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Orange
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. ×sinensis
Binomial name
Citrus ×sinensis
(L.) Osbeck[1]

An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus ×sinensis (syn. Citrus aurantium L. var. dulcis L., or Citrus aurantium Risso) and its fruit. The orange is a hybrid of ancient cultivated origin, possibly between pomelo (Citrus maxima) and tangerine (Citrus reticulata). It is a small flowering tree growing to about 10 m tall with evergreen leaves, which are arranged alternately, of ovate shape with crenulate margins and 4–10 cm long. The orange fruit is a hesperidium, a type of berry.

Oranges originated in Southeast Asia. The fruit of Citrus sinensis is called sweet orange to distinguish it from Citrus aurantium, the bitter orange. The name is thought to ultimately derive from the Dravidian and Telugu word for the orange tree, with its final form developing after passing through numerous intermediate languages.

In a number of languages, it is known as a "Chinese apple" (e.g. Dutch Sinaasappel, "China's apple", or "Apfelsine" in German).

Contents

Fruit

File:Orange and cross
Orange fruit and cross section

All citrus trees are of the single genus, Citrus, and remain largely interbreedable; that is, there is only one "superspecies" which includes grapefruits, lemons, limes, and oranges. Nevertheless, names have been given to the various members of the genus, oranges often being referred to as Citrus sinensis and Citrus aurantium. Fruits of all members of the genus Citrus are considered berries because they have many seeds, are fleshy and soft, and derive from a single ovary. An orange seed is called a pip. The white thread-like material attached to the inside of the peel is called pith.

Varieties

Template:Nutritionalvalue

Persian orange

The Persian orange, grown widely in southern Europe after its introduction to Italy in the 11th century, was bitter. Sweet oranges brought to Europe in the 15th century from India by Portuguese traders, quickly displaced the bitter, and are now the most common variety of orange cultivated. The sweet orange will grow to different sizes and colours according to local conditions, most commonly with ten carpels, or segments, inside.

Some South East Indo-European tongues name orange after Portugal, which was formerly the main source of imports of sweet oranges. Examples are Bulgarian portokal [портокал], Greek portokali [πορτοκάλι], Persian porteghal [پرتقال], and Romanian portocală. Also in South Italian dialects (Neapolitan), orange is named portogallo or purtualle, literally "the Portuguese ones". Related names can also be found in other languages: Turkish Portakal, Arabic al-burtuqal [البرتقال], Amharic birtukan, and Georgian phortokhali [ფორთოხალი].

Portuguese, Spanish, Arab, and Dutch sailors planted citrus trees along trade routes to prevent scurvy. On his second voyage in 1493, Christopher Columbus brought the seeds of oranges, lemons and citrons to Haiti and the Caribbean. They were introduced in Florida (along with lemons) in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon, and were introduced to Hawaii in 1792.

Navel orange

File:Navel orange
A peeled sectioned navel orange. The underdeveloped twin is located on the bottom right.

A single mutation in 1820 in an orchard of sweet oranges planted at a monastery in Brazil yielded the navel orange, also known as the Washington, Riverside, or Bahie navel. The mutation causes navel oranges to develop a second orange at the base of the original fruit, opposite the stem. The second orange develops as a conjoined twin in a set of smaller segments embedded within the peel of the larger orange. From the outside, it looks similar to the human navel.

Because the mutation left the fruit seedless and, therefore, sterile, the only means available to cultivate more of this new variety is to graft cuttings onto other varieties of citrus tree. Two such cuttings of the original tree were transplanted[2] to Riverside, California in 1870, which eventually led to worldwide popularity.

Today, navel oranges continue to be produced via cutting and grafting. This does not allow for the usual selective breeding methodologies, and so not only do the navel oranges of today have exactly the same genetic makeup as the original tree, and are therefore clones; in a sense, all navel oranges can be considered to be the fruit of that single over-a-century-old tree. This is similar to the common yellow seedless banana, the Cavendish.

On rare occasions, however, further mutations can lead to new varieties.[3]

Valencia orange

The Valencia or Murcia orange is one of the sweet oranges used for juice extraction. It is a late-season fruit, and therefore a popular variety when the navel oranges are out of season. For this reason, the orange was chosen to be the official mascot of the 1982 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Spain. The mascot was called "Naranjito" ("little orange"), and wore the colours of the Spanish soccer team uniform.

