For Ibiapaba Netto, executive director of the National Association of Citrus Juice Exporters (CitrusBR), which represents 90% of the juice processed and exported in the country, research that produces innovation for the Brazilian citrus industry is very welcome. "As a scientific contribution, it is very important to develop this type of research. In terms of market, we must see if there will be demand and acceptance in the future", says Netto.
Data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) indicate that in 2015 there were almost 50.000 hectares of tangerine in Brazil, which produced 1 million tons of the fruit. The main producers were São Paulo state (35%), followed by Minas Gerais (19%), Paraná (17%) and Rio Grande do Sul (13%).
However, the flagship of the Brazilian citrus industry is orange. Brazil is the largest producer and exporter of juice of this fruit in the world. The 2017/18 crop is estimated in 364.5 million boxes of 40.8kg, according to the Citrus Defense Fund (Fundecitrus).
According to Fernanda Geraldini, a researcher in the citrus market at the Center for Advanced Studies on Applied Economics (Cepea), linked to São Paulo University (USP), the current harvest is expected to exceed the previous in 50%, which was the lowest in nearly 30 years due to climatic conditions.
Fundecitrus estimates that there will be 191 million orange trees in production in Brazil in 402.000 hectares. Most of the orange juice production is located in São Paulo, totaling almost 80% of the total. Other important producing countries are the United States, China, Mexico and Spain.