The tangerine is the fruit of the mandarin orange tree, tree that belongs to the family of the Rutáceas, with characteristics similar to the orange tree, although smaller and delicate. This family understands more than 1.600 species. Also, the botanical genre Citrus, which it includes to this fruit, it is the most important of the family and it consists of approximately 20 species with eatable fruits, very abundant all of them in vitamin C, flavonoides and essential oils. The fruits, called hespérides, have the peculiarity of which his pulp is formed by numerous vesicles full of juice. The tangerine is considered to be the citric most related to the orange. His small size, his most aromatic flavor and the facility of removing his skin, do of this fruit one of the most valued.


As the rest of citrus fruits, the tangerine comes from the tropical zones of Asia. Before coming to Occident, it was already famous for his sweet flavor on the markets of the India. His name alludes to the color of the suits that were using the mandarins, ruling high places of the ancient China, therefore, it is possible to affirm that it is an original fruit of China and Indochina, which cultivation interfered in Europe in the XIXth century. At present, there are producing countries: Japan, Israel, Algeria and for his position Spain, where in the Valencian Community there takes place 90 % of the tangerine of the country.

The tangerines split into four big groups or types varietales, inside which the different varieties are: Clementines, Clemenvillas, Hybrids and Satsumas.

Clementines: they are of intense orange color, of smoothed spherical form and the common thing the fact is that they lack seeds. There are considered to be a crossing between the tangerine and a wild orange of Algeria. They are peeled by facility and have very good flavor. They emphasize varieties as the Thin Clementine, a fruit of extraordinary quality of small or average size, with a weight between 50 and 70 grams. His compilation is carried out between November and January. Those of variety Oroval has rounded form and a weight that ranges between 70 and 90 grams. The crust is granular and easy to peel. The compilation is realized from November until December and his conservation is not advisable in the tree since it loses juice and tends to swell up. The tangerines Clemenules have the fruit of big size (80-100 grams) with slightly flattened form. His pulp turns out to be juicy, easy to peel and lacks practically seeds. The compilation is from November until January. Other varieties very similar to the previous ones and without seeds there are the Clemenpols, Oronules and Esbal.

Clemenvillas: they are of size bigger than the previous ones, of reddish orange crust and with very much juice.

Hybrids: there are fruits of good size and very attractive reddish orange color. The pulp possesses big juice quantity and it is abundant in sugar and organic acids. The crust is very adherent to the pulp. They emphasize the following varieties: Fortune, of small size, intense orange color and crust dies. The compilation is done in February but the fruit can remain in the tree until April. It is an interesting variety for late areas with little irrigation and strong frosts. Ellendale, is big fruits, with crust lightly rough and easy to peel. It is possible to gather from February, although it loses juice if one preserves a lot of time in the tree. Ortanique, there are tangerines of average size to big, lightly flattened and with a rough crust that adheres to the pulp and makes his bare one difficult. It matures at the end of January or beginning of February and it is possible to support well in the tree.

Satsuma: it is original of Japan and it presents an exquisite aroma. His trees are the last ones to bloom and nevertheless there are the first ones that are gathered. The fruits are of salmon-colored orange or orange yellow color, of good size, flattened form and with propensity to swell up when the crust initiates the change of color. The crust is thick and rough, the pulp of minor gustatory quality and his compilation can begin in the middle of September. They emphasize the following varieties: Okitsu, of good gustatory quality. Very precocious, in some areas his compilation begins in September. He tolerates very well the transport and storage. Owari, fruit of average size to child, light orange color, smoothed form and with very much juice. Clausellina, fruit of low quality and which compilation usually begins in the middle of September.


They can be on the market from September up to beginning of March. His maturation period is dilated given the big quantity of cultivated varieties.


It forms: most of the varieties have spherical form lightly smoothed.

Size and weight: the fruit is of medium size, that it affects in the quality of the product and ranges between 40 millimeters and the 86 or more in the tangerines of major commercial quality. The calibrated one of the tangerines is carried out in a descending scale between the 1 and 10, being those of the number 1 the biggest and those of 10 the smallest. The weight of a tangerine can change from the 50 to 100 grams; therefore the recommended consumption ration is two or three pieces, according to the size.

