New Hit in Japan: Pomelits from Israel

Some half-million crates of Israeli pomelit fruits were exported this week to Japan, where they are rapidly becoming a major hit. And not only in Japan...

Hillel Fendel , | updated: 2:04 PM

Two shiploads of the Israeli fruit left for Japan this week, after having undergone a careful check by Agriculture Ministry supervisors. Though a ripe pomelit is generally yellow, it is shipped to Japan while still green, the color symbolizing health and flowering in Japanese culture.

The pomelo is a citrus fruit, somewhat larger than a grapefruit but with a similar flavor and a thicker rind. The pomelit is a hybrid of the two fruits.

The Agriculture Ministry notes that pomelit juice has special qualities enabling the reduction of blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as proven by studies in Kaplan Hospital in Rehovot and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Click here for details.

Another 500,000 crates of the fruit are soon to be on their way to European markets.

The citrus export season in Israel begins in September, and so far some 25,000 of the anticipated 160,000 tons - up 15% from last year - have been exported. Some 36,000 tons of citrus fruits are to be sent to eastern Europe, also a large increase over previous years.

Aryeh Shreiber, Chairman of the Citrus Fruit Growers Association, says that the citrus fruit sector has flourished once again over the past years. Citrus fruits are grown in 200,000 dunams (50,000 acres) worth of orchards around the country, and thousands of families work in farming, packing and related industries.