Types of orange fruit


Types of fruits

The concept of “fruit” is based on such an odd mixture of practical and theoretical considerations that it accommodates cases in which one flower gives rise to several fruits (larkspur) as well as cases in which several flowers cooperate in producing one fruit (mulberry). Pea and bean plants, exemplifying the simplest situation, show in each flower a single pistil (female structure), traditionally thought of as a megasporophyll or carpel. The carpel is believed to be the evolutionary product of an originally leaflike organ bearing ovules along its margin. This organ was somehow folded along the median line, with a meeting and coalescing of the margins of each half, the result being a miniature closed but hollow pod with one row of ovules along the suture. In many members of the rose and buttercup families, each flower contains a number of similar single-carpelled pistils, separate and distinct, which together represent what is known as an apocarpous gynoecium. In other cases, two to several carpels (still thought of as megasporophylls, although perhaps not always justifiably) are assumed to have fused to produce a single compound gynoecium (pistil), whose basal part, or ovary, may be uniloculate (with one cavity) or pluriloculate (with several compartments), depending on the method of carpel fusion.

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Most fruits develop from a single pistil. A fruit resulting from the apocarpous gynoecium (several pistils) of a single flower may be referred to as an aggregate fruit. A multiple fruit represents the gynoecia of several flowers. When additional flower parts, such as the stem axis or floral tube, are retained or participate in fruit formation, as in the apple or strawberry, an accessory fruit results.

Certain plants, mostly cultivated varieties, spontaneously produce fruits in the absence of pollination and fertilization; such natural parthenocarpy leads to seedless fruits such as bananas, oranges, grapes, and cucumbers. Since 1934, seedless fruits of tomato, cucumber, peppers, holly, and others have been obtained for commercial use by administering plant growth substances, such as indoleacetic acid, indolebutyric acid, naphthalene acetic acid, and β-naphthoxyacetic acid, to the ovaries in flowers (induced parthenocarpy).

seedless watermelonA seedless watermelon.Scott Ehardt

Classification systems for mature fruits take into account the number of carpels constituting the original ovary, dehiscence (opening) versus indehiscence, and dryness versus fleshiness. The properties of the ripened ovary wall, or pericarp, which may develop entirely or in part into fleshy, fibrous, or stony tissue, are important. Often three distinct pericarp layers can be identified: the outer (exocarp), the middle (mesocarp), and the inner (endocarp). All purely morphological systems (i.e., classification schemes based on structural features) are artificial. They ignore the fact that fruits can be understood only functionally and dynamically.

Classification of fruits

major types one carpel two or more carpels
dry dehiscent follicle—at maturity, the carpel splits down one side, usually the ventral suture; milkweed, columbine, peony, larkspur, marsh marigold capsule—from compound ovary, seeds shed in various ways—e.g., through holes (Papaver—poppies) or longitudinal slits (California poppy) or by means of a lid (pimpernel); flower axis participates in Iris; snapdragons, violets, lilies, and many plant families
legume—dehisces along both dorsal and ventral sutures, forming two valves; most members of the pea family silique—from bicarpellate, compound, superior ovary; pericarp separates as two halves, leaving persistent central septum with seed or seeds attached; dollar plant, mustard, cabbage, rock cress, wall flower
silicle—a short silique; shepherd’s purse, pepper grass
dry indehiscent peanut fruit—(nontypical legume) nut—like the achene (see below); derived from 2 or more carpels, pericarp hard or stony; hazelnut, acorn, chestnut, basswood
lomentum—a legume fragmentizing transversely into single-seeded “mericarps”; sensitive plant (Mimosa) schizocarp—collectively, the product of a compound ovary fragmentizing at maturity into a number of one-seeded “mericarps”; maple, mallows, members of the mint family (Lamiaceae or Labiatae), geraniums, carrots, dills, fennels
achene—small single-seeded fruit, pericarp relatively thin; seed free in cavity except for its funicular attachment; buttercup, anemones, buckwheat, crowfoot, water plantain
cypsela—achenelike, but from inferior compound ovary; members of the aster family (Asteraceae or Compositae), sunflowers
samara—a winged achene; elm, ash, tree-of-heaven, wafer ash
caryopsis—achenelike; from compound ovary; seed coat fused with pericarp; grass family (Poaceae or Graminae)
fleshy (pericarp partly or wholly fleshy or fibrous) drupe—mesocarp fleshy, endocarp hard and stony; usually single-seeded; plum, peach, almond, cherry, olive, coconut
berry—both mesocarp and endocarp fleshy; one-seeded: nutmeg, date; one carpel, several seeds: baneberry, may apple, barberry, Oregon grape; more carpels, several seeds: grape, tomato, potato, asparagus
pepo—berry with hard rind; squash, cucumber, pumpkin, watermelon
hesperidium—berry with leathery rind; orange, grapefruit, lemon
major types two or more carpels of the same flower plus stem axis or floral tube carpels from several flowers plus stem axis or floral tube plus accessory parts
fleshy (pericarp partly or wholly fleshy or fibrous) pome—accessory fruit from compound inferior ovary; only central part of fruit represents pericarp, with fleshy exocarp and mesocarp and cartilaginous or stony endocarp (“core”); apple, pear, quince, hawthorn, mountain ash multiple fruits—fig (a “syconium”), mulberry, osage orange, pineapple, flowering dogwood
inferior berry—blueberry
aggregate fleshy fruits—strawberry (achenes borne on fleshy receptacle); blackberry, raspberry (collection of drupelets); magnolia

