Citrus Booming

Citrus - Fruity, Tart and Fresh

The Flavor-Boosting Citrus Fruit

The Flavor-Boosting Citrus Fruit

Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges can be found in some surprising product categories these days. They are extremely fresh, natural and healthy and their unique flavor is an additional benefit. Their health factor is especially exciting: Citrus fruits improve immune defense, help with weight loss and digestion and supply antioxidants, so it’s no wonder that these fresh fruits are in vogue now and are used as a flavor booster in many dairy and juice products.

Consumers are currently indulging in fresh treats at break time with lemon-lime yogurt or a yuzu slushy – and they are enjoying the added health benefits of the vitamin C in these products. There are also flavor combinations with citrus fruits in other categories: chili and lime chocolate, popcorn with lemon and sea salt and even tagliatelle flavored with lemon and coffee with a sophisticated touch of orange and cognac.

In our opinion, it’s no wonder that many manufacturers are currently relying on the power of citrus fruits when it comes time to bring product innovations to the market. They add an aromatic scent and a sweet or freshly acidic flavor, plus they’re fat and cholesterol free and one of the best natural sources of vitamin C.

Since curious consumers are always searching for new flavors and flavor experiences, unusual citrus flavors will play a major roll in the near future, especially lime, blood orange, clementine and yuzu, which has already long been used in Japan along with salt and pepper as seasoning in fine cuisine, as yuzu juice has a more complex flavor than that of lemon.

Five citrus fruits that you should know about

Citrus fruits originally come from India and China and it is believed that the variety of different citrus fruits that are available today all come from just three very old varieties: lemon, tangerine and pomelo. These five varieties are new and trendy, and you will hear a lot about them in the coming months:

  1. Buddha’s Hand Citrus: This highly sought-after diva among citrus fruits is a vibrant yellow and is segmented into five to twenty long sections that look like fingers. Its rind is thick and very aromatic and is very good when candied. However, the attractive fruit does not yield any juice.
  2. Yuzu: Even more vibrantly yellow than the Buddha’s Hand, the yuzu almost makes you happy just to look at it. The flavor is reminiscent of tangerine and lime and is also very acidic. It yields little juice because it has a thick rind and many seeds. Its flavor is unique, versatile and very intense.
  3. Key Limes: Key limes are also labeled “true limes” and are used primarily for their juice and essential oil. Its value lies in the unique flavor when compared to other limes. Key limes have a blend of sweet and bitter flavors. The most famous use for key limes is - of course - key lime pie and all its dairy variations like key lime smoothies and yogurts.
  4. Clementines: Clementines are a hybrid between mandarines and sweet oranges. Since they are almost always seedless they are very popular snacks. They are typically very juicy, sweet and contain less acid than oranges. They are nicknamed „Christmas oranges“ because their limited growing season falls during the winter.
  5. Meyer Lemons: The Meyer lemon, a cross between a lemon and either a mandarin or common orange, became popular after being discovered by chefs at the end of the nineties. The soft-skinned meyer lemons are significantly sweeter and less acidic than other lemons and perfect for all kind of lemonades and pickling.

Food pairing with citrus fruits

Flavors are the essence of every dish or beverage. Finding the right flavor pairings can leverage a dish to perfection (see also link to foodpairing articles on the blog). Citrus fruit in general pairs well with various ingredients, such as: tropical fruit, apricots, berries, black pepper, cardamom, cherry, ginger, nectarine, peach, plums or pears. You can find more trend info on citrus fruits in our „fruit of the month“ article.

Listening to consumer demands and identifying trends is a big part of our daily business at AGRANA Fruit. Offering innovative solutions and high end products is just one of the many services you can expect from AGRANA Fruit as well as trendy new food concepts like lemon flavored greek yogurt or lime spoonable yogurt. Contact your local AGRANA Marketing team to discover all the new trends and concepts. Also find out more in our product finder.

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