Coronavirus Pandemic drives demand –

    US – Florida  citrus production down, but Coronavirus Pandemic drives demand –

    The increased demand is attributed to people working from home, and the thought a compound found in oranges can fend off coronavirus. Production of Florida oranges is now forecast to be about 17% below last season’s output, while the industry has seen a surge in demand linked to people staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic and rediscovering breakfast.

    An updated forecast from the US Department of Agriculture (mid December) reduced by about 2% the current growing season forecast for production of oranges and grapefruit, which were already projected to be below the yield from the 2019-2020 growing season. The Florida Department of Citrus considered the revised forecast a sign the industry is ‘relatively stable.’

    After the first forecast for the season was released back in October, the Florida Citrus Commission voted to increase a tax that growers pay on each box of oranges to help cover a USD9.8 million global marketing campaign. That campaign is part of an effort to keep up a surge in juice sales spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. The change increased the box tax growers pay from 7 cents for each 90-pound box of oranges they fill to 12 cents per box. Grapefruit and specialty fruits remained at 7 cents a box.

    The work-from-home trend, along with a belief from many people that a compound found in oranges called hesperidin provides a layer of protection from respiratory illnesses, has driven orange juice to supermarket sales unseen in years. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried commented: “With citrus as a powerful source of Vitamin C, antioxidants, and fibre, Florida’s citrus growers are working hard to fulfil market demand for oranges, grapefruit, and specialty citrus. With these projections in line with an expected smaller 2020-21 citrus crop, we at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services stand ready to support our proud citrus growers with research, innovation, and partnership.”

    About 95% of Florida’s orange crop, still the largest in the nation, is processed into juice. If projections hold, orange production would decline for a second straight year in an industry that has struggled against residential and commercial development, foreign imports and citrus greening, an incurable bacterial disease. The updated federal forecast has growers in Florida producing enough oranges to fill 56 million 90-pound boxes, down from 57 million boxes projected in the October forecast, which opened the growing season. The season continues into July. Just over two decades ago, Florida growers grew enough oranges for more than 200 million boxes a season. The industry uses 90-pound boxes as a standard measurement. Wusfnews

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 11 Nov
    Global – Diabetes Diet: this Karela-Palak juice may help manage blood sugar levels

    Global – Diabetes Diet: this Karela-Palak juice may help manage blood sugar levels

    Bitter gourd contains an insulin-like compound called Polypeptide-p which has been shown to control diabetes naturally. In recent years, diabetes has risen to be one of the most prevalent lifestyle diseases around the world. According to WHO, in the year 2014, 422 million people were diagnosed with diabetes across the world. It also pointed out the rapid increase of the condition in the past 3 decades.

    A diet full of foods with low glycaemic index, low on carbs and whole-grain foods is often suggested to those with the condition. Aerated sugary drinks are a strict no-no but certain fresh juices can be a good option.  However, one juice can load up on and that may also help regulate your blood sugar levels naturally- Karela juice.

    Karela (or bitter gourd) is one vegetable that has been lauded by experts for its many health benefits, one of it is regulating the blood sugar levels. Dr. Anju Sood, a Bangalore-based Nutritionist, echoes the fact and says “Karela juice makes your insulin active which in turn uses the sugar adequately and not convert into fat, which would eventually help in weight loss too”. Various studies have also found a few active substances with anti-diabetic properties in Karela like ‘charantin’ which is famous for its blood glucose-lowering effect. Food.ndtv

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 11 Nov
    South African – Citrus exports to set record

    South African – Citrus exports to set record

    South African citrus exports, both globally and to the US, are expected to reach record levels in 2020, according to a report from the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS). The expected record is based on the pace of exports up to August 2020, increased production, a spike in demand for health reasons and limited logistics disruptions from COVID-19.

    The United States is considered a premium market for South African citrus. Exports to the United States are expected to reach record levels of above 70,000 metric tonnes in 2020, up 10% from the previous record of 63,544 MT in 2018. South African citrus enters the United States duty-free under the African Growth Opportunity Act.

    South Africa exports its citrus from the end of March to August. This period coincided with the national lockdown due to COVID-19 in 2020. However, all agricultural production, including citrus, was considered an essential service during the national lockdown and remained operational. While there were initial challenges at some of the ports in Cape Town and Durban, such as congestion, shortage of containers and closures of ports for limited periods due to COVID-19 cases, the citrus industry was able to work around these challenges. The citrus industry established a COVID-19 Response Committee, and the joint efforts from government, port authorities and shipping companies were critical in ensuring that South Africa could achieve peak export volumes.

    South African citrus imports account for 4% of total US citrus imports. South Africa is the fifth largest supplier of citrus to the United States. South Africa is only permitted to export citrus to the United States from official citrus black spot-free areas. CitrusIndustry

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 11 Nov
    EU – ACE reports increased recycling rate for beverage cartons

    EU – ACE reports increased recycling rate for beverage cartons

    Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE) has announced that the recycling rate for beverage cartons in the EU28 rose to 51% in 2019. “We are pleased that the steady annual increase of the recycling rate for beverage cartons in 2019 surpassed 50%,” said Annick Carpentier, director general of ACE. “This is proof of our industry’s efforts and enhances the message that beverage cartons are recyclable and are being recycled at scale in Europe.” Beverage cartons, made largely from renewable materials, contribute positively to a low carbon circular economy. The industry is driving beverage carton recycling across Europe, committed to efforts that support the increase of the recycling rate in all EU Member States. The industry calls on policymakers at the European and national levels to assure that beverage cartons are collected for recycling separately, and to support a collection target to ensure beverage cartons are collected for recycling.

    “With an upcoming EU legislative agenda towards more sustainable packaging, the beverage carton is well positioned with a 51% recycling rate. This is an opportunity to inform policy-makers at all levels that beverage cartons are a safe, circular and sustainable packaging solution with a low carbon footprint, and how the beverage carton you use at your table can be easily collected and recycled,” continued Carpentier. PackagingNews

     

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 11 Nov
    Brazil – Concerns over crop development reported

    Brazil – Concerns over crop development reported

    The dry weather and high temperatures in São Paulo State are concerning Brazilian citrus farmers. Besides limiting the supply of higher quality fruits in the current crop (2020/21), this scenario may affect the output next season (2021/22), since trees are very weak, and the current stage (fruit settlement) is very critical – some farmers have already reported fruitlet drops.

    Data from Somar Meteorologia (weather forecast agency) show that it rained in southwestern SP (Avaré and surroundings) between May and June, while in central and northern state, precipitation was extremely low. In July, the scenario became worse, with mostly dry weather in all the areas – the monthly average of rains was below 10 mm.

    In August, rains returned to SP, but were concentrated in the southwestern region – in some areas, the monthly rain volume hit 140 mm. Thus, this area is the least affected by the weather, with larger-sized fruits and, so far, higher flower settlement (for the fruits from the 2021/22 season). On the other hand, northern SP (Bebedouro and surroundings) has been the most affected region, mainly non-irrigated groves, with many trees almost totally dry and weak. In central SP, the scenario is concerning too, while in eastern SP, the situation is intermediate.

    It is worth to mention that, concerning the output in the 2021/22 crop, the current development period is critical and largely influenced by the water availability in the soil, temperatures and air moisture. Although it is still early to confirm, farmers have reported that settlement of the first flowering (which occurred mostly in mid-July) has been compromised in most regions. New flowering may occur if rains are enough to interrupt the water stress (more than 40 mm). In this context, flowering may be heterogeneous, depending on the region and plants conditions, which would result in trees with fruits in different development stages. Cepea

    By Caroline Calder News
1 2 3 4 19