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All about “Clementine”, this tangerine-like fruit

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Clementine is a citrus fruit from a cross between a mandarin and an orange. We appreciate it in winter to fill up with vitamins and bring a sweet touch at the end of our meals or as a snack. Rich in antioxidants, clementine will help fight certain pathologies.

Characteristics of clementine:

  • Source of pectin;
  • Rich in carotenoids;
  • Source of vitamin C;
  • Source of group B vitamins;
  • Boosts the immune system.

What is clementine?

Clementine identity card

  • Type: Citrus;
  • Family: Rutaceae;
  • Origin: Algeria;
  • Season: November to January;
  • Orange color ;
  • Flavor: Tart.

Characteristics of clementine

Clementine is a small round fruit that weighs on average 70g. Its thin bark is bright orange and contains a juicy flesh, divided into quarters, with a tangy flavor.

Differences with nearby foods

The clementine has a juicier flesh and has no seeds unlike its cousin the mandarin.

Word from the nutritionist

One serving corresponds to 2 clementines. It is better to consume them raw, in quarter, to take advantage of their benefits.

Nutritional values

For 100g of clementine:

Nutrients                                                              Quantities                                                           
Protein 0.8g
Fat 0.19 g
Carbohydrates 11.9g
Water 86.6g
Fibers 1.7g
Vitamin C 18.7 mg
Vitamin B1 0.09 mg
Vitamin B3 0.15 mg
Vitamin B6 0.05 mg
Potassium 147 mg
Copper 0.035 mg

13 benefits of clementine: why eat it?

  1. Several studies have shown that citrus consumption is linked to the prevention of certain types of cancer, such as cancer of the esophagus, cancer of the stomach, cancer of the colon, mouth and pharynx. According to one of them, moderate consumption of citrus fruits (i.e. 1 to 4 servings per week) would reduce the risk of cancers related to the digestive tract and the upper part of the respiratory system. With specific regard to pancreatic cancer, however, studies remain controversial.
  2. Antioxidant compounds in citrus fruits (limonoids) have shown anticancer effects in vitro or in animal models. They could decrease the proliferation of cancer cells in the breast, stomach, lung, mouth and colon.
  3. Numerous studies have shown that citrus consumption in general is linked to the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Studies in animal models have shown that consuming orange juice, grapefruit and tangerine or flavonoids extracted from these fruits lowers cholesterol and blood triglycerides, in addition to preventing the process leading to atherosclerosis. Another study conducted with women revealed that regular consumption of mandarins during the winter would positively influence the lipid balance. In children with high cholesterol, tangerine juice (500 ml or 2 cups per day) would reduce the oxidation of lipids and proteins in the blood and improve the antioxidant status of children.
  4. Several studies have shown that citrus flavonoids have anti-inflammatory properties. They would inhibit the synthesis and activity of mediators involved in inflammation.
  5. The main carotenoid pigment in clementine is beta-cryptoxanthin. Several carotenoids are precursors of vitamin A, that is to say that the body transforms them into this vitamin according to its needs. In addition, carotenoids are compounds with antioxidant properties, that is, they are able to neutralize free radicals in the body. The consumption of foods rich in carotenoids is linked to a lower risk of suffering from several diseases, for example, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
  6. In general, citrus fruits are rich in soluble fibers, mainly pectin, which is mainly found in the peel and in the white membrane around the flesh (albedo). By their ability to lower blood cholesterol, soluble fiber, in general, would prevent the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Regular consumption of clementine and tangerine or tangerine is a simple way to increase the intake of total fiber and soluble fiber.
  7. Clementine is an excellent source of vitamin C. The role that vitamin C plays in the body goes beyond its antioxidant properties; it also contributes to the health of bones, cartilage, teeth and gums. In addition, it protects against infections, promotes the absorption of iron from plants and accelerates healing.
  8. Clementine is a source of vitamin B1. Also called thiamine, vitamin B1 is part of a coenzyme necessary for the production of energy mainly from the carbohydrates that we eat. It also participates in the transmission of nerve impulses and promotes normal growth.
  9. Clementine is a source of vitamin B3.
  10. Clementine is a source of vitamin B6. Also called pyridoxine, vitamin B6 is part of coenzymes that participate in the metabolism of proteins and fatty acids as well as in the synthesis (manufacture) of neurotransmitters (messengers in nerve impulses). It also contributes to the production of red blood cells and allows them to transport more oxygen. Pyridoxine is also necessary for the transformation of glycogen into glucose and it contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system. This vitamin finally plays a role in the formation of certain components of nerve cells and in the modulation of hormone receptors.
  11. Clementine is a source of vitamin B9. Folate (vitamin B9) is involved in the production of all cells in the body, including red blood cells. This vitamin plays an essential role in the production of genetic material (DNA, RNA), in the functioning of the nervous system and the immune system, as well as in the healing of wounds and wounds. As it is necessary for the production of new cells, adequate consumption is essential during periods of growth and for the development of the fetus.
  12. Clementine is a source of potassium. Potassium is essential in the transmission of nerve impulses and useful in the contraction of all the muscles in your body.
  13. Clementine is a source of copper. As a constituent of several enzymes, copper is necessary for the formation of hemoglobin and collagen (protein used for the structure and repair of tissues) in the body. Several copper-containing enzymes also help the body’s defense against free radicals.

