|Possible certification||Halal, Kosher, Organic|
|IQF Packaging||10kg carton, 25kg bag, 4x2,5kg carton, 5x1 kg carton|
|Puree availability||Aseptic, Frozen|
|Packaging aseptic||200kg Drum, 20kg Bag-in-Box|
|Packaging frozen||10kg Plastic pail, 180kg Drum, 18kg Wax carton|
|Sieve size for puree||0,3 mm - 0,8 mm, 1,0 mm - 5,0 mm|
A pitaya (/pɪˈtaɪ.ə/) or pitahaya (/ˌpɪtəˈhaɪ.ə/) is the fruit of several different cactus species indigenous to the Americas. Pitaya usually refers to fruit of the genus Stenocereus, while pitahaya or dragon fruit refers to fruit of the genus Selenicereus (formerly Hylocereus), both in the family Cactaceae. Dragon fruit is cultivated in Southeast Asia, India, United States, the Caribbean, Australia, Mesoamerica and throughout tropical and subtropical world regions.
After a thorough cleaning of the seeds from the pulp of the fruit, the seeds may be stored when dried. The ideal fruit is unblemished and overripe.
Seeds grow well in a compost or potting soil mix – even as a potted indoor plant. Pitaya cacti usually germinate after between 11 and 14 days after shallow planting. As they are cacti, overwatering is a concern for home growers. As their growth continues, these climbing plants will find something to climb on, which can involve putting aerial roots down from the branches in addition to the basal roots. Once the plant reaches a mature 4.5 kilograms (10 pounds) in weight, the plant may flower.[clarification needed]
Commercial plantings can be done at high density with between 1,100 and 1,350 plants per hectare. Plants can take up to five years to come into full commercial production, at which stage yields of 20 to 30 tons per hectare can be expected.
The fruit’s texture is sometimes likened to that of the kiwifruit because of its black, crunchy seeds. The seed oil contains the fatty acids, linoleic acid and linolenic acid. Dragon fruit is used to flavor and color juices and alcoholic beverages, such as “Dragon’s Blood Punch” and the “Dragotini”. The flowers can be eaten or steeped as tea.
The red and purple colors of some Selenicereus fruits are due to betacyanins, a family of pigments that includes betanin, the same substance that gives beets, Swiss chard, and amaranth their red color.
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