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Packed with nutrition, vibrant in colour and highly versatile, the time is ripe for the powerful papaya to strike a chord with UK consumers.

Wealmoor – the UK-based grower-packer-distributor of a number of high-quality, responsibly-sourced fresh fruit and vegetable brands – has announced its intention to raise the UK profile and market penetration of the papaya, one of the world’s most nutritious and versatile superfoods.

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On the back of creating successful produce brands including: Chillifresh, Herbfresh, Love Me Tender and Saxon’s Asparagus, now family-owned Wealmoor is turning its attention to the powerful papaya.

Grown worldwide in the Tropics with a long and distinguished history, the vibrantly-coloured papaya has a delicate and fragrant flavour. Added to that, the fruit benefits from numerous nutritional benefits, as well as a broad versatility of use in healthy breakfasts, starters, mains or desserts.

Wealmoor CEO, Avnish Malde, comments: “We’re really excited about the papaya. It’s an understated, yet really interesting product for the market. Although we have a long way to go, we feel passionate about bringing the papaya to life.”

Paul Tilbury, Head of Fruit at Wealmoor, continues: “The UK is a changing marketplace. There is more and more interest in the food that we consume, and what is good for us. The papaya answers many of those needs. We need to demystify it, encourage people to try it and help them to understand its versatility.”

Papayas are a rich source of nutrients, antioxidants, Vitamins C, A, E and K, and enzymes that hold powerful health benefits for the human body. The tropical fruit can alleviate indigestion, while super athletes are known to bulk up on papayas before competing in endurance events.

Tilbury explains: “Named ‘the fruit of the angels’ by Christopher Columbus because of its great taste, and described as one of the ‘bare necessities of life’, according to Baloo from The Jungle Book, the papaya has even proved beneficial to Harrison Ford who was apparently injected with the papaya enzyme for the treatment of a spinal injury after riding an elephant in Sri Lanka!”

Thanks to its unique flavour, the papaya is also extremely diverse as an ingredient for either the food or drink industry. The fruit can be eaten fresh or cooked, ripe, semi-ripe or unripe. Even the nutritious seeds can be eaten raw with a spoon, or dried to grate or grind in a pepper mill.

To celebrate the papaya’s many uses and flavours, over the few months Wealmoor New Product Development Chef, Enzo Di Marino, has been busy in the kitchen experimenting with numerous, innovative recipes.

His dish suggestions include: fresh, ripe papaya with a squeeze of lime; ripe papaya cut in half and served with berries, oats and yoghurt; or unripe papaya cooked in a curry or risotto, where it acts much like a marrow or courgette. Alternatively, the pulp of the papaya can be blended with vanilla ice-cream, and served with cassis as a classic Brazilian Crème de Papaya.

To showcase the papaya, last week Di Marino gave a live cooking demonstration of his delicious papaya risotto, breaded papaya wedges and ribboned papaya salad recipe at The London Produce Show and Conference 2019, which took place on 5-7 June 2019 at the Grosvenor House hotel in London, where Wealmoor sponsored the event’s exclusive Media Masterclass.

Papayas form part of the DNA at Wealmoor. The company has been the pre-eminent purveyor of papayas for more than 45 years to the UK retail, wholesale and foodservice sectors. Additionally, the company is proud to list the third generation of its first Brazilian papaya grower amongst its current supply base for the fruit.

Wealmoor imports papayas during 364 days a year, including the Solo Golden variety from Brazil, and the Solo Sunrise variety from Jamaica and West Africa. Having such a continuous, reliable supplier connection serves to demonstrate Wealmoor’s commitment to building long-term, collaborative and rewarding industry partnerships.

Proud to share Wealmoor’s enthusiasm for the papaya, Tilbury concludes: “Try it, embrace it, love it, and spread the word.”

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  1. The best way to select a ripe papaya is to choose one with skin that is more yellow to orange in colour, than green.

  2. To prepare papaya, cut the fruit in half lengthways. Then using a small spoon, scoop out the black seeds and discard them, before eating the remaining pinkish-orange pulp with your spoon.

  3. The papaya plant grows from a seedling to approximately 3 metres high, and is akin to a giant Brussels Sprout in appearance.

  4. Papayas are difficult to grow given the typical average yield of 1 fruit per plant per week over the plant’s productive life, which lasts around 24 months.

  5. Founded in 1973, Wealmoor is a global-local business that handles almost 150 different fresh produce items from around the world.

  6. The company sources produce from either its own production bases or through close grower partnerships, distributing to the UK by road, sea and air.

  7.  Wealmoor has a reputation for its range of ethnic and exotic produce, as well as producing homegrown seasonal vegetables and herbs.

  8.  At the heart of everything, Wealmoor actively strives to make a positive impact on the communities and environment wherever it operates worldwide

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