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Most West Coast Fruit Not Used For Juice

(Photo via Graphicstock)
Oranges in a crate.

Arizona’s grapefruit season begins in December. As the nation’s fourth-largest producer, Arizona citrus is primarily sold as fresh fruit.

Florida is the largest grower of citrus in the U.S., but 80 to 90 percent of it is used to make juice.

In Arizona, it is the opposite. Almost all of the citrus fruit grown here is to be sold whole to grocery chains and restaurants. Mark Isaacs, president of Sun Orchard Juicery in Tempe, said there’s a reason for that.

“West Coast fruit tends to be more appealing to the eye than East Coast fruit,” Isaacs said. East and West Coast fruits taste much different, he said.

East Coast fruit tends to be sweeter and makes for better juicing, in part because of soil differences, growing conditions and climate.

Heather van Blokland was a host at KJZZ from 2016 to 2021.