Core Business

I would like to know all parts of the world, but it’s here on the slopes of Etna that I feel at home, and I glow a rosy hue with joy.

1. Our core business has a volcanic heart and a soul quite as red as an orange.

Over all these years, the Alba family has welcomed and gathered all that nature meant for them. The citrus groves located on the slopes of the Etna volcano, in the heart of Eastern Sicily, these have always been the main growing areas.
Anima Vulcanica
For decades they have gifted good fruit thanks to the particular climatic conditions, the thermal outputs, the constant agronomic cures and to the methods of production adopted and constantly updated. The trees are for ever green, the orange blossom blooms gloriously, the oranges continue to ripen, red like the lava.
The blood orange cultivated in Sicily is distinctive, has a particular taste, is good to eat,  it is aesthetically distinctive due the pigmentation of the skin, of the pulp and of the juice. Ours is an orange with a history. Its daily presence influences a great deal on the economy of Sicily and may be defined as a healthy symbol of this island which is known all over the world. It has been the subject of study for researchers, doctors and nutritionists. It is the fascinating muse of who was born or has made landfall on our land. It is found in the art of cooking sweets, in paintings, in literature, popular medicine and herbalists’ elixirs. Its essence rises through musical notes, arises in cinematography and in Gastronomy (ORANGE)

Oranfrizer is an integral part of this world, in which the blood orange is a protagonist. Over the seasons of this half century, we have multiplied the extent of the surface area cultivated. We have innovated production technology and packaging processes. We have contributed to bringing to the field the results of Sicilian research by grafting new scions. In order to re-arrange consumer seasons, we started the process of transforming blood oranges into 100% fresh juice, we have invested in cultivation projects and food education, favouring the sharing of knowledge. Each of Oranfrizer’s important actions has been oriented towards the analysing the value of the blood orange.

Those activities which for many others has remained as a traditional family production process, for the brothers Nello and Alessandro Alba has been transformed into a continuous company expansion.
 
 

2. The pigmentation

Blood oranges are a natural source of “anthocyanin”(o antociani), the name of this precious substances deriving from the Greek (Anthos, flower and kyaneos, blue) and indicates the valuable contribution they carry out in nature. They are truly natural pigments, contributing towards colouring vegetables.
  • Anthocyanins give the characteristic “red colour” to our oranges.
     
  • Each fruit contains different quantities of anthocyanin depending on the variety and the conditions in which it grows; the characteristics of the soil, temperature and light.


Pigmento

Let us tell you how the pigmentation occurs in Sicily.

 
During the winter, Etna is completely snowed under. Every day, in the blood orange groves, there is a strong thermal effect, excess of 10 degrees centigrade; during the day, a hot sun shines, while in the night, the temperature is much colder, near zero. These changes of temperature activate the pigmentation of the anthocyanin which reacts and forms the intense red colour of the juice, the flesh and sometimes even the skin of our oranges.

The fruit color will become more intense if the content of anthocyanin is higher. 

3. The harvest and activities in the citrus grove.

The fruits of nature from our hands to yours.
           
In Sicily, we pick blood oranges one by one, using special scissors which become one with the hand. The cut is quick and precise, each farmer being very careful not to damage the fruit and to protect the branch.
Each orange is the result of a year’s work.
We take care of nature every day. The citrus grove activities start in March when the trees, after the last crop, are fertilized and pruned.
Pruning, that being the cutting out a number of the tree’s branches, is very important for their wellbeing. It helps the plant to distribute its sap more effectively and allows the sun and air to penetrate the foliage.
The orange trees are evergreen and 3 metres high, the trunk branching out into 4-6 main boughs.
The leaves which fill the crown are very numerous, oval, oblong, and dark green in colour. As soon as the blossom starts to appear on the trees, care must be taken to protect the tree from ants and other very small parasites (aphids and mealy bugs).
Zagara, the name of the orange blossom from which all the fruit emerge. Some 3500 blossoms flower on each tree, a whole lot.
Each flower has 5 petals, “white, snow white and very perfumed”. Only 300 or so of these blossoms are transformed into really good blood oranges on each tree.
In organic farming, it is the aggressive insects which look after the plant, flower and fruit, as they keep the damaging parasites at bay. Over most of the citrus groves, in order to guarantee the crop, integrated pest management methods are used. Our lands do not undergo weed killer treatments and the natural maturing of fruit is spared heavy chemical support interventions.
In June, small green fruit appear on the trees. That is the time to irrigate and to follow the growth, and the well-being of the trees and oranges, with care. During the Autumn months, the fruit pass from green to orange and then, finally in December, the oranges start to reveal their extraordinary red colour. The blood orange for ages has been the red fruit of Christmas, queen of the Winter, cure-all for the coldest months of the year.