Blood orange

The blood orange has streaks of red in the fruit, and the juice is often a dark burgundy colour. The fruit has found a niche as an interesting ingredient variation on traditional Seville marmalade, with its striking red streaks and distinct flavour. The scarlet navel is a variety with the same dual-fruit mutation as the navel orange.

Acidity

Like all citrus fruits, the orange is acidic, with a pH level of around 2.5-3; depending on the age, size and variety of the fruit. Although this is not, on average, as strong as the lemon, it is still quite strong on the pH scale – as strong as vinegar.

Production

[[File:|thumb|550px|Orange output in 2005]]

Top Orange Producers — 2005
(million tonnes)
 Brazil 17.8
 United States 8.4
 Mexico 4.1
Template:Country data India 3.1
File:Flag of the People' China 2.4
 Spain 2.3
 Italy 2.2
Template:Country data Iran 1.9
 Egypt 1.8
 Pakistan 1.6
World Total 61.7
Source:
UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
[4]

Oranges grown for commercial production are generally grown in groves and are produced throughout the world. The top three orange-producing countries are Brazil, the United States, and Mexico. Oranges are sensitive to frost, and a common treatment to prevent frost damage when sub-freezing temperatures are expected, is to spray the trees with water, since as long as unfrozen water is turning to ice on the trees' branches, the ice that has formed stays just at the freezing point, giving protection even if air temperatures have dropped far lower.[5]

Etymology

The word orange is derived from Sanskrit nāraṅgaḥ "orange tree."[6] and in Telugu "Naringa". The Sanskrit word was borrowed into European languages through Persian nārang, Armenian nārinj, Arabic nāranj, (Spanish naranja and Portuguese laranja), Late Latin arangia, Italian arancia or arancio, and Old French orenge, in chronological order. The first appearance in English dates from the 14th century. The forms starting with n- are older; this initial n- may have been mistaken as part of the indefinite article, in languages with articles ending with an -n sound (e.g., in French une norenge may have been taken as une orenge). The name of the colour is derived from the fruit, first appearing in this sense in 1542.

Some languages have different words for the bitter and the sweet orange, such as Modern Greek nerantzi and portokali, respectively. Or in Persian, the words are narang and porteghal (Portugal), in the same order. The reason is that the sweet orange was brought from China or India to Europe during the 15th century by the Portuguese. For the same reason, some languages refer to it as Applesin (or variants), which means "Apple from China," while the bitter orange was introduced through Persia.

In Tamil this tree is known as நாகருகம் (Nagarukam).

Juice and other products

Oranges are widely grown in warm climates worldwide, and the flavours of oranges vary from sweet to sour. The fruit is commonly peeled and eaten fresh, or squeezed for its juice. It has a thick bitter rind that is usually discarded, but can be processed into animal feed by removing water, using pressure and heat. It is also used in certain recipes as flavouring or a garnish. The outer-most layer of the rind can be grated or thinly veneered with a tool called a zester, to produce orange zest. Zest is popular in cooking because it contains the oil glands and has a strong flavour similar to the fleshy inner part of the orange. The white part of the rind, called the pericarp or albedo and including the pith, is a source of pectin and has nearly the same amount of vitamin C as the flesh.