How to choose a clementine

Choose intact, firm, heavy, well-colored fruits, with no soft parts, signs of decay.

The different varieties

The different varieties are mainly differentiated by the thickness of their bark. There are three families of varieties: Fines, Oroval and Nules

Keep well

Clementine can be kept for a shorter time than other citrus fruits. One week at room temperature, 2 weeks in the refrigerator drawer.

Preparation of clementine

How to cook it? How to match it?

Citrus fruits are juicier when they are at room temperature. Therefore, it is best to take them out of the refrigerator for some time before consuming them.

  • The various mandarins, clementines and tangerines are mainly eaten fresh or in fruit salads, gelatins, puddings and cakes. The smaller ones are canned.
  • They are a wonderful addition to vegetable salads.
  • Replace lemon juice with clementine juice for all its uses: cold drink, dressing, sauce, de-icing, etc. Use them to make ice creams, sorbets and granita.
  • Add pieces of clementine to bread, pancake or cake batter.
  • For a simple and light dessert, as in Japan, serve clementine wedges in syrup, accompanied by ice cream.
  • For a less sober dessert, dip them in a chocolate fondue.
  • Grated or cut into strips, the bark pleasantly scents salads, cakes and other pastries, custards and creams, Indian rice, mashed potatoes, pasta.


The ingestion of antacid drugs and citrus fruits should be avoided since the latter increase the absorption of aluminum contained in antacids. It is recommended to space the intake of antacids and fruit or citrus juice for 3 hours.

Citrus fruits, such as clementines, mandarins, or tangerines, should be avoided in people with symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic esophagitis, and hiatal hernia. They can cause irritation of the lining of the esophagus or epigastric burns.

History of the clementine

Clémentine comes from the name of a religious who worked in Algeria at the beginning of the 20th century, Father Clément, who would have played a role in the creation of this variety of tangerine.

Clementine, created in Algeria in 1902, quickly entered Europe and North America. In Corsica, which offers a particularly favorable climate for this kind of fruit, its culture has taken on great importance. The French citrus research center has also been established

For further

Because they do not keep well, clementine and other fruits of this species are generally treated chemically after harvest. To do this, tampons are impregnated with fungicide, usually diphenyl, and placed in shipping boxes. As the chemical is partly absorbed by the fruit, the American authorities have established a maximum level of diphenyl residue. However, since no regulation (in the United States or in Canada) obliges the producer or the distributor to indicate that such treatment has been applied, the consumer is rarely aware of this practice.

In France and Switzerland, where one is more sensitive to the question of pesticides, it is compulsory to specify on the label if the citrus fruits have been treated against mold after harvest. These regulations allow consumers to make an informed choice.

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