PETALING JAYA - Mandarin oranges are seen as essentials for a prosperous Chinese New Year celebration and to ensure value-for-money purchases, it is important for consumers to know how to choose the best mandarin oranges.
Ipoh's Delicious Fresh Fruits Supplier owner Lyric Chan, 36, said the taste of mandarin oranges is affected by how ripe they are.
"If the mandarin oranges are imported too early, they will taste sour and will not be as juicy because they are not ripe enough.
"To get sweet and tasty oranges, you should buy those that have a nice colour - a bright orange tone - and are blemish-free," she said.
"You should also consider buying mandarin oranges closer to the new year as they are imported slightly later and will ripen beautifully, making them great for consumption during Chinese New Year," Chan added.
She also said a slight price rise was inevitable due to the pollution situation in China and an increased cost in packaging.
Another major fruit importer, who declined to be named, said they only import Lokam (a type of mandarin orange) from China due to a higher demand.
"The Lokam usually comes in four different sizes of S, M, L and XL. We own the farm in China and ensure that all our mandarin oranges are carefully selected before being packed for shipment," said a company spokesman.
Housewife Chew Guat Bong, 60, who has been buying Chinese New Year goods for the past three decades, commented: "When buying boxes of mandarin oranges from the supermarket, I will look and touch the exterior of the box to see whether it is wet.
"A wet box indicates that there are rotten mandarin oranges in the box," she said.