There are two broad categories of fruits: fleshy fruits, in which the pericarp and accessory parts develop into succulent tissues, as in eggplants, oranges, and strawberries; and dry fruits, in which the entire pericarp becomes dry at maturity. Fleshy fruits include (1) the berries, such as tomatoes, blueberries, and cherries, in which the entire pericarp and the accessory parts are succulent tissue, (2) aggregate fruits, such as blackberries and strawberries, which form from a single flower with many pistils, each of which develops into fruitlets, and (3) multiple fruits, such as pineapples and mulberries, which develop from the mature ovaries of an entire inflorescence. Dry fruits include the legumes, cereal grains, capsulate fruits, and nuts.

As strikingly exemplified by the word nut, popular terms often do not properly describe the botanical nature of certain fruits. A Brazil nut, for example, is a thick-walled seed enclosed in a likewise thick-walled capsule along with several sister seeds. A coconut is a drupe (a stony-seeded fruit) with a fibrous outer part. A walnut is a drupe in which the pericarp has differentiated into a fleshy outer husk and an inner hard “shell”; the “meat” represents the seed—two large convoluted cotyledons, a minute epicotyl and hypocotyl, and a thin papery seed coat. A peanut is an indehiscent legume fruit. An almond is a drupe “stone”; i.e., the hardened endocarp usually contains a single seed. Botanically speaking, blackberries and raspberries are not true berries but aggregates of tiny drupes. A juniper “berry” is not a fruit at all but the cone of a gymnosperm. A mulberry is a multiple fruit made up of small nutlets surrounded by fleshy sepals. And strawberry represents a much-swollen receptacle (the tip of the flower stalk bearing the flower parts) bearing on its convex surface an aggregation of tiny brown achenes (small single-seeded fruits).

Brazil nut Hard, indehiscent fruits of the Brazil nut tree (Bertholletia excelsa). The fruit on the left has been opened to reveal the large edible seeds in their shells. The tree is found in the Amazonian forests of Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador.Fernanda Preto/Alamy


When I travel, I love to find new and uncommon foods from around the world. I always visit local markets and grocery stores to hunt unusual produce and regional ingredients. When I get home, I enjoy looking for those unique foods here in California.

A few months back, I decided to plan a Bay Area meetup to share some of these interesting global foodie finds. I scoured local ethnic food stores and specialty grocers to buy a selection of rare and unusual fruits–the weirdest stuff I could find here in California. Bay Area grocer, Molly Stone’s Market and their produce supplier, Melissa’s Produce offered to contribute a selection of uncommon fruits to last weekend’s event (called “#FruitCrawl”, inspired by our #SweetsCrawl tours)–photos to follow!

But before that, here are the things that we tried — 15 rare and exotic fruits from around the world.

