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Sun World launches new consumer website

Sun World said online searches related to grapes occur in the hundreds of thousands every month.

Do you know the best way to freeze grapes for a cool, sweet summer treat? Ever tried pan roasted chicken with green grapes?

California’s Sun World International, LLC has unveiled a new web site that provides just such information and inspiration and covers about anything consumers might want to know about table grapes.

Grape recipes, how-to guides and health Information are among the topics covered on the site, which has been optimised for accurate viewing on any device.

Frozen seedless grapes

Included is the answer to what Google Trends shows is one of the most common queries regarding grapes: how many calories in them? The answer is just 90 in a cup-and-a-half serving, the new Sun World site says.

In a press release, the company said online searches related to grapes occur in the hundreds of thousands every month.     

“Like all of our marketing activities, the new Sun World website was designed based on consumer insights to help us better engage, educate and entertain people,” program marketing manager Natalie Erlendson said.

“The website is part of a larger strategy to build Sun World as the trusted brand for grapes which can increase demand and drive consumption for our customers,” executive vice president Gordon  Robertson said.

Sun World said it is a leading innovator in the research, production, distribution and promotion of fresh  produce.

It maintains vertically integrated table grape operations in the Coachella and San Joaquin Valleys of California, as well as a licensed growing and marketing program with leading  agricultural operations in Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, South America, Israel and South Africa.

See the new Sun World site at www.Sun-­  



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Strawberries wilting amid California’s extreme heat and humidity

Record level extreme heat and humidity are causing significant quality issues for strawberries out of California, reports Atlanta-based foodservice distributor Royal Food.

Record level extreme heat and humidity are causing significant quality issues for strawberries out of California, reports Atlanta-based foodservice distributor Royal Food Service.

It said the situation is being experienced by all growers in the area. Quality issues being reported from the fields are bruising, soft spots, smaller sizes, some mildew, white or soft shoulders, and over-ripeness. 

“To avoid further quality issues, it is very important to keep these strawberries cold until ready to use. Royal is doing everything possible to ensure that the cold chain remains unbroken,” Royal Food Service said in news published on its web site on July 1.

Image: by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (public domain) via Wikimedia Commons

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Study backs protective role of grapes against stress

GRAPES white table

Feeding animals a diet enriched with whole grape powder prior to stress exposure successfully countered the detrimental effects of that stress on brain function and behavior, according to a press release from the California Table Grape Commission.

Conducted at the University of Houston and recently published in the Journal of Nutrition Research, the study investigated the protective role of grapes against stress, and the mechanisms by which grapes achieved this, the commission said.

Specifically, it was found that grape intake prevented the memory impairment and anxiety-like behaviors that were observed in the rats with stress but no grapes in their diet. The researchers attributed these benefits to both gene activation and enhanced antioxidant activity resulting from grape intake, the commission said. 

For the animals on the grape-enriched diets, freeze-dried, whole grape powder was added to the drinking water for 3 weeks, followed by either the stress or control exposure, and then behavior tests.

“Grapes appear to influence several processes that support brain health,” said Samina Salim, Ph.D., the lead investigator. “The potential interplay between grapes’ antioxidant activity and their impact on cell communication is very intriguing to us and we intend to study it further.”


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California set new record for table grape crop value in 2014


California’s table grape growers also harvested second highest volume ever

  • New crop value record of $1.76 billion (€1.62b)
  • Second largest crop ever
  • 110 million 19 lb boxes marketed
  • Export volume & value second highest in history
  • 44.5 million 19lb boxes shipped
  • Exports value $857 million (€789m).
  • 40% of total crop volume exported
  • Top volume export markets included Canada, Mexico & China/Hong Kong

As it gears up for the start of its new season next month, California’s table grape sector has released figures showing the last one was a bumper in both value and volume.

California Table Grape Commission president Kathleen Nave said that overall, last year was a good one for most growers. “The industry was able to successfully harvest and ship a large crop at good prices over a very long season.”

Nave expects this season to mirror that of 2014 in timing, beginning late April and running through January. With the start thus only a month away, the commission is gearing up its global campaign. “The commission campaign focuses on motivating the trade to promote, and consumers to buy, more grapes from California more often,” she said.

According to a commission press release, 2014 saw the state’s table grape growers net their second biggest crop ever – 110 million 19 lb boxes marketed – as well as their second biggest export volume and value – 44.5 million 19 lb boxes shipped at a value of $857 million.

The top volume export markets included (with amount of 19 pound boxes shipped):

  • Canada 11.4 million
  • Mexico 5.7 million
  • China/Hong Kong 5.5 million

Just over 40 percent of the total crop volume was exported.