News

  • 12 May
    Egypt –  Region reigns on orange production

    Egypt –  Region reigns on orange production

    Egypt recently announced its status as the world’s largest orange exporter, after citrus farms have been prospering in the North African country over the past few years.

    “Egyptian oranges have reached most of the world’s markets as Egypt now ranks first worldwide in exporting oranges, surpassing Spain that has been in the lead over the past few years,” said Ahmed al-Attar, head of the Central Administration of Plant Quarantine (CAPQ) which belongs to the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture.

    Since the beginning of 2020, Egypt has exported 1.3 million tonnes of oranges amid a growing demand for Egyptian agricultural products, the exports of which have reached 2.2 million tonnes since January despite the global outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent statement by CAPQ.

    At one of the farms of Maghrabi Agriculture (MAFA), the largest orchard in Egypt and probably in the world, Samy al-Sayyid, manager of CAPQ exporters service department, was supervising the stages of citrus processing from harvesting until packing and loading for exportation.

    “CAPQ inspectors are present all day at citrus farms for supervision. They are also present at sea, air or land ports to complete exportation procedures without any delay,” the CAPQ official told Xinhua at MAFA’s packhouse.

    Sayyid pointed out that nearly 100,000 tonnes of oranges have been exported to China this year. xinhuanet.com

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 12 May
    US – Companies estimate Covid cost in dollars

    US – Companies estimate Covid cost in dollars

    The chief executives of three large US citrus grower associations estimate ‘the immediate COVID-19 impact to certain varieties of citrus will be over USD200 million.’

    Casey Creamer of California Citrus Mutual, Dale Murden of Texas Citrus Mutual and Mike Sparks of Florida Citrus Mutual offered that economic damage assessment in an April 9 letter to US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. The letter was intended to help the USDA put together effective programs funded by the USD2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

    “The citrus industry impacts have varied greatly by region and variety,” the executives wrote. “To date, the biggest challenges we are seeing across the industry are due (to) the shutdown of schools and restaurants. Additional movement in the retail sector (has) not compensated for losses in food service for lemons, grapefruit juice, and most specialty varieties, and it is too early to tell what the net impact will be for orange juice. California provides the nation’s supply of fresh lemons with over half of the production traditionally going to food service. Total weekly movement of lemons has decreased by 30% in volume” since shelter-in-place requirements took effect across the country.

    “Grapefruit and grapefruit juice movement and sales have also come to a dramatic halt since mid-March as schools, restaurants and retail outlets have either closed or severely limited entrance to stores, and buyers are now cancelling orders,” the letter added.

    “While we are projecting significant losses in the USD200 million dollar-range by the end of the season, it is too early for us to fully quantify those losses to USDA,” the executives stated. “It will be important that the program USDA implements allows for growers to access relief when demonstrating economic harm. CitrusIndustry.

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 12 May
    Australia – Citrus Australia trials blockchain traceability system

    Australia – Citrus Australia trials blockchain traceability system

    The organisation representing Australia’s citrus fruit growers has commissioned a pilot study to improve traceability using unique digital identifiers on a blockchain.

    The pilot will be run with the help of digital ID label start-up Laava and real-time blockchain company Trust Provenance, backed with AUD200,000 (AUD120,000) in funding from Agriculture Victoria, Australia’s largest agriculture producer spanning more than 29,000 businesses.

    It aims to provide a simple way to tell the origin of citrus fruit grown in Victoria, protect against counterfeiting, and improve control of the supply chain from ‘tree to table’, for example allowing rapid recalls of fruit if needed.

    Australia’s citrus sector exported AUD540m-worth of fruit last year, with AUD162m of that total coming from Victoria.

    Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes said the programme was scheduled to take place over seven months during the 2020 citrus harvest period from early May to the end of July, although it may be delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

    The results will be used to show other horticultural industries the benefits of traceability.

    Trust Provenance and Laava are already testing a traceability system for mango producer Manbulloo in Northern Australia. Securingindustry.com

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 12 May
    Global – Orange futures something to watch

    Global – Orange futures something to watch

    Consumers fearful of contracting the coronavirus have been seeking to boost their immune systems the old-fashioned way: by loading up on orange juice.

    Frozen concentrated orange juice, traded in New York, is the best performing of all commodities this year, according to Bloomberg data, rising 25% to USD1.214 a pound since the start of January. US shoppers have rushed to stock up on the shelf staple, analysts say, while fears over labour shortages in factories and transportation have also given prices a lift.

