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Selina Wamucii provides high quality Kenya cranberries to the local and export market. We source our Kenya cranberries from family growers in Kenya.
Kenya cranberries (Vaccinium oxycoccos) consist of vining plants that grow up to 200cm in length and no more than 20cm high. They nevertheless have tough stems that are thin and covered by foliage that is always green. They bear blossoms of a dull pink. The most standing out feature is the berry which is bigger than the leaves, which becomes red-colored at the ripening stage. The berry is sweet but tempered by a high degree of acidity. The fruit is eaten raw, in dried form, processed juice/concentrate or as a food sauce. In the West, cranberries at their reddest are necessities for celebrations like Christmas and Thanksgiving as they act as sauces to accompany other culinary delicacies.
The origin of the cranberry was North America. The American Indians would make cornmeal and other enriched by-products from the fruit for the lifespan of the plant of seventy-five years. The first naming of the plant was in the mid-17th century A.D. in Germany in attribution to the birdlike (crane) growth of the elongating floral blossom.
Each cranberry consists of high energy at 46 calories per a hundred grams. It also has high potential against disease with 22 percent of vitamin C content. The level of dietary fiber is 4.6 grams per 100 grams or 18 percent of the daily value (dv). In processed form, juices made of cranberries apparently control urinary tract diseases. They also make jam and jelly toppings with minimal sugar in comparison with their commercial equivalents.
We source Kenya cranberries from various parts of the country, but principally in Naivasha at the heart of the Rift Valley. The berries also thrive in Kinangop on the slopes of the Aberdares where the weather is moist and suitable for the plant’s growth. The family growers in this area cultivate the fruit in at least two acres. The main buyers other than exporters include pastry stores and fruit outlets.
The growth of cranberries in Kenya consist of the following botanical, weather and temperature requirements:
• The cranberry develops in dual growth mode: first, the rhizomes of the plant spread mat-like on the ground for a length of about 2 meters. In the next 24 months, the upright stalks sprout and can achieve a maximum height of 20 centimeters.
• The plant’s shallow growth requires loose, moist soil. This helps maintain its delicate root hold at no more than six inches underground. However, the plant still withstands waterlogged locations.
• Sandy soil enriched with moss and peat is the most ideal for the cultivation of cranberries.
• The plants thrive under 0.25 inches of saturation or flooded water after each 24 hours in the hot months of the year. The most ideal method of water conservation is the use of the canal system.
There are three types of varieties of cranberries available in Kenya. These include:
• Ben Lear, a sizable fruit-bearing type that has a burgundy hue.
• Stevens, an equally sizable type that has scarlet berries.
• Early Black, a tiny type that has a dark scarlet shade in the fruit.
We harvest Kenya cranberries via the dry harvesting method. Each trained worker uses a picking tool that goes through each vine. It then cuts off each semi-ripe burgundy-colored berry. After finishing with one row, the pickers then move on to the next one while filling their pickings into a sack. This happens in smallholder plantations. In the case of large plantations, we use machine harvesters for quick delivery.
We also harvest Kenya cranberries under the wet harvesting method. This entails picking the berries for use not as table fruits but for value addition. The end-products include the highly regarded antioxidant juice, concentrates and jellies. The method is similar to the dry process only that here the field is watered just before the harvest and half-submerged in the flood. The shaking of the branches by hand or machine loosens all ripe berries which float on the water and undergo picking. They then enter the processing plant after thorough washing.
Before packing Kenya cranberries, we dry, sort and clean them. Drying helps to remove the field moisture, especially after a wet harvest. The dried berries then go into a sorting area where all healthy ones keep separately from discolored, injured and malformed ones. We also grade the fruits into two categories. The first grade is for export as table fruits while the second grade is for the production of value added products.
We pack cranberries from Kenya in various carton sizes. The least snack box consists of 6 ounces of dried fruits. There are also 10-ounce (283 grams) packets with more of the fruit. We also have 250 gram packets that consist of wholesome craisins (short for dried berries). This natural produce comes with 100 percent purity and cholesterol-free wholesome content.
For processed cranberry products such as juice, we offer the average 4.2 ounces packages of juice. Each carton contains at least 40 packets of 100 percent natural extract from cranberry with retained fruit’s flavor. They can have sugar or no sugar additive depending on your specific request.
Our processed and whole cranberries go through quality control under the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KePHIS) before shipment. This means that there is little incidence of chemical residual.
We store Kenya cranberries at 3.3° Celsius which gives the fruits a storage duration of at least 10 weeks. At 0° Celsius, the storage duration can extend to more than half a year but the fruits may be susceptible to chilling injury. We also transport the fresh fruits at this same temperature under custom vehicles.
Thus, if you are eager to enjoy the best of Kenya cranberries, do not hesitate to get in touch. We source our berries from the heart of Global Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)-certified farming regions. We offer the most competitive prices that reflect your budget. As of quantity, we strive to meet your exact tonnage demand as we liaise with several contract-based family growers for the purpose. Make an order today!
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