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Safruitjournal Safj Cri Citrus Ci Chilling Injury Box
October / November 2021

Citrus chilling injuries viewed from all angles

SA Fruit Journal: October / November 2021

Frostbite is not only a danger to humans. When citrus fruit gets too cold, it suffers damage that corrodes its market value. This multi-factorial research project set out to find ways to take the bite out of factors that cause chilling injuries. By Paul Cronjé, CRI

Media reports during the second week of June 2021 trumpeted the good news of the first shipment of South African citrus to the Philippines. This came only a few weeks after an announcement by the Citrus Growers Association of Southern Africa that 2021 would be another record citrus export year.

Estimates were for 158.7 million cartons, compared to 146 million in 2020 and 130 million in 2019. If the 2021 season lives up to expectation, the local industry would see export growth of 22% in only two years.

The successful exporting of fruit rests on many pillars, not least of which is meeting the destination market’s phytosanitary requirements. In the case of citrus, this means maintaining cold disinfestation protocols for the European Union (EU), to which about 45% of SA’s citrus is exported, with the US and China also forming part of the export market.

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