Agricultural Innovation in Fresh Produce
The Volcani Center has recently put on show four new varieties of citrus fruit, which were developed during its citrus fruit enhancement project.
Demand for the “Or” variety in European markets is currently very high and among the new citrus plantations in Israel “Or” tops the list. The fruit’s outstanding qualities include its choice flavor, seedless texture and how easy it is to peel. Therefore it comes as no surprise that “Or” has now become the leading citrus variety in Israel too.
Developing a new variety of citrus fruit requires about 15 years work owing to the process’ complexity and the fact that global standards for fruit increase annually. Furthermore, developments in the global market have led to increased competition in the industry and the consequent demand to produce and export new varieties from Israel. This variety was developed as part of the citrus fruit improvement project, which began about thirty years ago and constitutes the basis for the citrus industry as it is today. The “Or” variety has received high praise in tasting tests carried out in Europe.
• “Flamingo” – Red Pomelo is a hybrid of the ‘Chandler’ pomelo with a hybrid of a Shamouti orange and a clementine. This pomelo variety ripens in the period from October to December and unlike other varieties it maintains its red color when the temperature drops. The pomelo is sweet (14% sugar) and seedless and its special feature is the presence of lycopene, a red pigment considered to possess unique health advantages such as preventing cancer.
• “Hanna”, White Pomelo is a hybrid of the ‘Tahitian’ and ‘Chandler’ pomelos. This pomelo variety, which is white inside, ripens during the period from October to December. It is characterized by its especially sweet taste as it contains 12.6% sugar and it is seedless.
• “Einat” – Pink Grapefruit is a hybrid of the Hudson Tetrafluoride with a pomelo, which is not sour in taste. This grapefruit variety ripens during the period from October to January and it maintains its inner pink color (lycopene) throughout all the season. It contains 11.5% sugar and its segments are seedless. What makes this grapefruit unique is the absence of sourness.
• “Aliza” Grapefruit is a hybrid of the ‘Chandler’ pomelo with “Ora”, an easily peelable fruit. This grapefruit variety ripens during the period from November to February and as it ripens so its inner and outer colors become orange. It contains 16% sugar and is seedless. The fruit owes its prominence to its sweet taste and high sugar content, and these qualities earned it high marks in tasting tests. The Aliza grapefruit has the potential to dominate the global market.