Influencing Citrus Quality

There is a number variables that define citrus quality requirements. Quality standards differ depending on the citrus type, growth region and the market.

Citrus External Appearance

Crop fertiliser practices have a strong influence on external fruit quality including peel thickness, colour and the amount of splitting or blemishes.

The degree and level of these external factors can make a big difference to crop price and marketability.

Acceptable size and grade varies according to market and most countries set their minimum standards. Splitting, creasing and other physiological disorders are undesirable.

Citrus Taste and Juice Content

Flavour and taste are related to the level of Total Soluble Solids (TSS), acidity and the amount of aromatic or bitter flavours in the fruit.

Although yield is often the main focus when growing citrus for processing, juice quality is also important and crops are assessed for TSS and acidity.

The TSS/acid ratio provides an indication of the taste of the fruit - sweet or bitter. The lower the TSS/acid ratio the more sweeteners are added to achieve acceptable taste and sweetened juices are labelled as such and receive lower prices.

Juice colour is also important and countries have specified colour range scores that are required for premium marketability.

Find Yara Advice on Every Citrus Quality Issue

lemons and mandarins

TSS-Acid Ratio

The balance of sweetness and acidity is critical and the processing and fresh consumption markets both have different needs that can be manipulated through crop nutrition.