PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT OF THE APPLE’S POTENTIAL IN A BIOREFINERY PROCESS
Brazil ranks third in the world fruit-growing ranking, with an annual production of 43.6 million tones.
Among the main fruits grown in the country are orange, banana and apple, which is the second most consumed fruit in natura in the world.
In Brazil, approximately 55% of the total fruit production is consumed by the processing industry, which serves the segments of juices, nectars, drinks and fruit pulp.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, global apple production is estimated at about 80.8 million tons per year and is led by China with 39.5 million tons, followed by the United States with 4 million tones and Turkey with just over 3.1 million tons. In this ranking, Brazil occupies the twelfth position, producing about 1.2 million tons of apple.
In Brazil, the apple’s production is mainly concentrated in the southern region, with the largest producers being the states of Santa Catarina, with 640,000 tons, the state of Rio Grande do Sul, with just over 634,000 in 2015. The main cultivars cultivated are Gala apple and Fuji apple. Together they account for 97% of all cultivation in the country. Most of the apple production in the country is fresh consumed, but almost 23% of the production is destined for the processing industry, which represented around 270 tons in 2015.
The domestic apple’s market was responsible for handling more than US$ 500 million in 2014, being the main responsible for the economic exploitation of the fruit against the export of fresh fruit, which handled just over US$ 32 million, and export of the concentrated juice that handled US$ 22 million.
The cultivation of this fruit is an important source of income for several families, since the apple orchards, are responsible for almost 200,000 jobs, of which about 60,000 are direct jobs. Despite the economic importance of the fruit, apple growing can still be considered an expensive crop since, the annual cost of production per hectare is estimated at around R$ 10,800.00, a very high value for example of about R$ 2,800.00 required for growing grains in the same area and period.
In Brazil, the main objective of apple cultivation was to supply the domestic market with regard to in natura consumption. However, over the years, the market has become favorable for exporting fruit, also, producing, and exporting concentrated juice, cider and vinegar.
The acceptance of the Brazilian apple’s growth is due to the new marketing strategies launched by the producers, as well as the reduction of the consumption of the fruit coming from Argentina and Chile, besides the investments in the sector of the pomicultura, that lead the successful commercialization of the national apples.