The orange is believed to be a native of tropical areas in Asia, from which it spread to India, the east coast of Africa and the eastern Mediterranean. The development of Arab trade routes and the spread of Islam moved the orange around the globe. While the orange is a tropical fruit, the trees grow best where there is a light frost in the winter. The original name for the orange comes from the Sanskrit word naranga, which comes from the Tamil word naru meaning fragrant.
Types Of Oranges
Orange trees are the most commonly cultivated fruit tree in the world, and there are several varieties or cultivars of the orange, whose Latin name isCitrus sinensis. Different cultivars are grown based on how well they thrive at different times of the year and in different soil conditions. In the U.S., California primarily produces the Washington Navel and the Valencia cultivars and Florida produces the Hamlin, Pineapple and Valencia.
The popular cultivars listed above are sweet oranges valued for their juice. Around the world, bitter fruits are consumed to stimulate digestion. There are several sour orange varieties, includingCitrus Aurantiumgrown in Vietnam, which is used in liquors including Triple Sec, Grand Marnier and Curacao. The Daidai, variety ofC. Aurantium, is used therapeutically in Chinese and Japanese medicine and exchanged at the Japanese New Year to bring longevity. The sour Seville orange is used in marmalades due to its high pectin content, and the chinotto orange is a flavoring in liqueurs including Campari. Orange oil is taken from the peels of several varieties, including the sweet Valencia orange, Citrus aurantium, and the sour Bergamot variety of orange, whose oil is a well known flavor in Earl Grey tea.
The orange is a famously bright orange, vitamin C-rich fruit, and indeed each cup of orange slices provides almost 100mg of vitamin C. Its lesser known nutrients include potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, folate and vitamin a. The orange contains a range of fatty acids as well, mainly unsaturated fatty acids, including linoleic, palmitic, linolenic and vacceniic. The main alkaloid in bitter oranges is para-synephrine.
Pectin is a water-soluble fiber that is found in fruits and vegetables. It is rich in the orange, some coming from the pulp of the orange, but more present in the peel. In the plant itself, pectin help bind the plant cells together, which supports the fruits shape. Over time, enzymes from the plant will digest pectin, as you notice in a ripening fruit that is losing its rigidity. The range of pectin present in oranges ranges from 0.25 to 0.76 percent, a wide range dependent on the variety of orange and the ripeness of the fruit. Pectin, as a fiber source, lowers cholesterol and helps manage blood sugar.
Did You Know?
The fruit of the orange becomes ripe while the outside of the orange is still green. The practice of degreening the orange uses ethylene, the aging hormone of plants, to ripen oranges post-harvest, creating the bright orange color. Degreening needs to take place under carefully managed conditions, or it can lead to rotting and other problems for the fruit.
You can purchase orange oil online from several companies at amazon.com.