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All about “Orange”, fruit rich in vitamin C

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Orange is one of the most consumed fruits in France which we enjoy in winter since we mainly find it from December to April on our stalls. It is mainly eaten raw for dessert but it also adds a sweet touch to salads.

Orange characteristics:

  • Rich in vitamin C;
  • Source of fiber;
  • Low in calories;
  • Source of calcium and magnesium;
  • Boosts the immune system.

Orange: what is it?

Orange identity card

  • Type: Citrus;
  • Family: Rutaceae;
  • Origin: China;
  • Season: December to April;
  • Orange color ;
  • Flavor: Sweet.

Characteristics of orange

When harvested, orange is a fruit that weighs on average 200g. An orange is composed of a thick and rough skin which contains a very juicy flesh distributed in quarter.

Differences with nearby foods

It has long been believed that bigaradier and orange tree belong to the same botanical species, the latter being supposed to descend from the former. But modern research indicates that they are 2 very different species, not only in the flavor of their fruit, but in various botanical characteristics.

Word from the nutritionist

The orange is rich in vitamins and in particular in vitamin C. To take full advantage of its benefits, peel it and consume its quarters directly. One portion corresponds to an orange.

Nutritional values

For 100g of orange:

Nutrients                                                             Quantities                                                             
Protein 1.1g
Fat 0.36 g
Carbohydrates 7.92 g
Water 86.9g
Fibers 2.2g
Vitamin C 57 mg
Vitamin E 0.37 mg
Beta carotene 71 µg
Potassium 151 mg
Calcium 29.7 mg
Magnesium 12.4 mg

9 benefits of orange: why eat it?

  1. Orange is an excellent source of vitamin C. Eating oranges will therefore stimulate the immune system and fight against fatigue such as cold snaps in winter.
  2. Orange is rich in flavonoids, antioxidant components that help fight against free radicals, responsible for skin aging and many pathologies. .
  3. The orange contains carbohydrates assimilated to sugars which bring energy quickly to the organization.
  4. Low in lipids and proteins, orange is a fruit with a low caloric intake which is very suitable for people who want to lose weight.
  5. Its low fiber content, which is in addition to soluble fiber, makes it a very interesting ally to limit the level of cholesterol in the blood.
  6. Thanks to the soluble fibers it contains, orange gently stimulates digestion and reduces digestion disorders.
  7. These same fibers help regulate the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. Eating oranges thus contributes to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and limits the risks of atherosclerosis.
  8. The orange would prevent certain cancers. The consumption of citrus fruits would reduce the risks of cancers of the mouth, pharynx and digestive tract thanks to the antioxidants they contain.
  9. Thanks to the carotenoids which will stimulate the production of bone cells and stimulate the absorption of calcium, orange is excellent for your bones.

Choosing the right orange

To choose an orange well, it must be firm. Also be careful to choose it according to its use.

The different varieties

On our stalls, there are mainly three varieties of orange: the fleshy orange, the juice orange and the blood orange.

Keep well

The orange keeps for a week at room temperature. You can also keep it for ten days in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.

Orange preparation

How to cook it? How to match it?

  • Orange and chocolate go perfectly with cakes, sweets or fondue.
  • Before pouring your custard preparations into the molds, line them with orange rings. Bake in the oven as usual.
  • Orange juice and zest add a special note to sauces and dressings and to vegetable, rice, chicken, fish, seafood, etc. dishes.
  • In South America, a dozen whole peeled oranges are boiled for 20 minutes in 1.5 liters of lightly sweetened water, then filtered and this soup is poured over pieces of roasted bread and lemon slices.
  • Serve orange wedges in a salad with sliced ​​onion, olives and an olive oil vinaigrette.
  • Prepare an orange salsa, with red onion, coriander, garlic and chilli. Serve as an accompaniment to meals, for example with chicken breasts.
  • Orange juice is used to make lemonade drinks and as a seasoning for fish. In Spain, the meat is coated with it during cooking. At Yucatàn, it replaces vinegar. In Egypt and other countries, they make wine.

History of orange

The term “orange”, to designate the fruit, appeared in the 13th century. It comes from the Arabic narandj, itself borrowed from the Sanskrit nagaranga, whose meaning is “fruit loved by elephants”. The “o” was added to the Arabic name by influence of the name of the city of Orange, through which these fruits passed.

The orange tree is native to southeast Asia, home to the genus Citrus, but it is not known when exactly it was domesticated. According to a text dating from 2,200 years before our era, it was already known in China at that time. Like many other plants which were also used in medicine, it will follow the silk route towards Europe, crossing the Middle East and the Near East where it will find a climate adapted to its needs. From there, it will reach the south of Europe, probably in the first centuries of our era, although there is no trace of its culture on this continent before the 15th century. Certainly, its true expansion in the south of Europe is the fact of the Portuguese, who brought it back from Asia. Thanks to intense selection work and the development of new cultivation methods, orange from Portugal will become the quality and benchmark standard throughout Europe. Its popularity was such that, in Arab countries, it stopped calling it narandj to call it bortugal, a name which is still attached to it.

At the time of the Conquest, the orange will cross the Atlantic with the bigarade, the lime, the lemon and the citron. Their seeds will be sown in the West Indies, Mexico, South America and present-day Florida. From the middle of the 16th century, in America, flourishing orchards were found in all the places suitable for the cultivation of citrus fruits.

Today, the orange tree is the most cultivated fruit tree in the world. Until the 1920s, its fruit was mostly eaten fresh. Then, we will market its juice, rich in vitamin C, and, in a few decades, the consumption of the latter will far exceed that of the fruit. In the United States, 40% of the production of orange groves is now used to prepare frozen juice concentrate. The by-products of this transformation – essential oil, pectin, candied bark, pulp – have found many uses in the food industry.

For further

Ecology and environment

To produce the flawless oranges that western consumers demand, citrus growers must use a battery of chemicals. This explains why fruit sold in the fresh state is much more processed than fruit intended for processing (juice).

But the consumer, the European in particular, also wants fruit that is little or not processed. In Morocco, where 50% to 60% of citrus production is intended for export, we have been experimenting with “integrated pest management” for several years. This technique consists in “releasing” at the appropriate time “auxiliary” insects whose role is to limit the populations of insect pests. Chemical intervention is only done as a last resort. Similar experiments are carried out in the United States and Australia. The results indicate that if, in the first years, the pests remain very numerous, after 3 or 4 years, we manage to keep their populations below the harmful level.

The team from Morocco also noted that despite the initial costs and requirements, this approach had made it possible to make substantial savings in materials, labor and phytosanitary products. At the end of the 4th year, the costs of the latter were no more than a third of what they were initially. As for the fruits, they had no trace of residues. This approach requires qualified personnel, a good knowledge of insects, both predatory and auxiliary, and a continuous presence in the orchard. In addition, pesticides used when absolutely necessary must be safe for auxiliary insects, such as those of the ladybug family, which feed on the eggs or larvae of many pests.

Untreated fruit is sold under the “organic cultivation” label.

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