A glass of orange juice in a meal, it’s perhaps very familiar with families throughout the world. We usually know oranges are a primary source of Vitamin C, as with other citrus fruits, its pulp provides 64% vitamin C of the daily value in a 100g serving. However, this fruit has more than that; it contains sufficient amounts of potassium, thiamin, niacin, folic acid, calcium and magnesium which are very useful for our health.
The orange is a hybrid between pomelo (Citrus maxima) and mandarin (Citrus reticulate) in the family Rutaceae, and there are two basic categories of orange: the sweet orange and the bitter orange.
Sweet orange usually is rendered for eating and juice producing. It is divided into four classes such as common orange, blood or pigmented orange, navel orange and acid-less orange.
Constitute about two-thirds of all the orange production. The majority of this crop is used mostly for juice extraction. There are many varieties of common orange, but the most popular one is Valencia.
Valencia orange is a late-season fruit, which harvest is from March to June. It’s named for Valencia, Spain because of being found there, but the original was from India. Valencia orange is one of the most popular type of orange, which grown in USA, Near East, Mediterranean, Australia, South America and Caribe. Among them, USA is on top on producing Valencia orange, and Florida, Texas, California are led in capacity. There is interesting information that Valencia orange was first hybridized in South California in the 1820s, and the crops in here were so successful that led this area in naming Valencia, California. The Valencia orange’s excellent taste, bright orange color, and its vitamin C content bring benefit and make it become the most popular juice in US and many countries.
Besides, there are many other common oranges which are grown in different countries, in different seasons like:
+ Hart’s Tardiff Valencia: in Ca, USA, harvest from March to July.
+ Hamlin: in Florida, USA, and harvest from October to January.
And numerous of orange are from Italy, Spain, Pakistan, Portugal, South Africa, China, Japan, and Viet Nam etc.
Blood or pigmented orange
Blood or pigmented orange is a natural mutation of the orange with crimson and unique flavor (raspberry –like), which may have originated in either China or Mediterranean where they have been grown since 18th century. The high amounts of anthocyanin – an antioxidant, which is helpful in reducing heart-attack risk, cancer risk and aid in healing – give blood orange a deep red hue. The source of fiber of this orange also helps us to lower cholesterol. Blood orange is mainly grown in Italy and also in US, Europe which harvest is in winter till April or May.
Navel orange is a single mutation orange type which was found near Bahia, Brazil in early 19th century. They are clones propagated through cutting and grafting and characterized by the growth of a second fruit at the apex, which protrudes slightly and assembles a human navel. This type has thicker skin (makes it easy to peel), bitterness and less juicy. It’s less suitable for juice but very popular in US because of its widespread distribution and long growing season from June to October.
Especially popular in North Africa and Near East, is an early-season fruit with very low level of acid. Because of the lacking of acid, this type is easy to be spoilage and only profitable in local consumption.
Bitter orange is usually rendered for marmalade, flavor and essence perfume producing; there exist Seville orange, Bergamot orange, Trifoliate orange and Mandarin orange.
Seville orange is famous with sour flavor, grown in Mediterranean is use as rootstock for the sweet orange tree and in making marmalade.
Bergamot orange is grown mainly in southern France and Italy. Its peel is use for producing essence perfume and flavor.
Trifoliate orange is mainly grown in Italy, often served as a rootstock for sweet orange tree and other citrus cultivars.
Mandarin orange is an original species of citrus, and is a progenitor of the common orange. Mandarin orange is grown mostly in China and some other countries as Brazil, Japan, Spain, and Italy, US etc.
The oranges, even sweet or sour, are mostly popular around the word. With its high nutrition content, we could eat them fresh, or squeeze to juice, or produce marmalade, essence, perfume, flavor and also use in medical producing.