El Niño resulting in smaller but sweeter Golden papayas from Brazil

North America’s premier papaya importer is reporting an unusually large volume of small Golden papayas, which is a result of the current El Niño conditions in Brazil. While the unprecedented drought in the growing region has slowed the growth of the papayas, it has also resulted in a high sugar content and intense sweet flavor due to the small size.IMG 3274

HLB Specialties is the largest importer of Brazilian papayas into the United States and Canada. According to Caliman Agricola, HLB’s main Brazilian Papaya supplier and one of the world’s largest papaya grower-exporters, the state of Espirito Santo normally receives between 36 and 48 inches of rain per year. In 2015 the precipitation levels did not reach 24 inches, which places a strain on the production.

“In spite of our growers’ sophisticated irrigation system, nothing replaces natural rain fall, and the fruits are ripening before they grow to the usual size,” said Lorenz Hartmann de Barros, director of sales at HLB Specialties, based in Pompano Beach, FL.

Commercial Golden papaya production concentrates in sizes 10, 9 and 8, with fruit weighing on average between 12-15 ounces, respectively.

“Those sizes normally make up 80 percent of the production, but currently the growers are seeing over 50 percent of the crop yield in sizes 12 and 10, which weigh between 10 and 12 ounces,” he said.

This smaller fruit is showing exceptionally sweet flavor, since it is maturing faster under high temperatures, dry conditions with low humidity.

“Now is the right time to try Brazilian Caliman papayas, because they are very sweet, with a pleasant aroma, and as always, are extremely healthy,” added Hartmann de Barros.

Papayas are one of the healthiest fruits known, in part because they are loaded with essential vitamins that are required – but not produced -- by the body. One cup provides 144 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C and 31 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin A. The enzyme papain is unique to papayas and it helps break down protein in the body. It is therefore an excellent digestive aid, perfect after a heavy meal or for people who suffer from indigestion. Caliman Papayas are FairTrade Certified and non-GMO.

HLB Specialties imports a variety of tropical fruits, including organic and conventional Formosa papayas, FairTrade Golden Caliman papayas, rambutan, goldenberries, mangoes, avocados and limes through its U.S. headquarters in Pompano Beach, FL.

Sister company HLB Tropical Food GmbH supplies top retailers and wholesalers in Europe through their location in Kelsterbach, Germany, next to the Frankfurt/Main airport. For more information, visit www.HLBinfo.com and follow @hlbspecialties on Facebook, Twitter and @hlb_specialties on Instagram or call 954/475-8808.

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