CBI Product Factsheet: Fresh Limes in Europe
Imports of fresh limes to the EU market grew by 26% in volume between 2009 and 2013, despite the economic downturn. Further growth is expected as a result of the increasing popularity of limes in food preparation, as well as in response to trends in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries and the tendency of consumers to regard limes as a regular fruit rather than a tropical and exotic fruit. Exporters from developing countries can take advantage of these developments and offer alternatives to the dominant supply from Mexico and Brazil.
Limes are sour and have a diameter ranging from about 42-67 mm (for the Persian lime) up to 25->45 mm (for the Key lime). When ripe, limes are green/yellow. They are not usually consumed fresh, but are used for flavouring (including the skin). The most commonly produced lime variety for fresh consumption is the Persian (or Tahiti) Lime (Citrus latifolia). Its popularity is due to its seedless nature. Key limes (Citrus aurantifolia) contain many seeds, making it less popular for fresh consumption.