Dekopon is an unusual and very distinctive-looking hybrid mandarin. It is generally large in size, round in shape and with a distinctive neck. The peel is visually quite rough and has an attractive yellow-orange colouration. It is moderately thick, but is very easy to peel and is very loosely adhered to the segments. In a sense, it is almost puffy and is easily damaged, which means harvest and handling techniques need to be gentle. The peel can be removed in a single piece, during which the rind oil gives a distinct aroma. The segments are large and fleshy with slightly tough skins and, although juicy, can be eaten cleanly. The flavour of Dekopon is the main feature of the fruit, being delightfully aromatic, very sweet and low in acids.
Good Fruit Guide Rating: *****
For flavour, Dekopon is alongside the best of mandarin varieties.
Flavoursome, sweet, low-acid.
Names: Dekopon; Shiranui; Kinsei; Hallabong; Peelz™; Sumo Citrus®; Banzzai™
Origin: Dekopon is a Ponkan hybrid from a cross of Kiyomi x Ponkan (Nakano no.3) which was undertaken in Japan in 1972. Kiyomi is itself a hybrid of a satsuma (Miyagawa Wase, one of the more popular varieties in Japan) x sweet orange (Trovita, a type of Navel orange originating in California) and is therefore is a tangor. Dekopon has been produced commercially in USA since 2011. The variety is generally known as Shiranui in Japan, but was nicknamed Dekopon to avoid the confusion of a flurry of competing marketing names. The name is in reference to its distinctive neck.
The marketing names for Dekopon in USA include Sumo Citrus® and Peelz™. In Europe, the variety was launched in Edeka and M&S using the name Banzzai™ in 2020.
Grown in: Australia, Brazil, China, Korea, Spain, USA
Harvest & Availability: Supply of Dekopon to UK is generally as follows:
- January: Spain
- February: Spain
Shiranui – Citrus ID
Shiranui mandarin – UCR
Sumo Citrus – USA