Have you tried any of these unusual fruits?

1. Durian

Durian is a large, spiky fruit native to Southeast Asia. It’s famous for its pungent aroma and savory smell that is sometimes described as fried onions While foreigners often have a tough time stomaching the smell, it’s much loved in many parts of Asia.

At our tasting, we cracked into it last, so that it wouldn’t interfere with our other flavors. Everyone tried it but only a few people liked it. The best description I heard for the strong flavor was “garlic pudding.” One #FruitCrawl attendee took some home and said she planned to make a durian cheesecake!

Where to find it: Asian grocers, typically sold whole and frozen. In the Bay Area, I found durian at Lion Market in San Jose.

2. Jackfruit

Jackfruit is native to Southeast Asia. It’s the largest tree-borne fruit in the world and can sometimes grow up to 80 lb in weight. The starchy fruit has a subtle sweetness and apple/banana flavor. When cooked, it takes on the flavor of other ingredients and shreds like pulled pork so it is becoming popular in the U.S. as a vegan meat substitute. A few people at our meetup said they had seen jackfruit tacos on menus.

Where to find it: Asian grocers, typically sold fresh, whole or by the slice. It’s becoming more common so some mainstream grocery stores stock it. I saw sliced fresh jackfruit on sale last week at a Lucky grocery store in Sunnyvale, CA.

3. Dragon Fruit (White Pitaya)

Colorful red and green cactus fruit with white flesh spotted with tiny black seeds, similar in texture to a kiwifruit. While the appearance is dramatic, the flavor was surprisingly subtle. Dragon fruit is native to Mexico but is now grown across Latin America and in Asia.

Where to find it: Well-stocked grocery stores and Asian markets. Here in the Bay Area, Mollie Stones Market sells it.

4. Cherimoya

Cherimoya was one of the most popular new discoveries at our FruitCrawl. The fruit, native to South America is filled with a soft, custard-like white flesh that gives it the nickname “custard apple.” I think it tastes like a combination of banana, pineapple, and bubblegum.

Where to find it: Latin American markets and well-stocked grocery stores. Here in the Bay Area, Mollie Stones Market sells it.

5. Kiwano (Horned Melon)

Kiwano is a beautiful and otherworldly-looking fruit that is native to Sub-Saharan Africa. The fruit has bright orange spiky skin filled with yellow and green seeds. The vibrant flesh tastes like lemony cucumber.

Where to find it: Well-stocked grocery stores and specialty food stores. Here in the Bay Area, Mollie Stones Market sells it.

6. Korean Melon

A small yellow melon with deep white stripes and white interior flesh with small, edible white seeds. The fruit tastes like a cross between honeydew and cucumber with the crisp texture of a cucumber.

Where to find it: Korean grocery stores.

7. Passion Fruit

Small, golf-ball sized red or yellow fruit with hard skin and tart, jucy seeds that you can scoop out with a spoon. Passion fruit is native to South America, but it’s now grown around the world.

Where to find it: Well-stocked grocery stores and specialty food stores. Here in the Bay Area, Mollie Stones Market sells it.

8. Feijoa (Pineapple Guava)

This fruit was another one of the most popular new discoveries at #FruitCrawl. Feijoa is a small elliptical fruit with tart, slightly gritty flesh that you can scoop out with a spoon. It’s native to Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

Where to find it: Forage it, it’s a common garden tree in California. I suspect some homeowners with pineapple guava trees don’t know the fruit is edible! Also, look in well-stocked grocery stores and specialty food stores. Here in the Bay Area, Mollie Stones Market and the Berkeley Bowl stock it.

9. Tamarillo (Tree Tomato)

An egg-shaped fruit with a tart, astringent, and pulpy flesh that you can scoop out with a spoon. The tamarillo is native to South America. I discovered it in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador where it was where it blended with water and sugar and made into a juice.

Where to find it: Well-stocked grocery stores and specialty food stores. Here in the Bay Area, Mollie Stones Market sells it.

10. Loquat

Loquats are a small, pear-shaped orange fruit with large seeds. It tastes like a combination of peach and mango.

Where to find it: Forage it! They are a common ornamental tree in California and you’ll find them ripe in the spring.

