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New Procedure Lets Industry Use More Citrus Peel

By Doris Stanley
February 26, 1998

About 95 percent of Florida's citrus crop is processed into juice and other products. This creates mounds of orange and grapefruit peel, some of which is candied and sold as a delicacy.

But 25 percent of the peel used for candying is discarded because the industry's candying process produces undersized pieces. Now, scientists with the Agricultural Research Service in Florida have solved this problem by developing a simple, new procedure to reformulate the undersized pieces into uniform strips that appeal to consumers. The procedure allows industry to use 100 percent of the peel.

Paradise Fruit Company in Plant City, Fla., is test-marketing the ARS procedure. This company is a division of Paradise, Inc., which is responsible for about 80 percent of the candied citrus peel produced in the United States.

Chemist Robert A. Baker led development of the new process at ARS' Citrus and Subtropical Products Laboratory in Winter Haven, Fla.

Candied orange peel is one of 15 products being presented to the House Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies today as examples of ARS research technology transferred from the lab to industry.

Scientific contact: Robert A. Baker, USDA-ARS Citrus and Subtropical Products Laboratory, Winter Haven, FL 33881, phone (941) 293-4133 ext. 120, fax (941) 299- 8678, rabaker1@concentric.net.

Product List: A list describing the products presented to the House subcommittee can be obtained from Tara Weaver, ARS Information Staff.

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