This year on Christmas day, more than six million pieces of fruit are at risk of going in the bin. And satsumas are top of the list, particularly those that are too sweet or too sour.
To combat the growing problem of food waste, experts have come up with a genius way of telling when satsumas are just ripe.
And they’ve called it ‘The Goldilocks Gauge’.
Almost one quarter (23%) of Brits still place orange fruit in the toe of a stocking at Christmas, but nearly half (43%) end up being thrown away, according to Sainsbury’s.
What’s more, each year UK households throw away seven million tonnes of food and a quarter (26%) of people admit that Christmas is their most wasteful time of year.
The new gauge comes as part of the supermarket’s ‘Waste less, save more’ campaign, a £10 million investment designed to help households cut food waste and save money.
The test identifies the perfect balance of sugar and acid in satsumas, tangerines, easy peelers and oranges.
Traditionally, it was only the sugar level of fruit which was tested to judge ripeness, but now acidity tests add an additional step to help get customers the perfect fruit.
This year Sainsbury’s technicians and the growers they work with began testing the acidity level in fruit at key moments, from when it was growing in the orchard to when it arrived at the depot.
Paul Crewe, head of sustainability, engineering, energy and environment for Sainsbury’s, said: “Thanks to a new ‘Goldilocks Gauge’ designed by our technicians, this year’s festive fruit offers shoppers an experience that is not too sweet, not too sour, but just ripe.”
For those who end up with a surplus of satsumas, experts have also recommended some creative ways to use them up this Christmas including:
1. Adding the juice to your Christmas morning Buck’s Fizz, or to your favourite mulled wine recipe.
2. Using citrus fruit segments in the Boxing Day trifle.
3. Combining leftover satsuma or tangerine juice and zest to make marmalade.
4. Transforming plum crumble with tangerine zest to give it a citrus kick.