SuccoToday, thanks to research, we have selected numerous varieties of blood orange with different ripening periods. We planted them and now we can start to gather from the trees the first nutrient red fruit from the trees at the start of the month of December, and to continue on until full Spring, during the month of May. The harvesting dates in the citrus groves are never the same, they change and follow the natural ripening path of the fruit.
 
The orange, inside and out

The blood orange is a fruit above all made up of the juice which makes up 50%. 20% is flesh divided into septums which separate the segments. At times there are pips. The remainder, that is some 30%, is the peel.
 
The varieties: Tarocco, Moro and Sanguinello
 
Oranfrizer is the leader on the production and commercialization of all the citrus fruits of Sicily. The oranges, in particular the blood varieties are taste bombs, the colour inherited from Mount Etna gives them a sumptuous look, and their flavour reveals their richness.
The Tarocco orange is the most prized, hides at the centre of its flesh light hues of red which gives it a balanced flavour, between bitter and sweet. 
The Moro orange is the most pigmented, with the flesh being completely red and particularly succulent and its taste is a marvel.
The Sanguinello orange takes its name from the sanguine mottling radiating in its flesh and which impart sweet notes to the flavour, barely overlaying the sharp notes. 


 

Tarocco
Tarocco

 
Moro
Moro

 
Sanguinello
Sanguinello
 
 The flesh is naturally protected by the rind which is a real suit of armour.
 
The red oranges ripen in full Winter and are generated by the trees in the Summer months. Over the months, the climate changes, the days of sun are interspersed with occasional rains. Sudden hail storms and the wind can leave slight cuts which indelibly mark them from when they are very small. No one is perfect; a law of nature.
The signs of nature should never affect the destiny of the fruit, indeed, the aesthetic defects of the biological fruit merely go to show that you should not taste with the eyes. We should know to look beyond the peel which, after all, in the case of an orange is tough and much thicker that with other fruit. The peel is substantial and protects an exquisite flesh which rarely suffers the consequences of these external signs.
Sometimes, the orange that nobody wants to eat, go ahead and peel it, could have the finest taste!
 
buccia  Nothing of the orange is thrown away.
 
With Orankitchen, we have made the blood orange into a champion ingredient. The rind is perfect for preparing drinks, liqueurs, candied fruit, jams and syrups. The flesh can be made into cakes, sorbets, brioches, sweet and savoury sauces. The juice can flavour side dishes, meats, fish and vegetables.
The alternative uses of the orange are infinite; all to be explored. Considering some of the aromatic parts of the orange as to be discarded is a real waste, such as the pips and the rind.
If the rind is biological, is edible. It can therefore be eaten. Alternatively, we have learned from our grandmothers how to use that which is normally considered as a discard as a perfume for domestic environments; the essential oils held into the rind and by the pips are really sought after by the cosmetics industry and that of sensory design.
Their intoxicating and vivacious perfume, the shape and consistency of the rind and of the pips can be exploited creatively. Take advantage of them naturally or transform them, make good use of them, create ideas and citrus objects.
Blood orange juice; fruit in its pure state.
 
Oranfrizer, in addition to fresh blood oranges, also produces juices available 365 days per year. Juices know no limits and can be exported to any country of the world. Some cannot find the time to consume fresh fruit during a meal. At times, a frenetic life style can be conditioned by healthy habits. At others, we seek a product which is nutritious but also easy, convenient and speedy to consume, and to satisfy so many requirements one must give up all that nature can offer us.
Oranfrizer, in order to facilitate the consumption of blood oranges, also produces 100% natural juices. Our juices do not come from concentrate; they have no additives or preservatives or added sugar. Only pure fruit, naturally juiced and pasteurized (as with fresh milk) to preserve over time the organoleptic characteristics. Indeed, our juices are fresh and perishable, so are always kept at a temperature of 0-4 °C.
Too often, what is called “fruit juice” is something else altogether. We suggest that you always read the label on all products, including ours.
It is useful for getting to know the nature, the composition and the provenance. On the label of our juices, you will see one ingredient only, the natural juice of blood oranges.
You will see that to make our juices, we only use oranges made in Italy. We select them exclusively amongst those grown here in Sicily, on the slopes of out Mount Etna Volcano.

 
Pigmento