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New pigmented orange varieties allow for year-round red orange supply

The worldwide increase in the popularity of pigmented citrus varieties is not only due to their attractive color and great flavor but also for the purported health benefits because of their lycopene content. Biogold North America, a citrus variety development company, is now licensing growers to plant three new red orange varieties in California. The company forms part of the Biogold International family of companies with footprints in Australia, the Mediterranean Basin, South Africa, South America and the USA.

“Biogold’s mission is to serve the citrus industry by improving grower portfolios with access to varieties discovered and bred around the world,” says Shawn Davis, regional manager Biogold North America. “The newly released patented varieties of pigmented oranges will maximize returns to breeders, growers and marketers.”

The new releases include the Kirkwood Red Navel, the Villa 11 Late Red Navel and Ruby Seedless Valencia. The aim is to extend the red-orange footprint by targeting specific maturity windows and, in combination with the existing Cara Cara selection, to provide a year-round red-orange offer.

The Biogold Kirkwood Red Navel. 

Kirkwood Red Navel: The Biogold Kirkwood Red Navel, a natural variant of a Palmer Navel in South Africa, is a red-fleshed navel orange with higher acid levels and it maintains firmness later into the season compared to the industry standard, the Cara Cara navel. These features allow the fruit to hang on the tree for up to four weeks later than the Cara Cara.

Villa 11 Late Red Navel: The Biogold Villa 11 Late Red Navel originated as a mutation of a Cara Cara tree in Australia. It is a true late navel with high firmness, allowing the red navel season to extend into June in the California climate, ie. up to six weeks after the standard Cara Cara and three weeks after the Kirkwood. Biogold is in the early days of the variety evaluation in the USA, but early signs are that some growers are already planting the Villa 11 based on these initial observations.

The Ruby Seedless Valencia. 

Ruby Seedless Valencia: The Biogold Ruby Seedless Valencia, a seedless selection of Biogold’s Ruby Valencia, is a red-fleshed Valencia that matures from May to August in California. Following the Kirkwood Red and Villa 11 in the maturity window, it allows the red-fleshed orange season to extend from early/mid-December through August starting with the conventional Cara Cara, followed by Kirkwood Red, Villa 11 and the Ruby Valencia.

Biogold is also in the process of evaluating other new early and late-season red navel selections.

For more information:
Shawn Davis,
Biogold North America
Tel: +1 (661) 809 4865 

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