    “The Covid 19 outbreaks are hitting both the supply and demand for orange juice. The immune-boosting properties are the demand side attraction while there are simply not enough tanker spaces with airlines not flying to bring the product to markets,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at broker AxiCorp.
    On the supply side, there are also issues with not having enough workers as plantations introduce restrictions such as social distancing. “Traders are wondering if workers are around to man the plants here in Florida and in Brazil,” said Jack Scoville at trading firm Price Futures Group in the US.
    Orange juice futures have seen their biggest monthly gain since October 2015, at a time when global stock markets are being battered. In London, the FTSE 100 index is down more than 13% in the last month, while on Wall Street the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen more than 16%.

    Talking about whether the spike in orange juice futures prices will mean higher prices for orange juice in shop, Mr Innes added: “The pass-on effect will be quick as orange juice producers pass the price rises onto to supermarkets and other buyers”.
    Most commodities have a ‘future’ price, which can be traded on an exchange, such as the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Futures contracts help companies lock into a fixed price in the future to protect them from potential spikes in prices.
    Futures contracts are common for soft commodities like oranges and wheat which is vulnerable to sudden price rises due to bad harvests and natural disasters.”BBC

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 28 Apr
    Elderberries – great for building immunity

    Elderberries – great for building immunity

    Elderberries, small, dark purple berries grown on the Sambucus tree, are well known for their cold and flu-fighting properties. Used medicinally for centuries to reduce cold symptoms and other ailments, researchers believe elderberry may be one of the best natural antiviral substances and could be used to effectively treat the common cold and influenza A and B.

    Broad-based antiviral therapies like elderberry supplementation block key viral proteins from entering host cells. Additionally, elderberry extract is also antimicrobial and works to fight bacterial infections, like pneumonia, that often develop as complications of the flu.

    Elderberry is used for viral infection protection.

    The common cold and flu account for more than 20 million doctor visits a year, causing numerous missed school and workdays. While conventional remedies address temporary symptom relief, researchers believe that elderberry extract could be used to effectively shorten the duration of colds and cases of flu.

    Elderberry boasts immune-activating benefits. Elderberry juice encourages the production of cytokines, a protein that works to regulate immunity and inflammation. In one study, elderberry’s potent immune-boosting properties were shown to be effective against 10 unique strains of the influenza virus.

    Elderberry extract is a powerful antimicrobial. Elderberry juice is high in anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid that has both antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Many patients with severe influenza A or B are susceptible to bacterial infections like pneumonia, with pneumonia rates as high as 65.7% among hospitalized influenza patients.

    Due to its potent antimicrobial properties, elderberry supplementation is a powerful natural compound in the prevention of both influenza and subsequent bacterial infections.

    Elderberry syrup has potent antioxidant ability. Elderberries are high in phenolic compounds, a type of micronutrient found in berries and cacao. These compounds are responsible for the deep red or purple color of elderberries and are bioactive, which means they enhance the antioxidant status of healthy individuals.

    Additionally, anthocyanins found in elderberries have been proven to inhibit inflammatory biomarkers and promote health and disease prevention against multiple viral and bacterial infections.

    Elderberry treats upper respiratory symptoms.

    Many researchers believe that there is a strong potential for misuse of antibiotics during cold and flu season, especially in Western countries. Elderberry is an alternative natural compound proven to effectively reduce cold and flu symptoms such as upper respiratory symptoms and maybe a safer alternative to prescription medications often used to treat these symptoms.

    Other benefits of elderberry extract include its high vitamins A, C and E content, high levels of potassium and its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. For these reasons and its potent antiviral capacity, elderberry extract can be a useful natural compound to supplement with during cold and flu season.

    Safety profile of elderberry products

    While most elderberry products are safe to consume, researchers have found that consuming raw elderberries or the leaves or bark of the Sambucus plant can cause adverse gastrointestinal effects such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. For these reasons, it’s best to avoid ingesting any raw elderberries.

    Due to a lack of sufficient trials, most health care personnel don’t recommend the use of elderberry during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Additionally, although a few studies have evaluated the efficacy of elderberry extract and it has been used effectively to treat influenza in children, there isn’t much research on elderberry’s safety profile for children.