11. Sour Plum

Sour plums are the same variety of summer-ripening plums that we know and love, picked in the spring when they are still sour and green. They are a common season snack food in the Middle East, where they are enjoyed dipped in salt.

Where to find it: Middle Eastern grocery stores.

12. Longan

Longan is a small round fruit with a translucent white flesh and a shiny black seed. Longan means “dragon’s eye” in Chinese, and is named because it looks like an eyeball when shelled. Longan is native to South Asia and is similar in appearance and texture to lychee.

Where to find it: Asian grocery stores.

13. Physalis (Golden Berries)

A small orange berry that is sour and sweet. It’s related to tomatoes and tomatillos and you can sometimes see it sold encased in a papery husk similar to a tomatillo. The fruit is native to the Americas but it is most common today in South America. In Peru, the fruit (called aguaymanto) is added to pisco sours and it makes a delicious cocktail.

Where to find it: Well-stocked grocery stores and specialty food stores. Here in the Bay Area, I’ve seen it several times at the Berkeley Bowl and, once, at Whole Foods Palo Alto.

14. Mulberries

An elongated red berry that grows on a small bushy, tree. It’s native to China and was historically grown as fruit for silkworm larvae

Where to find it: Forage it! One of my neighbors has a tree in her front yard and offered some of them to me, just in time for #FruitCrawl!

15. Jujube

A small oval and sweet red fruit that wrinkles and looks like a date when it’s mature. Native to China, but now grown around the world.

Where to find it: Asian markets. I found this bag of dried jujubes at a local Korean grocery store.

Photos from #FruitCrawl, Oakland:

Our very first #FruitCrawl tasting was a lot of fun. About 15 adventurous eaters met on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Lake Merritt Park in Oakland, California. Everyone tried something new and even took home whole fruit as leftovers.

Want to learn about future culinary tours and food meetups? Join our mailing list and be the first to know!

Thanks to Molly Stone’s Market and Melissa’s Produce for donating a selection of their #FreakyFruits to this event. We had a blast!

Photo credit: #7+8: Melissa’s Produce; #11: Wikimedia.


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7 Little Words Tangerines Answers – Level 1
1. online poster – BLOGGER
2. emotionally scar – TRAUMATIZE
3. they make up a hand – CARDS
4. in a severe way – HARSHLY
5. slips back – RELAPSES
6. TV medical examiner of yore – QUINCY
7. sending to a new address – FORWARDING

7 Little Words Tangerines Answers – Level 2
1. hitting with a sledgehammer – SMASHING
2. repeated parts of songs – REFRAINS
3. blew one’s big chance – CHOKED
4. whomever – ANYONE
5. guys’ companions – GALS
6. fan – ADMIRER
7. deposit on a riverbank – SILT

7 Little Words Tangerines Answers – Level 3
1. in a complacently stupid way – FATUOUSLY
2. drill-master – DENTIST
3. lasting 60 minutes – HOURLONG
4. trophy recipients – WINNERS
5. medium altitude cloud type – ALTOCUMULUS
6. Istanbul soccer club – GALATASARAY
7. separately – DISCRETELY

7 Little Words Tangerines Answers – Level 4
1. Swiss shoe company – BALLY
2. sharpening – HONING
3. yanks – TUGS
4. French polish – FINESSE
5. spoiling – MARRING
6. supply – LITHELY
7. small Turkish coastal resort – OLUDENIZ

7 Little Words Tangerines Answers – Level 5
1. long, formal speech – PERORATION
2. hurt the pride of – HUMILIATED
3. end of term – LABOR
4. leapt over – VAULTED
5. Japanese car manufacturer – DAIHATSU
6. part of speech – CONJUNCTION
7. jumping gene – TRANSPOSON

7 Little Words Tangerines Answers – Level 6
1. insincere emotional outburst – HISTRIONICS
2. accompanied by – WITH
3. boat propeller – OARSMAN
4. habit of reoffending – RECIDIVISM
5. Nice chap, perhaps – FRENCHMAN
6. seaside city near Sydney – WOLLONGONG
7. principal protein of corn – ZEIN

