HLB-tolerant mandarins may offer a solution to shortages of supplies for Florida orange juice caused by citrus greening, also called HLB.

Florida citrus harvests have gotten smaller and smaller since citrus greening, also called HLB, was discovered in 2005. That means less and less oranges for orange juice, the bulk of Florida’s citrus. Researchers with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have been conducting tests with a looking at whether an unreleased HLB-tolerant mandarin hybrid developed at the Citrus Research and Education Center (UF/IFAS CREC) in Lake Alfred could be used to supplement processed orange juice production, according to a Citrus Industry article. See the details below.

A HLB-Tolerant Mandarin Hybrid

There have been a few easy-peel mandarin varieties developed out of UF/IFAS efforts that have a higher tolerance for citrus greening, such as Bingo and Tango. Researchers conducted taste tests with juice from an unreleased mandarin hybrid that featured many characteristics similar to oranges when it comes to juice. Two different types of taste tests were conducted

According to the article, results of the taste tests included the following statement: “Our results imply that this mandarin hybrid fruit not only has potential to confirm flavor differences between orange and mandarin fruit in further investigations, but notably, the characteristics of this orange-like mandarin fruit suggest future uses to supplement the orange juice industry.”

See the tests and their results here.

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