Products made from oranges

  • Orange juice is one of the commodities traded on the New York Board of Trade. Brazil is the largest producer of orange juice in the world, followed by the USA. It is made by squeezing the fruit on a special instrument called a "juicer" or a "squeezer." The juice is collected in a small tray underneath. This is mainly done in the home, and in industry is done on a much larger scale.
  • Frozen orange juice concentrate is made from freshly squeezed and filtered orange juice.[7]
  • Sweet orange oil is a by-product of the juice industry produced by pressing the peel. It is used as a flavouring of food and drink and for its fragrance in perfume and aromatherapy. Sweet orange oil consists of about 90% d-Limonene, a solvent used in various household chemicals, such as to condition wooden furniture, and along with other citrus oils in grease removal and as a hand-cleansing agent. It is an efficient cleaning agent which is promoted as being environmentally friendly and preferable to petroleum distillates. However, d-Limonene is classified as toxic or very toxic in several countriesTemplate:Fact. Its smell is considered more pleasant by some than those of other cleaning agents. Although once thought to cause renal cancer in rats, limonene now is known as a significant chemopreventive agent[8] with potential value as a dietary anti-cancer tool in humans.[9] There is no evidence for carcinogenicity or genotoxicity in humans. The IARC classifies d-limonene under Class 3: not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans.Template:Fact
  • The orange blossom, which is the state flower of Florida, is highly fragrant and traditionally associated with good fortune. It has long been popular in bridal bouquets and head wreaths for weddings.
  • Orange blossom essence is an important component in the making of perfume.
  • The petals of orange blossom can also be made into a delicately citrus-scented version of rosewater; orange blossom water (aka orange flower water) is a common part of both French and Middle Eastern cuisines, most often as an ingredient in desserts and baked goods.
  • The orange blossom gives its touristic nickname to the Costa del Azahar ("Orange-blossom coast"), the Castellon seaboard.
  • In Spain, fallen blossoms are dried and then used to make tea.
  • Orange blossom honey, or actually citrus honey, is produced by putting beehives in the citrus groves during bloom, which also pollinates seeded citrus varieties. Orange blossom honey is highly prized, and tastes much like orange.
  • Marmalade, a conserve usually made with Seville oranges. All parts of the orange are used to make marmalade: the pith and pips are separated, and typically placed in a muslin bag where they are boiled in the juice (and sliced peel) to extract their pectin, aiding the setting process.
  • Orange peel is used by gardeners as a slug repellent.
  • Orange leaves can be boiled to make tea.
  • Orange wood sticks (also spelt orangewood) are used as cuticle pushers in manicures and pedicures, and as spudgers for manipulating slender electronic wires

Gallery

See also

Footnotes

References

  • McPhee, John. Oranges (1966) - focuses on Florida groves.
  • Sackman, Douglas Cazaux. Orange Empire: California and the Fruits of Eden (2005) comprehensive, multidimensional history of citrus industry in California
  • Train, John. Oranges (2006)
  • Culture & Care for the genus Citrus on CultureSheet.org

External links


Simple English

Orange
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Sapindales
Family: Rutaceae
Genus: Citrus
Species: C. sinensis
Binomial name
Citrus sinensis
(L.)

An orange is a type of citrus fruit which people often eat. Oranges are a very good source of vitamins, especially vitamin C.[1]. Orange juice is an important part of many people's breakfast. The "sweet orange", which is the kind that are most often eaten today, grew first in Asia but now grows in many parts of the world.

Oranges are round orange-coloured fruit that grow on a tree which can reach 10 metres high. Orange trees have dark green shiny leaves and small white flowers with five petals. The flowers smell very sweet which attracts many bees.

An orange has a tough shiny orange skin. Inside, the fruit is divided into "segments", which have thin tough skins that hold together many little sections with juice inside. There are usually ten segments in an orange, but sometimes there are more. Inside each segment of most types of orange there are seeds called "pips". Orange trees can be grown from pips, but some types of orange trees can only be grown from "cuttings" (a piece cut off a tree and made to grow roots). The segments and the skin are separated by white stringy stuff called "pith". In most types of oranges, the skin can be peeled off the pith, and the segments can be pulled apart with the fingers to be eaten. In some oranges it is hard to take the skin off. With mandarin oranges, the skin, pith and segments can all be pulled apart very easily. Orange skin is often called "orange peel".

Oranges are an important food source in many parts of the world for several reasons. They are a commonly available source of vitamin C. The juice is a refreshing drink. They last longer than many other fruits when they are stored. They are easy to transport because each orange comes in its own tough skin which acts as a container. They can be piled into heaps or carried in bags, lunchboxes and shipping containers without being easily damaged.

The colour orange takes its name from the fruit. The word "orange" is unusual because it is one of only a few English words that does not rhyme with anything.[2]

Contents

History

Sweet orange trees were brought to Italy, Spain and Portugal from India in the fifteenth century (1400s). Before that time only sour oranges were grown in Italy. From Europe, orange trees were taken to the United States, South America, Africa and Australia, which all grow oranges for sale.

