ECER durians hot favourite in Singapore

Durians from the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) are a hot favourite in Singapore, especially
during its peak season between June and September. In a statement, ECER Secretariat said, about
90 percent of durians sold in Singapore are imported from Malaysia. From the ECER, durians are
mainly from Pahang, while some are from Kelantan. The districts in Pahang famous for their succulent
and sweet durians are Kuala Lipis, Raub (Benta), Jerantut, Beserah and Bentong.
In Kelantan, durian orchards are mostly located in Jeli, Kuala Krai, Gua Musang and Bachok.
According to the Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority (FAMA), last year Pahang recorded 14,065
metric tonnes in durian production and Kelantan 3,612 metric tonnes. Singapore imported 17,360
tonnes of fresh durian from Malaysia. Durians of a superior breed with desirable yield and taste
characteristics from farmers’ collections are selected by Malaysian Agricultural Research and
Development Institute (MARDI) and registered with a D-prefix, it said.
Since 1934, more than 190 varieties of durians have been registered. These include D24, D2, D18,
D101 and D13. Other durians in demand are such as Mao Shan Wang, XO, Red Prawn, Tanjung
Sepat and Kunyit. Pahang is famous for its D145 durians originating from Beserah, Kuantan, and
Kelantan for D169 or Tok Litok. The Department of Agriculture said durian yields have been very good
this year in Pahang, due to good weather during the durian flowering season in March and April.
Based on the production rate so far, they are confident that it will be much better than last year.
Singaporean Wonderful Fruit Enterprise durian stall manager, Tan Ching Tean said their stock of
durians has increased from the usual 40 to 50 basket a day, with 30 durians in each basket. “Durians
here are usually priced by weight, although cheaper durians that range from 700 g to more than two
kg are sold as a whole fruit,” he said. The Director-General of FAMA, Datuk Mohamed Shariff Abdul
Aziz, recently announced that they will soon be exporting durians in fresh frozen form to Singapore,
Hong Kong and Australia.
“The technology will facilitate the expansion of durian export markets as it helps retain flavour and
colour up to two to three years, lengthening the shelf life of durians,” said Datuk Mohamed Shariff.
This will also overcome the glut in production that could cause prices of the fruit to dip. To help market
the fruits, FAMA has set up 137 buying centres in 12 major cities in Malaysia.
Durian can be stored and preserved frozen as a whole fruit, frozen fruitlets or as pulp. For frozen
durian fruitlets, thick fleshed, dry and firm textured fruitlets are required. Fruitlets with a strong aroma,
sweet taste with slight bitterness is preferred. Products processed from durian pulp include tempoyak,
lempuk, and flavouring products like wajik, dodol and yoghurt. It can also be processed into
confectionary products such as durian cakes, durian ice-cream, durian puffs, confectionary jelly,
durian chocolate fudge, and toffee.