Spain introduces new mandarin variety
The Spanish citrus industry has introduced the Kino mandarin variety, an extra-late variety that will be produced in the Valencian Community.
The marketing campaign can be extended until June.
The Kino mandarin was bred by the University of California Riverside (UCR) by improving the original hybrid Kinnow LS variety to reduce the presence of seeds to a minimum.
Marketing and managing for this new variety will be in charge of the Cordoba-based Spanish company Eurosemillas.
José María Fontán, Innovation Director at Eurosemillas, said that thanks to this new cultivar Spain will be able to respond to the growing European demand for mandarins "with a premium quality fruit in those months when there is an important market window, because the supply is scarce".
The president of the Valencian Association of Farmers (AVA-ASAJA), Cristóbal Aguado, valued the agreement with Eurosemillas, as the company is set to prioritize associated producers in the licensing process.
“The professional agricultural organization is willing to provide its members with the information provided by Eurosemillas, as well as preferential access, because only when they have all the data will they be in a better position to decide whether or not they want to bet on this variety," Aguado said.
The Kino mandarin possesses extraordinary sweetness that reaches 15.8 degrees brix and great juiciness (it is 49% juice), which places it in a privileged place among the set of mandarins. It is also an 'easy peeler'.
It is also very productive, with high calibers between 55 and 60 tons per hectare, so it will have a high profitability for the citrus grower, Fontan said.
“Its good aptitude for export and the varietal certification system to guarantee its traceability and identity through molecular markers and differential labeling, makes me think that in a short time it could become a global mandarin," said Fontan.
Another of its attributes is its easy handling, "it does not require great care, it does not need hormonal treatments for fruit set, nor after harvesting to prevent the bark from drying out. It also has an outstanding average diameter, significantly larger than that of almost all hybrids, 68 mm," added Fontán.
Tests carried out confirmed that storage in a chamber at 4°C (39.3°F) for 15, 30, 45, 60 and even 75 days did not have a significant effect on its sugar/acidity ratio.