Tuesday, March 30, 2010

BFP donates money for Band Fest

On behalf of Belize Fruit Packers, Miss. Lismar Cobb hands over a cheque of $300 BZ to Mrs. Adelita Canul who is in-charge of raising funds for the Band Fest. The Band Fest will take place on 27th March, 2010.

Papaya plant discovered to be effective against cancer

Excerpts from an article in naturalnews.com , March 30, 2010 by: S. L. Baker

The papaya plant has been touted by traditional healers for centuries as a source of powerful medicine. Not only is papaya fruit delicious and loaded with vitamins and phytochemicals, but other parts of the plant have been used historically to treat health problems, too.

Now University of Florida (UF) researcher Dr. Nam Dang and his colleagues in Japan have announced new evidence that the papaya fights cancer cells. In fact, they discovered that an extract made from dried papaya leaves produced a dramatic anti-cancer effect against a broad range of tumors grown in the laboratory -- including cancers of the cervix, breast, liver, lung and pancreas.

The study, recently published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, not only showed that papaya has a direct anti-tumor effect on a variety of malignancies, but it also documented for the first time that papaya leaf extract increases the production of key signaling molecules called Th1-type cytokines. That's important because this regulation of the immune system raises the strong possibility that the use of papaya could help the body's own immune system to overcome cancers.

Additional source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19961915

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sam Skogstad promotion

We are proud to announce that Sam Skogstad is being promoted from Purchased Fruit Manager to Director of Sourcing. In addition to growing our import business, Sam will continue to develop our Texas papaya program. We are planning to greatly expand our sales of papayas through Texas over the next couple years.

Congratulations, Sam.

Sue Garcia promotion

We are proud to announce that Sue Garcia is being promoted from Purchased Fruit Assistant to Salesperson. Sue will be working with a wide range of customers including West Coast and Terminal Market customers.

Congratulations, Sue.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

SE Produce Council

A new tradeshow for Brooks, SE Produce Council is a regional show that invites Southeastern retailers to get together with growers like us. Here's a photo of the booth and some of the folks that attended.

There's more to carambola than pretty garnishes

Excerpt from a 3/11/10 Miami Herald article by Maricel E. Presilla

Carambola is the pinup girl of tropical fruit, valued more for its comely shape (an unusual winged oval that yields starfish-like slices) and lovely skin (translucent and glossy, ripening to golden hues) than its substance.

Yet starfruit is more than a whimsical garnish for a cocktail. It can be a versatile cooking ingredient.

Carambola and the Campbell family
Cocina Recipe: Becky Campbell's Carambola

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Video from South East Produce Council tradeshow

Papaya: everything you may want to know

The World's Healthiest Foods is a non-profit organization that develops and shares information about the benefits of healthy eating. Its web site is a great source to learn health benefits, how to select and store foods, nutrtional information and a lot more.

Here's a blurb from their web site's
papaya section.

Deliciously sweet with musky undertones and a soft, butter-like consistency, it is no wonder the papaya was reputably called the "fruit of the angels" by Christopher Columbus. Once considered quite exotic, they can now be found in markets throughout the year. Although there is a slight seasonal peak in early summer and fall, papaya trees produce fruit year round.

Discovery of a single beetle, no need to panic - 3 articles about the beetle

These are excerpts from three articles about the finding of the redbay ambrosia beetle in Miami-Dade county.

Excerpts from a 3/10/10 Miami Herald article by Nirvi Shah.

One redbay beetle was found in a trap in west-central Miami-Dade County on March 2.

But scientists say a single beetle shouldn't scare Miami-Dade growers -whose trees cover nearly 7,000 acres of South Florida - just yet.

For one thing, the beetle wasn't found in the heart of Miami-Dade's agricultural area, but in the residential Emerald Lakes neighborhood. For another, scientists are still testing the single beetle found to confirm whether it is carrying the pathogen that causes the tree-killing laurel wilt. The testing could take another two weeks.

“The University of Florida along with the state and federal governments have been working hard to find a viable solution," said Craig Wheeling, president of Brooks Tropicals. Brooks, in Homestead, is one of the largest growers, packers and shippers of Florida avocados. With all their hard work, they’ve come up with some promising ways to attack the beetle. We’re hoping for a quick solution.”

