Lone Star’s Vice President of Operations & Sales, T.J. Flowers reports, “Texas is known for producing one of the sweetest grapefruit varieties – Texas Red Grapefruits. When consumers ask for a more vibrant colored and sweeter tasting grapefruit, chances are they are looking for the Texas Rio Red grapefruit.”
The Secret To Sweeter Grapefruits
What makes Texas Rio Red grapefruit so special and sweet compared to the rest? The answer lies in the summer sun and the Rio Grande Valley. Located at the most southern tip of Texas, the Rio Grande Valley is known for it’s hot, humid, and tropical climate – exactly the type of environment in which grapefruits thrive and grow unbelievably sweet, plump, and juicy. The rich and healthy soil in this region of South Texas provides the perfect location for grapefruit trees to grow strong and healthy.
Unlike the other grapefruits from the U.S., that are mainly sold during the summer, Rio Red grapefruit continue to soak in the Texas sun until winter. This is where the difference in sweetness comes into play. By growing during the spring and summer months, then reaching peak ripeness (and flavor) during the winter in Texas, the Rio Red grapefruit receive the perfect conditions that allow them to be sweeter than what can be found in other states.
Unlike the other grapefruits from the U.S., that are mainly sold during the summer, Rio Red grapefruit continue to soak in the Texas sun until winter. This is where the difference in sweetness comes into play.
By growing during the spring and summer months, then reaching peak ripeness (and flavor) during the winter in Texas, the Rio Red grapefruit receive the perfect conditions that allow them to be sweeter than what can be found in other states.
Rethinking Grapefruit Beauty
“A perfectly smooth exterior does not automatically guarantee a better tasting grapefruit. In fact, the wind scars that sometimes can be found on Rio Red grapefruit are actually a tell-tale sign of flavor and sweetness. Wind scarring is only superficial and suggests that the fruit inside is tasty and ready to be enjoyed,” says Lone Star’s Vice President of Operations & Sales, T.J. Flowers
There is a tendency of thinking certain fruits should be completely round, but choosing a perfectly circular grapefruit can be a big mistake. A ripe grapefruit should actually be slightly oval with a flat top and bottom.
When grapefruits have a bit of an odd shape, scarring, or even a lump or two, it might actually indicate that these imperfectly perfect grapefruits are even sweeter than expected.
Grapefruit Juice Goes to Europe
According to “The Global Grapefruit Juice Market and the Impact of COVID-19 in the Medium Term” report, in most European countries grapefruit juice is the fourth preferred flavor. Grapefruit juice can, of course, be enjoyed as a standalone juice, but is also commonly mixed into multivitamin juices.
Interestingly, the report also revealed that most Europeans prefer to drink juice made from a specific variety of a fruit. The Rio Red grapefruit makes an ideal candidate as it catches attention with its vibrant, red color and natural sweetness.
Aside from flavor, a convincing motive for consumers to drink grapefruit juice is the nutritional content. One of the key health benefits of Rio Red grapefruits come from vitamin C. One half of a grapefruit contains nearly 40 milligrams of vitamin C. This accounts for almost two-thirds of the vitamin’s daily value as calculated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Grapefruits are also packed with Lycopenes, which are well known for their antioxidant properties. In fact, lycopenes are what give Texas red grapefruit their red color. This is why red grapefruit are especially rich in antioxidants.
In addition, nearly 30 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin A, also known for its antioxidant properties, can be found in each half of a Rio Red grapefruit. Vitamin A is key to maintaining a person’s normal vision and also plays a role in reproduction and the immune system. It also helps support the health of the heart, kidneys, lungs, and other organs.
Are you an importer or business looking for Texas Rio Red Grapefruits or Texas Rio Red Grapefruit Juice in Europe? Feel free to reach out to Phaff Export Marketing, the in-market consultant for the Texas Department of Agriculture.