Persimmons are a relatively new commercial crop for New Zealand. In 1986 an estimated 5,000 trays were exported which amounts to 20 tonnes. By 1989 this had risen to almost 100,000 trays, peaking at around 615,000 trays (or 2,460 tonnes) in 2002. In recent years export volumes have fluctuated around 12,800 tonnes.
Around three quarters of production is exported, to a range of countries which can be seen in the table below.
Export plantings are widely spread through northern New Zealand.
The main areas are Gisborne (about 28% by area), then North and South Auckland (20% each). Other growing regions include Northland, South Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and the Hawkes Bay.
The main variety exported from New Zealand is Fuyu. This is a non-astringent variety which means that it can be eaten while it is still crisp.
The NZ Food Composition Tables show that 100gm of persimmon contains the following
|Vitamin B||12 ug|
|Vitamin A equiv||178mg|
(mg = milligrams, ug = micrograms)
High in vitamin C, persimmons have been recommended for a wide range of reasons, from hypertension to hangovers.
LOOKING AFTER YOUR PERSIMMONS
In the home, persimmons are unlike many fruit, as they keep longer if they are at room temperature. Room temperature is in the range of 15°C to 25°C. In warmer climates therefore, rooms with air conditioning are ideal to keep your persimmons in top condition.
Persimmons kept in a fridge will go soft more quickly than if left at room temperature.
In shops or coolstores the same applies. However when persimmons are exported by sea the tray of fruit is packed in modified atmosphere bags and needs to be stored at 0°C while still in the sealed bags. Bagged persimmons should always be kept in a coolstore. The bags should be cut or removed when they are taken from the coolstore and the persimmons should not be put back into the coolstore once the bag is opened.