USA – The global flavors and fragrances company, Givaudan and the University of California, Riverside (UCR) have strengthened their long-term collaboration which looks to enhance citrus biodiversity and research.

Givaudan has donated US$3.5 million to the UCR to support its Citrus Variety Collection, one of the world’s most extensive citrus diversity collections for future research, characterisation and citrus flavour inspiration.

The donation is set to pay for a 2.8-acre screened structure for new trees and back-up trees while protecting citrus from the impending threat of Citrus Greening Disease, also known as Huanglongbing (HLB). 

The bacterium affects how nutrients are transferred from root to tree and once infected, the tree yield will be lower, the fruit’s appearance and flavor are affected and the disease ultimately kills the citrus tree.

The collection, which includes over 1,000 types of citrus will be known as the Givaudan Citrus Variety Collection at the University of California, Riverside.

The partnership with University of California further strengthens Givaudan’s commitment to securing citrus flavors, a critical ingredient in beverages including fizzy drinks, juices, teas and even alcoholic drinks.

“As global leaders in citrus, protecting citrus biodiversity and creating a sustainable future is a primary focus for Givaudan,” said Louie D’Amico, president of Givaudan’s Flavour Division.

“Our long and ongoing partnership with UCR is one of the ways that Givaudan champions biodiversity within the overall context of our sustainability approach, ‘A Sense of Tomorrow’. 

We are pleased to make this gift and to continue the strong collaboration we have with this outstanding university.”

Starting in 2006, Givaudan’s collaboration with UCR has led to the discovery of citrus ingredients for flavor creation.

In 2011, Givaudan created the Givaudan Citrus Variety Collection Endowed Chair to support and maintain UCR’s Citrus Variety Collection.

In addition to building the screenhouse, the latest donation will add to the endowment, assuring support of the collection in perpetuity.

“Working with partners like Givaudan enables us to protect our collection while working on solutions which can help commercial citrus growers,” said Citrus Variety Collection curator Tracy Kahn.

“This announcement further cements our long-term collaboration with Givaudan, focusing attention on the preservation of the citrus variety collection. This latest gift will help ensure that the collection is well protected.”