There are several different types of sweet orange. One of the most common types is called the "Valencia" orange, which comes from Spain and is also grown in Africa and Australia. It is one of the most important "commercial" oranges. (This means that it is grown for sale in shops.)

One type of sweet orange is called the "blood orange" or "sanguine orange" (sanguine means blood red). These oranges often have red marks on the skin, and some parts of the inside look as if they have blood in them. Some blood oranges make juice that is ruby red.

File:Ambersweet
These oranges are called "Ambersweets"

In the 1850s, in Brazil, there was a tree growing in a monastery garden that made very strange fruit.[3] Inside each orange skin there was a large orange with no seeds. At the bottom of the orange was a baby orange, which was really the bigger orange's twin. The little orange made a strange bump at the bottom of the orange skin, that looked just like a human "belly-button". These oranges were named "Navel Oranges". They tasted very sweet, they had no seeds and they peeled quite easily. This made them a very good orange to grow "commercially". But they could not grow from seed. They could only grow from cuttings. Nowadays, thousands of these orange trees have been planted from cuttings. "Navel Oranges" are grown in California and exported to many countries of the world. Every navel orange in the world has the same genetic make up as the oranges on that tree in the monastery in Brazil.[3]

Mandarins, small flattened oranges with skins that come off easily, are believed to have come from China. Now there are several varieties. These include "tangerines" which are redder than most mandarins, and "clementines" which are large, smooth and plump. Mandarins of all sorts are very useful lunchbox fruit, because they are easy to peel and eat, but do not get squashed easily.

Nowadays, many people of the world eat an orange or drink orange juice every day, because oranges are one of the best and cheapest sources of Vitamin C. Human bodies, unlike many other animals, do not manufacture Vitamin C, so a human needs vitamin C in their diet regularly. (Vitamin C helps the body to grow, to heal wounds and fight infection.) Oranges are also a very good source of dietary fibre. But they do not contain high amounts of minerals. If a person eats an orange and a banana together, then they have had a very nourishing snack that supplies both vitamins and minerals.

Traditions

[[File:|thumb|200px|A "Christingle"]]

  • Orange trees are a symbol of love and marriage in many cultures. Oranges are sometimes found in Renaissance paintings of married couples. One of the most famous is Jan van Eyck's "Wedding Portrait of the Arnolfini".
  • Brides traditionally wear orange blossoms in their hair or carry them in their bouquet at their wedding. Orange blossoms are often part of the decoration on a wedding cake.
  • Queen Victoria was given a coronet of gold and enamel orange blossoms by her husband Albert. When their children were born, he had a jeweller add tiny green oranges to the coronet.
  • If an orange is peeled with a knife, it is possible to cut the peel off in one long unbroken piece. Schoolgirls in some countries chant a rhyme, and throw the long orange peel over their shoulder, then look at how it falls to find the initial letter of the name of the boy that loves them.
  • In some countries, "blood oranges" are seen as a symbol of the death of Jesus.
  • In some European countries, a "Christingle" is a Christmas decoration using an orange and a candle to symbolise Jesus' love for the world.
  • In cold countries, when fruit was scarce, an orange was often given at Christmas. In England, it was traditional to stuff the toe of a child's Christmas stocking with raisins, almonds and oranges.
  • Orange peel can be dried and treated with sugar. It is an ingredient in Christmas cakes.
  • Oranges are sometimes used to make a sweet-smelling "pomander" to perfume a room. This is done by sticking the stalks of cloves into an orange, and allowing the orange to dry out.
  • Orange jam is called "Marmalade". Traditionally, it is said to have been first made for Mary Queen of Scots or Marie Antoinette when they were sick. Neither of these stories is true, as marmalade was made in Portugal for many years before either of them was born. The term "marmalade", originally meaning a quince jam ("marmelada" in Portuguese), derives from the Portuguese word for this fruit marmelo.
  • An English children's song about the church bells of London begins with the line "'Oranges and Lemons' say the Bells of St. Clements..."

Gallery

Related pages

References

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