Fruit importers believe research by Jerusalem University could lead to the resurgence of consumer interest in the sweetie - an early season, thick skinned orange/grapefruit hybrid that first appeared in the UK about 20 years ago.
The results of the study suggest the fruit can reduce cholesterol, and Rob Cullum, product manager for citrus at Agrexco’s UK office, claims he has taken phone calls from the public enquiring about the fruit.
Production of sweeties in Israel is booming because of demand from Japan, which is prepared to pay high prices. However, it is some years since the sweetie was available in the UK in significant volumes.
Meanwhile, Cullum revealed that through Agrexco’s links with Peru, trials were taking place with a number of citrus varieties in a bid to provide year-round continuity.
For the first time, minneolas from Peru will be arriving in the UK during July and August. “Peruvian fruit is simply the best-tasting in the world,” said Cullum.
“And we have a lot of other varieties in the pipeline.”