7 Little Words Tangerines Answers – Level 7
1. famous people – CELEBRITIES
2. helping with delivery – MIDWIFING
3. short measure – INCH
4. Pele’s surname – NASCIMENTO
5. avaricious – COVETOUS
6. northerly Leeward Island – ANGUILLA
7. severe head pain – MIGRAINE

7 Little Words Tangerines Answers – Level 8
1. lack of propriety – INDECORUM
2. section for mothers – CAESARIAN
3. steps over a wall – STILE
4. small mountain lake – TARN
5. jumbo pilot – MAHOUT
6. lacking a story – PLOTLESS
7. intermittent – FITFUL

7 Little Words Tangerines Answers – Level 9
1. took possession of as heir – INHERITED
2. it’s a nuisance for a host – PARASITE
3. sent off – DESPATCHED
4. poor fellow – BEGGAR
5. assemblies – CONVENTIONS
6. modernist writer Virginia – WOOLF
7. take cover – INSURE

7 Little Words Tangerines Answers – Level 10
1. rousing sound – REVEILLE
2. befitting a sovereign’s son – PRINCELY
3. very spiteful – VENOMOUS
4. litter container – PIGSTY
5. evening party – SOIREE
6. bossy” mood” – IMPERATIVE
7. brand of expectorant – ROBITUSSIN

We love Words games, so we spend a lot of time playing them and trying to find all possible answers. Are you looking for 7 Little Words Tangerines answers set? All answers to 50 levels are gathered here, so simply choose one you need and then continue to play 7 Little Words game fairly. The team that named Blue Ox Family Games, Inc., which has developed a lot of great other games and add this game to the Google Play and Apple stores.

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Oranges contribute significantly to the bulk of world’s citrus fruit production accounting for more than 50% of the global citrus production. Output and consumption of oranges have grown sharply over the past three decades at a compounded rate of 3.5%. Production and exportation of processed orange products have also increased by 4.4% over the same period because of the improvement in transportation and the low packaging cost. Of all the oranges produced worldwide, 20% of the total is sold as a whole fruit while the remainder is used in making extracts and juice. Oranges are also used as preservatives and spices in some of the coastal communities. Oranges are valued for vitamin C content. It is also a source of other nutrients including folacin, calcium, and potassium.

Orange Cultivation

Orange is one of the top citrus fruit grown in most of the countries after banana and apple. The most common species of citrus are the mandarins, sweet orange, and lime. There are many orange cultivars or varieties developed for each region. The varieties are mainly pest resistant and high yielding. Some of the most common types include santra, Valencia, Blood Red, and Seedles-182. Oranges grow well in both tropical and sub-tropical climate. For maximum yield and best crop growth, dry conditions characterized by low rainfalls ranging between 75 and 250 cm are most favorable conditions. High humidity and frost conditions are a perfect environment for the spread of diseases in orange crops while hot winds cause the plant to lose its flowers and young fruits. Orange crop grows well in a wide range of soil including the alluvial, sandy loam, and red sand soil. However, soil properties like fertility, drainage, and PH concentration are important factors to be considered. Orange crops can either be irrigated in an orchard or rain fed in case of reliable rains.

Orange Production

Orange production and consumption have grown over the years. The current annual orange production is estimated at 50 million tons. The increase in orange production is mainly because of the larger cultivation area, efficient transport, and low packaging cost. However, the high production levels have significantly affected the rate of new planting with the demand for oranges rising more than its output, especially in the developed countries like the United States. Oranges are produced worldwide with 70% of the world orange production taking place in the Northern Hemisphere.

Top Orange Producing Countries


Brazil is the leading orange producer in the world producing about 30% of the world’s output. 94% of the country’s orange production is concentrated in the state of Sao Paulo. Brazil is also the leading exporter of orange fruits and orange juice.

The US

The US is the second-largest orange producer in the world accounting for about 10% of the world’s production. The state of Florida is the orange-growing state accounting for 70% of the country’s production. Over 90% of the oranges produced in the US go to Juice making.


The improved orange cultivars and expansion of orange farms in China have seen the country rise to the third largest orange producer in the world. China produced about 14.4 million tons of orange accounting for 8% of the world production in 2013. These top three countries are expected to continue to expand their production but at a slower rate.

