KINNO A VITAMIN C RICH FRUIT
DR. S.M. ALAM
June 27 - July 3, 2011
The kinno is a variety of citrus fruit cultivated extensively in India and Pakistani Punjab Province. It is a hybrid of two citrus cultivars - King (Citrus nobilis) and Willow Leaf (Citrus deliciosa).
After evaluation, the kinno was released as a new variety for commercial cultivation in 1935. In 1940, Punjab Agriculture College and Research Institute, Lyallpur (Pakistan) introduced the kinno. In India this variety was introduced by J. C. Bakhshi in 1954 at the Punjab Agricultural University, Regional Fruit Research Station, Abohar. It has become an important variety in the Punjab provinces of both India and Pakistan, occupying a major part of the area under cultivation for fruit crops. Among citrus fruits, kinno mandarin is the leading citrus cultivar produced in the Punjab and contributes 65 per cent of the total production in the country.
The kinno fruit is large and orange, with 12 to 25 seeds and a globular shape. It matures in January or February. This easy peel citrus has assumed special economic importance and export demand due to its high juice content, special flavor, and as a rich source of vitamin C. The factors which contribute to the success of this fruit are its beautiful golden-orange color (a major asset from a marketing viewpoint), its abundant juice, and its excellent aroma and taste. Its trees are highly productive; it is not uncommon to find 1000 fruits per tree. Handsome returns, much higher than those obtained from most of other fruit crops, can be had from well looked-after kinno orchards by adopting proper methods of cultivation.
Kinno fruits have more seeds per wedge than other citrus fruits. The high seed content of this variety is a major hindrance in out-of-hand eating. Some workers have made efforts to select seedless kinnos by survey or by the use of mutants. The seeds of kinno are naturally diploid or tetraploid. Seedless triploid varieties have been developed, but these are still undergoing testing to ascertain whether the fruit is healthy for consumption.
Most of the target export markets of the Pakistani kinno are those of developing countries. Only 2.6 percent of kinno exports target the markets of developed countries, which is due to the emerging demand for seedless kinno by the developed countries. About 61 percent of total world exports of oranges and mandarins are of seedless varieties. Some important export markets for kinno are Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.
Kinno harvesting starts when the fruit's external color becomes orange, from December to February. The best harvesting time is mid-January to mid-February, when the fruit attains a TSS/acid ratio of 12:1 to 14:1. The fruit quality declines in later pickings. Fruits are harvested by clipping the stem with the help of sharp clippers. The stem is cut as short as possible to avoid mechanical injury to the fruit in packing and transits. As it is a comparatively loose rind fruit, harvesting by pulling fruits with one's hands is avoided. Coating kinno fruits with commercial waxes can increase the shelf life up to 60 days. The fruit can be stored in cold storage at a temperature of 4-5∞C and a relative humidity of 85-90 per cent.
Food processing includes the selection of good-quality mandarins. The ideal kinno is firm to slightly soft, smooth-skinned with no deep grooves, and deep orange to almost red. Human hands can better judge and avoid product with soft spots, dull and faded coloring or rough and bumpy skin. These fruits can be stored at room temperature conditions or under cold storage conditions.