CBI Product Factsheet: Fresh Stone Fruit in Europe
The European import value of stone fruit from developing countries increased annually until 2013, but slowed down in 2014 due to the Russian embargo. Developing countries mainly supply Europe counter-seasonal in winter months, because Southern European countries produce lots of stone fruit. Special qualities or new varieties such as Paraquayos can be promising.
Apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches and plums all belong to the stone fruit of the genus Prunus. Stone fruit are also known as drupes, which refers to a fleshy fruit with a hard inner layer, or stone, that surrounds the seed. Stone fruit is divided in freestone or clingstone fruit:
- The term freestone refers to when the stone can easily be removed from the flesh. Freestone fruit is preferred when end-users want to use the fruit as a whole and removal of the stone is possible by hand.
- If the flesh is strongly tied to the inner pit of the fruit the term clingstone is used. Clingstone fruit is more often used as an ingredient in all sorts of ways.