Color: the color, both of his rind and of his pulp, is orange; in some varieties the skin can have a reddish orange tone. His skin, in general, does not adhere to the fruit and his pulp divides in 8 ó 10 segments that separate with facility.

Flavor: the pulp of the tangerine performs sweet flavor, lightly acidulously and it turns out to be delightfully juicy and refreshing.


The citrus fruits, if they are juicy, must be weighed, for what we will choose the tangerines that have major weight with regard to his size, which is indicative that they are full of juice. Those of major quality are those who have the soft but not wrinkled and well adherent skin to the segments. The stem must be cut to evenness and the best indicative of his quality is not so much the color of the rind, but his smell, more sweet and intense the more mature is the fruit.

Once gathered, the tangerine survives perfectly to refrigeration temperatures, between 3 and 7ºC, in the least cold part of the refrigerator. If he wants to survive for a period from one until two weeks even it is possible to refresh below 3ºC; and if it is desirable to preserve for one month or more time, it is not advisable to go down of 5ºC. The losses of weight due to the water evaporation can be considerable in a long storage if it does not become possible to support the relative moisture of the air to 90 %.

Composition for 100 grams of eatable portion
Calories 37
Carbohydrates (g) 9
Fibre (g) 1,9
Potassium (mg) 185
Magnesium (mg) 11
Calcium (mg) 36
Provitamina A (mcg) 106
Vitamin C (mg) 35
Acid fólico (mcg) 21
mcg = micrograms

The majority component in the tangerines is the water and, with regard to other fruits of his genre, it contributes less sugar quantity and therefore less calories. The fibre quantity is valuable and this one is especially in the white part between the pulp and the crust, therefore his consumption favors the intestinal transit. Of his content vitamínico the vitamin stands out C, in minor quantity than the orange, the acid fólico and the provitamina A, more abundant than in citric any other. Also it contains outstanding quantities of citric acid, potassium and magnesium. In minor proportion certain vitamins of the group are B and mineral like the calcium, of worse use than the one that comes from the milk or other food that are a good source of the above mentioned mineral.

The provitamina A or beta caroteno transforms in vitamin A in our similar organism this one needs it. The above mentioned vitamin is essential for the vision, the good state of the skin, the hair, the mucous membranes, the bones and for the good functioning of the immune system. The vitamin C intervenes in the formation of collagen, bones and teeth, red globules and favors the absorption of the iron of the food and the resistance to the infections. Both vitamins, they fulfill also an antirust function. The citric acid possesses an action disinfectant and promotes the action of the vitamin C. The acid fólico intervenes in the production of red and white globules, in the material synthesis genetically and the formation antibodies of the immune system. The potassium is a mineral necessary for the transmission and generation of the nervous impulse and for the normal muscular activity, it intervenes in the water balance inside and out of the cell.

It turns out to be so simple to peel and to eat a tangerine that has turned into one of the favorite fruits of the smallest, although, for his sweet and refreshing flavor and for the nourishing properties that it offers to us, the consumption has to be promoted in all the ages. The pleasant sweetness, his scarce acidic flavor, along with the gentleness of his pulp they turn to the tangerine in one of the most popular citrus fruits of the world.

With the proviso of which vitamin quantity contributes less C that other citrus fruits, it keeps on being an excellent source of this vitamin. It is known safely that this vitamin exercises a clear antiinfectious action, stimulating the formation of antibodies and the activity of the phagocytes (cell capable of including microbes and strange cells that are destroyed in his interior). The cancer, the AIDS, the infectious illnesses and the inflammatory chronicles, like the rheumatism, make to diminish the concentration of this vitamin in the plasma, therefore it is interesting in these cases to assure his contribution by means of the feeding. Other situations in which the requests are increased are: nicotinism, alcoholism, employment of certain medicines, pregnancy and lactation, emotional or environmental stress and the intense practice of sport. In all these cases, the habitual tangerines consumption is particularly recommended. And for the rest of the population, to eat them can bring more benefits during the winter months and in the seasonal changes, when the ups and downs are frequent in the defenses system and one is inclined to contract colds or infections.

The tangerine is one of the fruits that more carotenoides presents in his composition, it contributes beta - criptoxantina and beta - caroteno in outstanding quantities. The antirust activity of these elements fitoquímicos and of the vitamin C, they provide to the food physiological properties that go beyond the nutritional in strict sense ones. The antirust ones fight the harmful action of the free radicals, substances responsible for the development of cardiovascular, degenerative diseases and cancer.

