With an all-year-round offer for established markets, lemon represents a strategic product in the DE LA TIERRA portfolio.
The two main commercial varieties of lime grown are Key (Mexican) and Persian (Tahitian). Persian lime is the main variety sold, but Key lime has a unique bouquet and floral aroma, suitable for catering and cocktail applications. Citrus products are considered non-climacteric, although they are sensitive to colour change when exposed to ethylene. The introduction of ethylene is commonly deployed for the de-greening of early-season citrus, where full colouration is perceived by consumers to be associated with quality. However, in the case of lime, the opposite holds true, and natural de-greening is considered a defect and the main source of poor commercial returns. The optimum time to harvest lime is when it is semi-ripe (ribbed, block green appearance) to fully ripe (smooth, spring green appearance), depending on client preference.
Despite being non-climacteric, lime does produce significant concentrations of ethylene when ripe. It is this presence that triggers the de-greening process. Levels of ethylene are higher in fully ripe than semi-ripe lime. Irrespective of variety and ripeness index, all lime can significantly benefit from the use of ZOEPAC modified atmosphere packaging to extend shelf-life. ZOEPAC modified atmosphere packaging maintains high humidity and prolongs senescence, thus keeping the product fresher and firmer for longer. Excessive moisture loss results in shrivelled fruit with dry, leathery peel.
Benefits provided by ZOEPAC modified atmosphere packaging for lime include:
Extended green shelf-life, allowing for longer storage and distribution channels
- Reduced dehydration, preventing weight loss, shrivelling and dry peel,
- Maintained freshness and firmness,
- Inhibition of storage mould and rots, and
- Higher profitability due to reduced wastage in the supply chain.
Please get in touch to discuss varietal and packaging options.