Japan approves import of Taiwanese red dragon fruit

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Japan approves import of Taiwanese red dragon fruit

Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries approved the import of all Taiwan-grown dragon fruit, including red, purple, and red/purple-flesh dragonfruit.

Although Taiwan has been importing the white-flesh dragon fruit variety, the country has been working alongside Japan to widen the export of the fruit to all variations. 

Taiwan received approval to export the white-flesh dragonfruit variety in 2010 but waited longer for approval for red varieties due to their susceptibility to oriental fruit flies and melon flies. The crops must undergo quarantine treatment before they can be sold to Japan, the ministry said. 

In 2016, Taiwan's Ministry of Agriculture applied to export all Taiwan-grown dragon fruit since local cultivation of red and purple varieties had surpassed that of the white-flesh variety.

The fruit must undergo steaming for 30 minutes at 46.5 degrees Celsius to kill the potential pests. 

The Taiwanese Animal and Plant Inspection and Quarantine Service of the Ministry of Agriculture invited two Japanese quarantine officers to come to the country last month to handle summer fresh fruit quarantine processing and export quarantine matters. 

According to the governmental organization, Taiwan currently exports 11 kinds of fresh fruits to Japan, including mango, grape, papaya, red dragon fruit, ponkan, white pomelo, pomelo, lychee, jujube, banana, and pineapples.

Last year, Taiwan exported nearly 18,000 metric tons to Japan, an export value of nearly $30 million, making it the largest market for Taiwan-grown fruits. 

In addition to successfully exploring the Japanese market, the International Department said that red dragon fruit can already be exported to Canada, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macau, Brunei, Palau, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and the Netherlands.

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