Last month, Ecuadorian representatives and US officials met on Washington, D.C., in order to discuss final phytosanitary guidelines for soursop. “At the moment, we have received confirmation from APHIS that fresh soursop from Ecuador will be granted US access, only under certain conditions,” Freshway Produce’s Ricardo Roggiero confirms this. He believes a decision will be reached before the end 2023 once APHIS approves AGROCALIDAD’s operation workplan. Ecuador requested admission of soursop into the United States, without any irradiation treatments. “However, the way things are looking now, soursop from Ecuador will have to be treated with irradiation at the US port of entry,” Comment Roggiero.
“There is a significant soursop area in Ecuador that is ready to ship and there haven’t been any fruit fly infections in this region,” Comment Roggiero. “It’s very important for Ecuador to be able to ship soursop. Unfortunately, the country doesn’t have any sites that could perform the irradiation treatment. As a result, it will have to be done at the port destination. In addition, an irradiation treatment will prevent organic soursop from entering the US. “The organic qualities of the sourop are lost during irradiation.
The main use of sourop is for juicing or as a concentrated product. “It can be shipped in processed form to the US but not in its fresh state.” Canada and Europe however take both processed and fresh soursop. “This product is exotic and has many health benefits.” commented Roggiero. “It is a superfood, which helps to prevent diabetes and cancer. It also strengthens your immune system and improves your eye health.”
Soursop is available from Ecuador year-round, but the peak months of production are January through April. Freshway Produce is excited to start offering soursop. “Roggiero said, “We look forward to expanding our exotic fruits line and working with new producers.”