(title) All Eyes on Korean Yuja with Huge Potential
Yuja, which is a Korean variety of citrus fruits, is known to have an ample amount of vitamin C that helps prevent a cold and is good for skincare, and organic acid that relieves fatigue. There is even an old saying in Korea that, during the winter solstice, drinking yuja tea and taking a bath in hot yuja-infused water can prevent you from catching a cold all through the year. That's what make you want to choose Korean yuja as a healthy present. This yellow fruit is recently enjoying a growing popularity in the global market. It is fragrant and tasty compared to other equivalents such as lemon and calamansi, and has three times more vitamin C compared to lemon. It is thus gaining a great deal of attention as a functional healthy food. Amidst this trend, there is a Korean company that is working hard to promote Korean yuja in the global market, and it is the very Eden Food Farmer Association.
Reliable Fruit Cultivated in Eco-Friendly Way
Eden Food is exporting various processed yuja products to foreign countries including Japan and European countries, after it succeeded in its first export to China in 2014. About 22 local farms are participating in the export, and a combined yuja cultivation area of the farms is approximately 60 hectares (ha). The most noticeable is that all yuja Eden Food produces is cultivated in an organic and eco-friendly way without the use of agricultural pesticides. Through such eco-friendly cultivation, Eden Food is able to provide differentiated products targeting a premium market. Song jae-chul, head of Eden Food, said that Goheung in Jeollanam-do is close to the sea, and blessed with environmental conditions including soil and climate that are suitable for the cultivation of yuja. The favorable natural conditions facilitate the eco-friendly cultivation, which has contributed the most to the export of various processed yuja products including yuja extract. Eden Food is also working hard for safety control for its products. Their hard working has paid off as they obtained various certifications including ISO22000 for food safety management, an organic food certification, and a Japanese agricultural standard (JAS) certification for organic food.
Various Processed Yuja Products
Eden Food is not settled for the success of its yuja teas, but making unremitting efforts to develop other processed yuja products including yuja extract, snacks, salt, cosmetics, oil extracted from yuja seeds. It is now exporting even yuja peels. The fruit is indeed versatile as Song explained. In actuality, yuja teas are in surplus in the domestic market, while yuja extract which is being exported to Japan and European countries is selling so well that the supply cannot meet such a high demand there. In addition to the extract, there is a flood of inquiries about yuja peels from foreign buyers. The growing interest in the peels is attributed to the fact that they can be used in many ways, for example, to make enzyme and ferment other food. Eden Food cuts yuja peels into slices, or removes the seeds and compresses pitted yuja, and then obtains the peels to be exported. Eden Food is also discussing an export and research business with an affiliated fruit research center under the rural development administration to develop processed yuja products. "Domestic consumers enjoy yuja mainly with yuja teas, while the Japanese counterparts enjoy various processed yuja products. Keeping in mind this difference, and a recent consumption trend towards the reluctance to have sweeter foods, we will continue to make efforts to develop various products," Song said.
Korean Yuja with Huge Potential
Korean yuja can be a wonderful substitute for lemon and calamansi that are more generally used as of now to make various dishes as a food ingredient, and has thus great potential power to thrive further in the future. What's more, yuja has proved virtues as a functional healthy food that it is rich in vitamin C and good for anticancer and antiaging efforts, and the export of such an excellent fruit is expected to grow. Eden Food is planning to lead the effort to promote Korean yuja which is cultivated in a safe and eco-friendly way. "Yuja is produced mainly in Korea and Japan, and many foreign consumers know this fruit by a Japanese name 'yuzu.' So, our final goal is to promote the Korean one by developing various processed yuja products and exporting them under the brand name Goheung Yuja, so that consumers can recognize the excellent quality of Korean yuja," Song said.
Inquiries: EDEN Food Famer Association