In case of anemia ferropénica, it is very useful to consume tangerines accompanying to the food rich in iron or to the supplements of this mineral, since the vitamin C that reaches port increases the iron absorption and this accelerates the recovery.

For the sportsmen, for his content in potassium, vitamin C, carotenoides and other nutrients, constitutes a good alternative to restore the minerals and the liquid lost after the physical activity and to minimize the injuries risk and to promote the defenses. His juice mixed with water, bicarbonate and sugar can do perfectly the functions of remoisturizing drink during the competition in sports that have a duration bigger than 90 minutes, in which the losses of glucose, water and electrolytes are more marked.

The high content in water, potassium and citric acid (alcaliniza the urine, it helps to fight the infections and promotes the action of the vitamin C), they convert to the tangerines into fruits with effect diuretic, beneficial in case of hiperuricemia or drop and litiasis renal (it favors the elimination of uric acid and his salt).

For his acid plenty fólico or folatos, essential vitamin in the processes of division and cellular multiplication that they take place in the first months of gestation, his consumption turns out to be suitable or interesting for the pregnant women to prepare the forked thorn, alteration in the development of the nervous system (pipe neural) of the fetus.

Potassium and fibre

For his high content in potassium and low in sodium, they turn out to be very advisable for those persons who suffer arterial hypertension or complaints of blood glasses and heart. Nevertheless, the tangerines consumption will have to be born in mind by the persons who suffer from renal insufficiency and who need of special diets controlled in this mineral. Nevertheless, to whom they take diuretics that eliminate potassium and to the persons with bulimia, due to the episodes of autoinduced vomiting that provoke big losses of the above mentioned mineral, the consumption of this fruit is convenient for them.

The tangerine is a natural source of fibre, essential to fight the constipation it already stimulates the intestinal motilidad, most of which it is in the white pulp that exists under the skin and between the segments and that is not convenient to reject. This substance, also it favors the transit of the fecal content along the colon, diminishing the contact time between harmful substances and the wall of the digestive tract, helps to diminish the absorption of fat and cholesterol, to the good control of the glycemia (sugar levels in blood) and has an effect saciante, for what it turns out to be a fruit indicated for the persons with hipercolesterolemia, diabetes and excess weight.

The oxalic acid that the tangerines contain can form salt with certain minerals like the calcium and form oxalato calcic, by what his consumption has to be born in mind if this type of kidney stones is endured, since it might aggravate the situation.

The term that designates to the variety clementine derives from the name of the priest Pierre Clément, owner of a hospice in Algeria, in whose garden was discovered this fruit.


The tangerines, for his sweet and sour flavor they turn out to be very refreshing and tasty if the native as fresh fruit is consumed or in the shape of juices. The segments are usually used in confectioner's like decorative ingredient of cakes and pastries. Also this fruit is used to make sherbets, ice creams, jams and liquors.

In east they do to themselves exquisite sauces that make use to accompany meats, birds and fish or they even put themselves in salads the native, combined with vegetables.

The tangerine extract is used in the manufacture of sweets and caramels.


30 ' to 45'


- 16 tangerines
- 300 gm. of sugar
- a sparkling mineral water small bottle
- bright green or half a lemon
- an egg white

To peel the tangerines and the lemon or the lime. To put the sugar in a casserole and to add half of the water with gas of the bottle. To remove occasionally so that the sugar melts equally and a syrup forms. To extinguish the fire when he starts to boil the sugar and leave that it cools down. To crush the tangerines and the lime or the half lemon with a blender or with help of a mixer. To spill the resultant juice on the cold syrup and to introduce in a pitcher in the icebox. Once I fry, to put in the freezer. When it has soft drink with ice texture, to mix a little of the sherbet with the egg white on the verge of snow. To stir everything again with the sherbet so that it remains creamy. To add the rest of the water bottle with gas and to introduce in the freezer until it remains hailed. To serve in glasses or high glasses accompanying of a few decorated straws.

©Fundación Eroski
In CONSUMER.es EROSKI we take very seriously the privacy of your information, legal notice.

Our Sponsor of the month