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Finish the bitter almond

The cooperative, which has 4,500 members in Andalusia, promotes an operating group aimed at developing a technology that detects and eliminates non-sweet fruit.

Spanish almonds have a reputation for high quality and better taste. However, some international markets reject it if they are not guaranteed that they are one hundred percent sweet and they will not find bitter almonds. It is a problem that is hindering the export of our production to certain countries in the world. The minimum presence of bitter almonds, which occasionally may appear mixed in the batches, is a drag on the flourishing expansion of the market of almonds of Spanish origin.

For this reason, the Almendrera del Sur cooperative in Malaga, which has 4,500 members throughout Andalusia, together with COAG, promotes the Murcia cooperative COATO, the Andalusian Foundation for Image, Color and Optics (Faico) and the Cebas-CSIC research center the creation of an operating group for which it has obtained 43,974 euros from the National Rural Development Program financed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (Mapama) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (Feader). Its purpose is to design a project with the objective of getting rid of the bitter almond from the market. The initiative also has the support of the Federation of Agri-Food Cooperatives of Spain and Andalusia.

Spanish almonds have a reputation for high quality and better taste. However, some international markets reject it if they are not guaranteed that they are one hundred percent sweet and they will not find bitter almonds. It is a problem that is hindering the export of our production to certain countries in the world. The minimum presence of bitter almonds, which occasionally may appear mixed in the batches, is a drag on the flourishing expansion of the market of almonds of Spanish origin.

For this reason, the Almendrera del Sur cooperative in Malaga, which has 4,500 members throughout Andalusia, together with COAG, promotes the Murcia cooperative COATO, the Andalusian Foundation for Image, Color and Optics (Faico) and the Cebas-CSIC research center the creation of an operating group for which it has obtained 43,974 euros from the National Rural Development Program financed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (Mapama) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (Feader). Its purpose is to design a project with the objective of getting rid of the bitter almond from the market. The initiative also has the support of the Federation of Agri-Food Cooperatives of Spain and Andalusia.

The solutions, for the promoters of this initiative, go through an Integral Plan of the almond that contains measures of awareness of producers, the support of a program of renewal of plantations, a reinforcement in the controls in the lowest levels of the chain of marketing as well as support for research into new varieties and techniques for control and detection of bitter fruits. In summary, a set of actions throughout the chain and coordinated with all administrations and agents involved.

Currently, there is no developed technology to detect bitter almonds and to remove them. The idea is that with the participation of the Andalusian Foundation of Image, Color and Optics (Faico) can develop some light wave equipment to identify the bitter fruit and discard it.

According to Gallego, the operative group has a period of three months to formalize its constitution and elaborate the corresponding project, in order to obtain the necessary financing to be able to develop it.

Spain is the second world producer of almonds, with about 50 million kilos, a great distance from the United States, which produces 1,000 million kilos of hundred percent sweet varieties. Almendrera del Sur has a maximum capacity of 20 million kilos, although for climatic reasons its production ranges between 5 and 10 million kilos. Exports 70 percent of the production. Fundamentally to Europe. In Malaga, the almond tree is a crop that occupies some 16,000 hectares.

FONT: Diario Sur // AGUSTÍN PELÁEZ

2018-03-27T10:00:49+00:00