Varieties Of Orange Fruit: Learn About Different Types Of Oranges

Can’t start the day without a glass of orange juice? You certainly aren’t alone. Oranges in their many forms — juice, pulp and rind — are sought after fruits throughout the world. Generally speaking, orange juice as we know it in North America comes from navel oranges. However, there are many types of oranges. Just how many orange varieties are there? Let’s find out.

How Many Orange Varieties are There?

The sweet orange (Citrus aurantium var. sinensis) is not to be found in the wild. It is a hybrid, although of which two types there is much conjecture. Most sources seem to settle on the marriage between the pomelo (Citrus maxima) and the mandarin (Citrus reticulata).

Confusion surrounds the origin of cultivation as well, but it is assumed to have first been grown in China, northeastern India and possible southeastern Asia. Italian traders carried the fruit to the Mediterranean around 1450 or Portuguese traders around 1500. Up to that point, oranges were primarily used for medicinal purposes, but wealthy aristocrats soon seized upon the fragrant, succulent fruit for themselves.

Types of Oranges

There are two basic categories of orange: the sweet orange (C. sinensis) and the bitter orange (C. aurantium).

Sweet orange varieties

Sweet orange is divided into four classes, each with distinct characteristics:

  • Common orange – There are many varieties of common orange and it is widely grown. The most common varieties of common oranges are the Valencia, Hart’s Tardiff Valencia, and the Hamlin, but there are dozens of other types.
  • Blood or pigmented orange – The blood orange consists of two types: the light blood orange and the deep blood orange. Blood oranges are a natural mutation of C. sinensis. High amounts of anthocyanin give the entire fruit its deep red hue. In the blood orange category, varieties of orange fruit include: Maltese, Moro, Sanguinelli, Scarlet Navel and Tarocco.
  • Navel orange – The navel orange is of great commercial import and we know it well as the most common orange sold at the grocers. Of the navels, the most common types are the Cara cara, Bahia, Dream navel, Late Navel and Washington or California Navel.
  • Acid-less orange – Acid-less oranges have very little acid, hence little flavor. Acid-less oranges are early season fruit and are also called “sweet” oranges. They contain very little acid, which protects against spoilage, thus rendering them unfit for juicing. They are not generally cultivated in large quantities.

Also included among the sweet common orange varieties is an original citrus species, the mandarin. Amongst its many cultivars are:

  • Satsuma
  • Tangerine
  • Clementine

Bitter orange varieties

Of the bitter oranges, there exists:

  • Seville orange, C. aurantium, which is used as rootstock for the sweet orange tree and in the making of marmalade.
  • Bergamot orange (C. bergamia Risso) is grown primarily in Italy for its peel, which in turn is used in perfumes and also to flavor Earl Grey tea.
  • Trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata) is also sometimes included here and is also used as rootstock for sweet orange trees. Trifoliate oranges bear downy fruit and are also used to make marmalade. They are native to northern China and Korea.

Some oriental fruits are included in the category of bitter orange as well. These include:

  • Naruto and Sanbo of Japan
  • Kitchli of India
  • Nanshodaidai of Taiwan

Wow! As you can see there are a dizzying variety of oranges out there. Certainly there must be a type of orange suited just to you and your morning orange juice fix!

Navels vs. Valencias

Navel oranges (the “winter” orange) and Valencia oranges (the “summer” orange) are similar in flavor and appearance, but what distinguishes one from the other? Oranges are one of the most commonly grown fruits in the world, and both Valencias and navels are categorized as sweet oranges of the genus Citrus x sinensis. From the outside, the characteristic that can help you tell them apart most easily is the feature that gives navel oranges their name: the navel! (Valencias don’t have one.)

The Navel Orange

The navel orange actually grows a second “twin” fruit opposite its stem. The second fruit remains underdeveloped, but from the outside, it resembles a human navel—hence the name. Navels are part of the winter citrus family. They’re seedless, peel easily, and are thought to be one of the world’s best-tasting oranges.

