Lemon oil from all corners of the world is one of Ultra’s core products.
Lemon has a place in many culinary uses from soft drinks and cocktails to marmalade. However, it can also be used and found in household cleaning products since it can disinfect, deodorise, remove grease and dissolve wax and grime to name but a few uses.
Lemon is also used in aromatherapy to enhance moods and can be used for its anti-bacterial properties in other medicinal applications. In fragrances it gives a fresh uplifting and zesty note to any perfume, as it is highly volatile.
Interestingly the three top producers of fresh lemons in the world are not the countries we would associate with oil production; the top 3 being China, India and Mexico, which account for over 40% of the world production.
Today we associate lemon oil production with Italy and Spain (Europe), Argentina and USA (Americas) and even South Africa who are themselves small producers on the global scale.
Lemon oil is obtained by cold expression or steam distillation of lemon's peel.
As the 6th largest producer of lemons globally South Africa is not always considered a large contributor, especially for oil, yet it proves to be very consistent and reliable. Total production throughout the 2013/14 season reached 270,000 MT with almost 60,000 MT sent for processing. That is approximately 25% more than the previous year for oil production. South Africa can be very versatile when it comes to how many fresh fruits are sent for processing and so is capable of being in or out of the oil market as and when it is more commercially attractive to do so.
Fresh lemon production grew by 15% to 355,000 MT this season, based on increases in area planted and normal rainfall levels in the main growing regions of the Eastern Cape and Limpopo. This is according to the USDA. These increases were partially offset by the mysterious fruit drop experienced in the Eastern Cape and, according to some data, will be consumed by the growing export demand for fresh fruit. Despite this sense of optimism, total fruits harvested were still down 20% on previous years. A lot more fruit than usual managed to go to the processed market on the back of processors being able to pay slightly higher prices for fresh fruit given the global prices and demand for by-products but realistically these extra volumes don’t really influence the global picture.
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