U.S.: APHIS allows cold treatment-free Colombian cape gooseberries

May 05 , 2014

An orange-colored fruit with too many names has been approved by authorities for entry into the United States without cold treatment from certain parts of Colombia, to be exported under a systems approach. physalis_40081576 - sq

Cape gooseberry, physalis, goldenberry, Inka berry, aguaymanto and uchuva – they’re all the same fruit and now many Colombian growers will have improved prospects to commercialize them in the U.S.

Cold treatment was previously there only option, but in its ruling the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has recognized the Bogota Savannah and parts of the neighboring Boyacá and Cundinamarca departments above 2,200 meters in altitude as Medfly-free.

“This action allows for the importation of cape gooseberry from Colombia into the United States while continuing to provide protection against the introduction of plant pests,” APHIS said.

The service added many of the usual requirements to the rule, such as the need to label boxes, for them to be commercial consignments only, and that phytosanitary certificates would need to be attached with acknowledgment from the national plant protection organization (NPPO); in this case the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA).

After a proposed rule was published in August last year, ICA requested changes to a clause that any findings of Medfly would result in the immediate cancellation of exports from farms within five square kilometers (1.9 square miles) of the detection site.

“The NPPO also stated that it is the general consensus of entomologists that cape gooseberry is not a preferred host for Medfly,” APHIS said.

“For these reasons, the NPPO suggested that a 5 square kilometer prohibition on exports following a single Medfly detection was not commensurate with risk. Instead, they suggested a 0.5 square kilometer prohibition following such a detection.”

However, APHIS determined that Medfly populations could establish on cape gooseberries, and therefore the proposal would go unchanged in the final ruling.

APHIS highlighted that Colombia only shipped 14 metric tons (MT) of the fruit, or 0.2% of its total cape gooseberry exports, to the U.S. in 2011, with a value of US$90,300.

What do you think Physalis peruviana should be sold as? We’d be very interested to know your thoughts on this berry-looking fruit that is related to the tomato. Please send your ideas to news@freshfruitportal.com.

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