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The Valencia Orange

The Valencia orange (typically available starting in March and continuing through September or so) is named for the city of Valencia in Spain, although its actual origins are unknown. Valued for their high juice content and availability outside of the typical citrus season, Valencia oranges are usually thin-skinned and have a few seeds. They are considered one of the best oranges for juicing.

A medium orange of any variety has only about 60 calories and provides 116% of the daily value of vitamin C; 13% of dietary fiber; 10% folate; 8% thiamin; 7% potassium; 6% vitamin A; and 5% calcium. This makes them a great snack for any time of day.

It’s Easy Being Green!

Don’t be deterred if you see a tinge of green on Valencia oranges—it doesn’t mean that the fruit is unripe. Because Valencia oranges grow in the warmer seasons, they’re exposed to more sunlight, which can trigger the production of chlorophyll in the peel to help protect the fruit from sunburn. The process is called “regreening.”

Green-tinged oranges are ripe and still taste sweet! In fact, Emily Ayala of Friend’s Ranch in Ojai, CA, growers of the fabulous Pixie tangerine and other citrus, told The FruitGuys that “some of our data shows green citrus has more sugar than the deep-orange fruit.”

Sweet and Neat

The aroma, juiciness, and sweetness of an orange can be the perfect afternoon pick-me-up at the office. But there are some of us who don’t eat oranges at our desk because we’re afraid of spraying juice everywhere. Fear not! There are solutions.

1. The Score:

Using a sharp or serrated knife, trim off the top and bottom of your orange peel, then score the orange peel vertically from top to bottom in several places, being careful not to cut into the fruit. Remove each strip of peel, then gently split your orange into sections to enjoy.

2. The Wedge:

Using a sharp or serrated knife, trim off the top and bottom of your orange peel, then slice the orange in half from top to bottom. Place halved oranges on the cutting board, slice each half into three or four wedges, then eat the orange out of the peel.

3. The Roll:

If you don’t have access to a knife, you can loosen the skin of the orange by rolling it firmly on your desk for 20–30 seconds. To start peeling, gently puncture the skin with your thumbnail near the top or bottom of the orange.

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Gretchen Bay is creative services manager for The FruitGuys. Her favorite orange-prep method is The Wedge, which she often ends with an orange-peel smile.



The tree of the sweet orange often reaches 6 metres (20 feet) in height. The broad, glossy, evergreen leaves are medium-sized and ovate; the petioles (leafstalks) have narrow wings. Its white five-petaled flowers are very fragrant. The fruit is a modified berry known as a hesperidium, and the flesh is divided into segments called carpels. The usual shape of the sweet-orange fruit is round and the colour of its pulp orange, but there are variations. The mandarin, for example, is distinctly flattened, and the blood orange has red pulp. The pulp of the sweet orange is agreeably acidulous and sweet; the leathery peel is comparatively smooth; and the oil glands are convex. Oranges are picked when fully ripe, for, unlike some deciduous fruits, they do not ripen or improve in quality after being picked. The trees bear abundantly from 50 to 80 years or even more, and some old orange trees whose age must be reckoned by centuries still produce crops.

mandarin orangeThe blossom and fruit of the orange (Citrus).Ellen Levy Finch

Oranges thrive best where the trees are chilled somewhat by occasional light frosts in winter. The trees are semidormant at that season, and temperatures just below freezing will not harm trees or fruit unless frost occurs early, before the trees have finished their annual growth. In the coldest cultivation areas, the orchards may be heated with smudge pots or smokeless natural-gas burners.

The trees tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, from extremely sandy soils to rather heavy clay loams; they grow especially well in intermediate types of soil. Orange orchards are generally planted in relatively deep soil where drainage is good. The orange trees are usually budded on stocks grown from the seed of selected trees. The seeds are sown in well-prepared soil in a lath house; after about 12 months’ growth there, the seedlings are removed to a nursery. After about 12–16 months in the nursery, the trees are usually large enough to bud. When the budded tops are one to two years old, the trees are large enough to plant in the orchard.

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The culture of intercrops such as beans, tomatoes, or melons among immature orange trees is common in some places. The growth of cover crops makes use of seasonal rainfall for production of organic matter to be incorporated into the soil. In many areas where oranges are grown, it is necessary to supplement the rainfall with irrigation; this is generally the practice in Texas, California, Israel, Spain, Morocco, and parts of South Africa.

