Vol 117 (2004): Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society
Handling & Processing

Granulation in Florida citrus

Mark A Ritenour
University of Florida
Published December 1, 2004
  • physiological disorder,
  • section drying,
  • navel orange,
  • fruit density,
  • temperature,
  • rainfall
  • ...More


Granulation (also called crystallization or section drying) is a physiological disorder in citrus that results in reduced extractable juice and sometimes vesicle shriveling. While segments appear dry, the disorder is not caused by drying, but by gel formation within the vesicles. Though many citrus varieties may develop granulation (i.e., 'Valencia' orange, tangerines, and grapefruit), it was a particular problem in Florida 'Navel' oranges during the 2003 season. Many factors have been associated with the development of granulation in citrus, including advanced fruit maturity, large fruit, excessive tree vigor, severe mite damage, composition of the juice, and cool, dry, windy weather conditions. Tree water status and irrigation have also been reported to affect granulation with researchers reporting less granulation with less irrigation. During the 2003 navel orange season, the relatively high temperatures during bloom, low fruit set, and associated larger fruit likely played an important role in the excessive development of granulation in the fruit. Changing cultural practices (i.e., fertilization and irrigation) and use of rootstocks that encourage vigorous tree growth may have promoted the development of granulation, but specific data and their related impact on granulation in Florida are limited.