     

    For additional research on the antiviral benefits of elderberry supplementation, visit the https://www.GreenMedInfo.com elderberry research database. MyValleyNews

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 07 Apr
    World citrus community continues efforts to supply safe, high quality, nutritious citrus fruit to consumers around the world amid COVID-19 outbreak

    World citrus community continues efforts to supply safe, high quality, nutritious citrus fruit to consumers around the world amid COVID-19 outbreak

    Amid the global outbreak of COVID-19, the world citrus community has stepped up its efforts to ensure the continuous supply of safe, healthy, and high-quality citrus fruit for consumers around the world. The global citrus sector has focused on ensuring the protection of workers across the chain, keeping global citrus production and supply going, and making sure that consumers have access to citrus fruit, essential for a nutritious and tasty diet. This is particularly important given the high nutritional value of citrus fruit, especially their high Vitamin C content. Among its many functions, Vitamin C contributes to the normal function of the immune system.

    You can find WCO’s statement here: WCO Statement on coronavirus and global citrus market – 06042020

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 13 Mar
    Finland – Health benefits from lingonberry juice

    Finland – Health benefits from lingonberry juice

    In a study conducted at the University of Helsinki, the juice was found to lower the blood pressure of hypertensive lab rats. It was already known that by consuming berries that are rich in micronutrients known as polyphenols, people can reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease – lingonberries, blackcurrants and cranberries.

    Researcher Anne Kivimäki recently set about feeding cold-pressed and diluted juice of all three of these berries – separately, not mixed together – to different groups of rats that had been genetically modified to have high blood pressure. After eight to 10 weeks of this diet (in which the juice replaced the animals’ water) it was noted that the higher the polyphenol levels of any of the juices, the better they were at improving the function of compromised blood vessels. The lingonberry juice alone, however, also excelled at preventing the expression of genes that are associated with low-grade inflammation of the aorta.

    This resulted in the rats that consumed the lingonberry juice experiencing more of a drop in their blood pressure than those that drank the other juices. It is believed that also contributing to this drop may have been the lingonberry juice’s effect on the animals’ renin-angiotensin system, which regulates blood pressure. NewAtlas

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 13 Mar
    UK – Juice consumption on the rise

    UK – Juice consumption on the rise

    The manufacture of fruit and vegetable juice was the fastest growing sub sector in the UK food industry, growing 17% from £654 million in 2017 to £768 million in 2018 – according to analysis of the latest ONS PRODCOM data by Santander.

    Research shows that more than half of people aged 16 to 24 consume juice drinks at least once a day. Consumption of smoothies has seen the biggest increase among all fruit juice drinks with Brits spending £112 million alone on these last year alone.

    Food and drink remained the largest UK manufacturing sector in 2018, reporting sales of £71.8 billion – a 3% increase on 2017. Overall UK manufacturing sales hit a record high of £390.1 billion in 2018 – an increase of £9.4 billion (2.5%) from the previous year.

    Andrew Williams, Head of Food & Drink Sector, Santander UK, said: “Food and drink manufacturing is vital to the health of the economy and the UK is widely seen as a global leader in product innovation. The last decade has seen the food and drink industry shaken up with huge shifts in consumer buying habits – from growing interest in veganism to juice and smoothie diets. Manufacturers are having to respond quicker than ever to develop new products to meet customer demand – a pattern which is likely to continue as Brits explore the latest food fads.”Santander

    By Caroline Calder News
  • 13 Mar
    US – Canines to the rescue on citrus greening

    US – Canines to the rescue on citrus greening

    Scientists in the United States are training dogs to detect a disease that is destroying the world’s orange trees. The devastating disease was first documented in Guangdong Province in southern China in the early 1900s. In Florida, where the disease emerged in 2005, it has caused a more than 70% drop in production of oranges. It has spread to Texas, California, Georgia and Louisiana and is threatening to wipe out the USD 3.35 billion US citrus industry.

    Early detection is vital; and farmers try to find and destroy infected trees as quickly as possible. However, it turns out that canines are much more adept than humans at identifying the sick trees.

    Paw patrol

    Plant epidemiologist Timothy Gottwald and colleagues at the US Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce, Florida trained 20 dogs to sniff out Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, the bacterium that causes HLB.

    Every time the dogs correctly identified the bacterium in a tree and sat down next to it, the researchers rewarded them with play time with a toy. The dogs were able to detect diseased trees with about 99% accuracy – within two weeks of infection, according to a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    By comparison, a DNA-based test – the only US Department of Agriculture-approved method for confirming the presence of HLB – detected less than 3% of infected trees at two months. Gottwald’s research suggests using sniffer dogs combined with removal of infected trees is the most effective way to suppress the spread of the disease, and would allow the US citrus industry to remain economically sustainable for another 10 years.

    By Caroline Calder News
1 2 3 4 17