The origin of oranges is uncertain, although certain authors locate it in China and Japan. In Spain, the orange tree was spread by the Arabians.
The two main producing countries are Brazil and the United States, intending their production almost exclusively for the industry of juice.
Spain is the first country of citruses in fresh export.
Referring to the origin of the bitter orange tree, there are different opinions among the experts. Some authors state that the bitter orange tree travelled from Libya to Europe, others think that the Arabians brought it from India in the Xth century and they acclimated it to all the countries, other some authors claim that in 1150 they garnished the Sicilian gardens. According to another author, the bitter orange tree comes from the East Indies. The first description known of this tree is from Alberto Magno.
Concerning the origin of the sweet orange tree, it is also very confusing. Some say that it was taken from Arabia to Greece, from Greece to Italy, to Spain, France, Portugal, etc. Others are sure that the sweet orange tree is native of southern China, Burma and the Indian regions, to the south of the Himalayas.
The Arabians introduced the bitter fruit all over Spain, spreading them in gardens, parks and streets, using their flowers in many religious celebrations.
According to the Fresh Produce Desk Book of 2001, estimations on the world orange production reach 61,879,000 tons; the European production is around 5,796,000 tons, which means that over 9% of the world production takes place in the European Union. From this amount, 2,403,000 tons are produced in Spain, accounting for 41% of the European manufacture.
The United States had been the leader of the world production until now, but Brazil has taken over and is nowadays the leader. The production of these two countries account for 42% of the world production. Most of the orange harvest in these countries, 52% in Brazil and 66% in the United States, is intended mainly for frozen concentrated juice. Countries like Spain, Morocco, Israel, Cuba and South Africa intend great part of their harvests for exporting, in a way to take profit from their enormous production.
The production of the Mediterranean countries is intended to a large extent for supplying Northern Hemisphere fresh trade, especially Western Europe.
The production of the United States goes to Canada and the Far East, to Japan and Hong-Kong.
The main exporter in the Southern Hemisphere is South Africa.
The world production of oranges is shown in this table:

Country Production(thousand tons) %
1998 1999
Africa 4,846 4,740 8
Asia 11,624 12,241 20
Europe 5456 5796 9
North America 17,194 13,246 21
Oceania 455 483 1
South America 23,563 25,373 41
TOTAL 63,138 61,879 100

Source: Fresh Produce Desk Book (2001).
The 10 main producing countries along with their production evolution in the last years are shown in the following table:
Source: FAO Production Yearbook (1998).
As we can appreciate, Brazil’s harvest exceeds a third of the world production, and along with the United States, it represents more than half of the global production. In both cases, almost the whole production is destined to industrialization.
In the Mediterranean, the cultivated varieties are mainly for consumption in fresh.
In Spain, the main producing area is Valencia. The following table details the 8 provinces with greater orange tree cultivated surface in 1989, in hectares:
Source: Anuario de Estadística Agraria 1989. Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación. Secretaría General Técnica.
The orange production in China has been traditionally low since they have always preferred the mandarin. Nevertheless, and due to a change of policy during the 60s, the orange tree production underwent a remarkable increase reaching 2,8 million tons in 1998. The production is destined to national consumption.
As far as the exports is concerned, the 10 main orange exporters are:

Country Exports
tons 1998 thousand $ 1998
Spain 2,455,558 1,396,137
TheUnitedStates 663,623 388,634
Morocco 515,886 249,561
South Africa 496,000 172,373
Greece 330,208 107,300
Egypt 217,716 60,822
The Netherlands 208,891 125,504
Turkey 182,966 78,949
Israel 174,000 84,049
Italy 172,885 81,904

(Export of Oranges, Mandarins and Tangelos)
Source: FAO Trade Yearbook, 1998.
The enormous difference between the Spanish exports and the rest of the main exporting countries is clearly shown. Spain exports almost 1,800,000 tons more than the second exporting country, the United States. The amount of tons exported by Spain surpasses the total of tons exported by the United States, along with Morocco, South Africa, Greece, Egypt and The Netherlands.

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