Illustration of the exotic new citrus calamansi and yuzu with the sea and mountains in the background

Yuzu & Calamansi – Exploring the Exotic New Citrus

Citrus fruits are a treasure of aromas, and two new citrus that have been making waves in the food and beverage industry are Yuzu and Calamansi. These exotic fruits are promising alternatives to Lemon and Orange, with similar, yet unique taste profiles. The experience of a flavour that is new, yet recognizable, is the recipe for innovation with less risk, appealing to both the adventurous and the more change-resistant consumer.


The exotic, complex taste of Yuzu and Calamansi

Yuzu is a great alternative to Lemon and Orange. Native to East Asia, particularly Japan, the citrus is a small, round fruit with a bumpy rind. It is highly prized for its refreshing flavour and distinctive acidity. Yuzu offers a citrusy taste that is a delightful blend of Lemon, Mandarin, and Grapefruit, with subtle floral undertones.

yuzu taste profile

Calamansi, on the other hand, is native to Southeast Asia and resembles a small Lime. This new citrus has a tart and tangy flavour that adds a zing to any application. Calamansi delivers a vibrant and energizing burst of sourness and bitterness with hints of sweetness.

calamansi taste profile

Both Yuzu and Calamansi are versatile new citrus used in a wide range of culinary creations, from savoury dishes to refreshing drinks. These fruits offer an alternative to Lemon and Orange, presenting a low-risk innovation opportunity since consumers are familiar with the taste of citrus fruits, but Yuzu and Calamansi bring a new and exotic dimension, adding complexity.


Flavour combinations that attract consumers

The unique aromas of the new citrus Yuzu and Calamansi open a world of possibilities when it comes to flavour combinations. Here are a few exciting fruit pairings that harness their tangy delights:

Yuzu-Mint: The bright and zesty notes of Yuzu complement the cool, refreshing taste of mint, resulting in a revitalizing flavour combination. From Yuzu-mint sorbets to Yuzu-mint cocktails, this pairing is a crowd-pleaser.

Yuzu-Ginger: The aromatic citrus punch of Yuzu pairs magnificently with the warm, spicy kick of Ginger. Yuzu-Ginger marinades or Yuzu-Ginger teas are excellent choices for those seeking a balance of zing and heat.

Calamansi-Coconut: The tropical essence of Calamansi harmonizes beautifully with the creamy, nutty taste of Coconut. Calamansi-Coconut curries or Calamansi-Coconut popsicles are delightful treats that transport you to a sunny beach paradise.

Calamansi-Chili: For those who appreciate a fiery twist, the tangy Calamansi combines remarkably well with the heat of Chili peppers. Calamansi-Chili sauces or dressings add a tantalizing spicy-sour flavour to a range of dishes.

Our expert product developers also see potential in combining Yuzu and Calamansi with Lychee, Mango, Honey, and Apricot.


The place of citrus in the Food and Beverage Industry

Recent data from Mintel reveals the significant role that citrus plays in the global food and beverage industry. Citrus appeared in 13% of global beverage launches between January 2020 and December 2022, indicating its widespread popularity among consumers seeking refreshing and invigorating flavours.

In the realm of food products, however, citrus made a less frequent appearance, showing up in only 3% of launches. Interestingly, citrus flavours tended to be more prevalent in sweet categories such as sugar and gum confectionery, chocolate confectionery, and desserts/ice cream.  One area that has been less explored but holds great potential is sauces, seasoning, and marinades, where the zesty notes of new citrus fruits like Yuzu and Calamansi could provide a new dimension of flavour.


Recent product launches with the New Citrus Yuzu and Calamansi

How do consumers react to new citrus flavours?

The evolution of consumer preferences reflects people’s willingness to explore new flavours. Mintel data shows that 33% of Germans express that they would be more inclined to try a flavour they have not experienced before if it was like a flavour they already enjoy. This insight highlights the importance of bridging the gap between novelty and familiarity in flavour experiences.

Companies can use alternatives to Orange and Lemon and use this opportunity to guide consumers through the discovery of new citrus flavours. They can draw parallels between Yuzu and Calamansi and more well-known tastes, fostering a sense of comfort and curiosity simultaneously.


New citrus fruit responds to Orange juice shortage and climate change

The global market for Orange juice has faced challenges due to extreme weather conditions and inflation, resulting in a price hike for this beloved citrus beverage, as shown by an article from Food Ingredients First. With the uncertainty of the future, consumers are looking for alternative solutions that offer both quality and affordability. In light of this, the spotlight turns to new citrus as alternatives for Orange, like Yuzu and Calamansi.

These fruits have an intense flavour that rivals that of traditional Orange juice, as only a few drops are needed to infuse products with their citrus essence. By incorporating Yuzu and Calamansi into formulations, manufacturers can reduce the dependency on raw materials, thereby optimizing costs without compromising on the sensory experience.

In a world where flavour innovation and economic challenges intersect, new citrus fruits such as Yuzu and Calamansi shine. These fruits, rich in aroma and flavour, not only inspire creativity in culinary creations, but also offer a sustainable solution in the face of market fluctuations. As consumer preferences continue to evolve, the utilization of Orange and Lemon alternatives such as Yuzu and Calamansi presents a gateway to new flavour experiences that resonate with discerning palates and budget-conscious individuals alike.


Origin and availability of Yuzu and Calamansi raw materials

tropextrakt offers Yuzu juice, Yuzu powder and Yuzu peel from Japan and South Korea, regions where the fruit is traditionally grown, giving it a distinctive flavour not found on plantations in other parts of the world.

Our Calamansi juice is also sourced from Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, where the fruit grows in optimal climatic conditions.

Yuzu and Calamansi have opened up a world of exciting possibilities, allowing companies to create surprising citrus blends. So, the next time you see Yuzu or Calamansi on a product, get ready to embark on a citrus-infused citrus adventure for your taste buds!

Since tropextrakt legalized Yuzu and Calamansi in Europe a few years ago, both fruits have become increasingly well known in the market. Our purchasing team is already preparing the next innovative launch of alternative citrus fruits. Stay tuned!

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