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Avocado pest spotted in Miami-Dade County

Excerpts from a 3/9/10 The Packer article by Doug Ohlemeier

Florida agriculture inspectors have discovered the carrier of an avocado tree-killing disease close to south Florida’s Miami-Dade County commercial growing region, the redbay ambrosia beetle.Authorities caution that the bug hasn’t threatened the state’s commercial avocado production, which remains “healthy,” according to a March 9 news release from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Craig Wheeling, president of Brooks Tropicals Inc., Homestead, Fla., said the industry is confident researchers will find a solution to keep the disease away from commercial groves.“The government survey teams have done a great job in finding the beetle considering they had to cover tens of thousands of acres in the tri-county area,” he said. “The University of Florida along with the state and federal governments have been working hard to find a viable solution. With all their hard work, they’ve come up with some promising ways to attack the beetle. We’re hoping for a quick cure.”

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Avocado Farmers Fear Tiny Beetle Found In S. Fla.

Excerpt from a transcript of a 3/9/10 broadcast on CBS Channel 4, Miami FL - reporter Lisa Cilli

Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson announced Tuesday that a redbay ambrosia beetle, which spreads a fungus that kills avocado trees, has been found in an insect trap in Miami-Dade County. The beetle, which transmits the fungus called laurel wilt disease, was found in the Emerald Lakes subdivision. Prior to this find, the redbay ambrosia beetle had not been found south of Martin County.In Miami-Dade, there is little Craig Wheeling can do to protect his Homestead-based business.

The CEO of Brooks Tropicals says the impending threat of laurel wilt disease bears a striking resemblance to citrus canker, which struck Florida orange and lime growers years ago, causing millions of dollars in damage. "Having gone through that mess in the early 2000s, we're very concerned when we see the redbay ambrosia beetle coming down," he said.

Tropical produce displays

Photos courtesy of Sweetbay Supermarkets.

Researchers back cancer-fighting properties of papaya

Excerpts from an article on Yahoo posted Tue Mar 9, 3:03 pm ET

MIAMI (AFP) – Researchers said Tuesday that papaya leaf extract and its tea have dramatic cancer-fighting properties against a broad range of tumors, backing a belief held in a number of folk traditions.

University of Florida researcher Nam Dang and colleagues in Japan, in a report published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, documented papaya's anticancer effect against tumors of the cervix, breast, liver, lung and pancreas.

The researchers used an extract made from dried papaya leaves, and the effects were stronger when cells received larger doses of papaya leaf tea.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"Red Papaya Now Available!"

A lot is being written about papayas. This article in the Central Market News is specifically about our Caribbean Red papayas, and it's a great review. Central Market is a chain of supermarkets in Texas.

Article written by Austin M., Central Market Produce Inspector on Thursday, February 25 2010

We have a new variety of papaya available in your local Central Market Produce department, the Caribbean Red!

Grown in Belize, the Caribbean Red is the first papaya that I ever truly enjoyed. Reddish-orange in color and virtually odorless, these giant fruits have some depth to their flavor that almost resembles a good melon or even carrot. Like melon, it is considerably sweeter than its yellow counterpart: the Maradol.

Don’t be turned off by their green hue, the Caribbean Red is ready to eat at “partial color” (a 50/50 mix of yellow and green), as opposed the bright orange color that you would typically look for in other varieties. Ripening at home is easy; they’ll generally be perfect in a couple days when left on the counter.

If you haven’t cooked with papaya before, it is typically used as a salad fruit or ice cream topping, but works fantastically as a marinade, as its compounds work naturally to tenderize meat (most powdered meat tenderizers are actually made from papaya.)

While you’re working with papaya, make sure to taste the seeds, which have the same spicy compounds that you might encounter in horseradish or watercress. Although I personally can’t vouch for them as an ingredient, some more adventurous cooks use them for salad dressings.

Papaya salsa is taking off as the new fruit salsa of choice. Here’s a quick recipe to get you started:
1 papaya, seeded, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 onion, sliced (white will look best, but there’s no need to be picky)
6 tablespoons lime juice (fresh squeezed of course!)
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeƱo, seeded, chopped

Combine papaya,
red pepper, onion, lime juice, pineapple juice, cilantro, garlic and jalapeno; mix well. Refrigerate until served; use within 8 hours.